Fabian Kiepe, Guido Hesselmann
To what degree human cognition is influenced by subliminal stimuli is a controversial empirical question. One striking example was reported by Linser and Goschke (2007): participants overestimated how much control they had over objectively uncontrollable stimuli when masked congruent primes were presented immediately before the action. Critically, however, unawareness of the masked primes was established by post hoc data selection. In our preregistered study we sought to explore these findings while adjusting prime visibility based on individual thresholds, so that each participant underwent both visible and non-visible conditions...
April 12, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Zhonglu Zhang, Yizhu Li, Yuxin Zeng, Jiamin Deng, Qiang Xing, Jing Luo
Decomposition of chunks has been widely accepted as a critical proxy of restructuring, but the role of composition in forming new representations has been largely neglected. This study aims to investigate the roles of both decomposition and composition processes in chunk restructuring, as well as their relationships with "aha" experiences during problem-solving. Participants were asked to move a part of a character to another character to create two new characters. Across three experiments, the characters to be decomposed or composed were varied in terms of tight or loose chunks...
April 9, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Raquel Krempel, Merlin Monzel
Aphantasia is a condition that is often characterized as the impaired ability to create voluntary mental images. Aphantasia is assumed to selectively affect voluntary imagery mainly because even though aphantasics report being unable to visualize something at will, many report having visual dreams. We argue that this common characterization of aphantasia is incorrect. Studies on aphantasia are often not clear about whether they are assessing voluntary or involuntary imagery, but some studies show that several forms of involuntary imagery are also affected in aphantasia (including imagery in dreams)...
April 1, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Yiheng Chen, Qiwei Zhao, Yueyi Ding, Yingzhi Lu
The congruency judgments in action understanding helps individuals make timely adjustments to unexpected occurrence, and this process may be influenced by emotion. Previous research has showed contradictory effect of emotion on conflict processing, possibly due to the degree of relevance between emotion and task. However, to date, no study has systematically manipulated the relevance to explore how emotion affects congruency judgments in action understanding. We employed a cue-target paradigm and controlled the way emotional stimuli were presented on the target interface, setting up three experiments: emotion served as task-irrelevant distractor, task-irrelevant target and task-relevant target...
March 29, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Maria Arioli, Chiara Ferrari, Lotfi B Merabet, Zaira Cattaneo
This study addresses the effects of blindness on trust. Using an auditory version of the multi-round Trust Game, we investigated the effect of reputation and reciprocity on trust decisions in early blind and sighted participants. During each round of the game, participants were endowed with a sum of money and had to decide how much they wanted to invest in their partners, who were manipulated as a function of their good or bad reputation and individualistic or cooperative behavior. The data showed that negative first impression about the partner (bad reputation and/or selfish behavior) impacted more blind participants than sighted ones...
March 28, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Marika Mariano, Giulia Stanco, Damiano Ignazio Graps, Ileana Rossetti, Nadia Bolognini, Eraldo Paulesu, Laura Zapparoli
The sense of agency is the ability to recognize that we are the actors of our actions and their consequences. We explored whether and how spatial cues may modulate the agency experience by manipulating the ecological validity of the experimental setup (real-space or computer-based setup) and the distance of the action-outcome (near or far). We tested 58 healthy adults collecting explicit agency judgments and the perceived time interval between movements and outcomes (to quantify the intentional binding phenomenon, an implicit index of agency)...
March 6, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Nena Luzi, Maria Chiara Piani, Daniela Hubl, Thomas Koenig
The sense of agency (SoA) is central to human experience. The comparator model, contrasting sensory prediction and action feedback, is influential but limited in explaining SoA. We investigated mechanisms beyond the comparator model, focusing on the processing of unpredictable stimuli, perimotor components of SoA, and their relation to schizotypy. ERPs were recorded from 18 healthy participants engaged in button-pressing tasks while perceiving tones with varying causal relationships with their actions. We investigated the processing of non-causally related tones, contrasted this to causally related tones, and examined perimotor correlates of subjective expectancy and experience of agency...
February 29, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Piani Maria Chiara, Gerber Bettina Salome, Koenig Thomas, Morishima Yosuke, Nordgaard Julie, Jandl Martin
The neural underpinnings of selfhood encompass pre-reflective and reflective self-experience. The former refers to a basic, immediate experience of being a self, while the latter involves cognition and introspection. Although neural correlates of reflective self-experience have been studied, the pre-reflective remains underinvestigated. This research aims to bridge this gap by comparatively investigating ERP correlates of reading first- vs. third-person pronouns - approximating pre-reflective self-experience - and self- vs...
February 28, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Xiaowei Ding, Huichao Ji, Wenhao Yu, Luzi Xu, Youting Lin, Yanliang Sun
The debate over the independence of attention and consciousness is ongoing. Prior studies have established that invisible spatial cues can direct attention. However, our exploration extends beyond spatial dimensions to temporal information as a potent guide for attention. A intriguing question arises: Can unconscious temporal cues trigger attentional orienting? To investigate, we employed a modified reaction-time task in Experiments 1 and 2, using Gabor stimuli or human facial stimuli as temporal cues rendered invisible through continuous flash suppression...
February 28, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Guanhua Huang, Xun Jia, Yuanmeng Zhang, Ke Zhao, Xiaolan Fu
Sense of agency (SoA) refers to the subjective experience of controlling one's actions and their subsequent consequences. The present study endeavors to investigate the impact of how different degrees of self-related stimuli as action outcomes on the sense of agency by observing the temporal binding effect. Results showed that self-related sound significantly altered temporal binding, notably influencing outcome binding. A post-hoc explanation model effectively elucidated the role of self-related information in the formation of the sense of agency...
February 28, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Johannes Kleiner
Recent activities in virtually all fields engaged in consciousness studies indicate early signs of a structural turn, where verbal descriptions or simple formalisations of conscious experiences are replaced by structural tools, most notably mathematical spaces. My goal here is to offer three comments that, in my opinion, are essential to avoid misunderstandings in these developments early on. These comments concern metaphysical premises of structural approaches, the viability of structure-preserving mappings, and the question of what a structure of conscious experience is in the first place...
February 28, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
K Evers, M Farisco, C M A Pennartz
How deep is the current diversity in the panoply of theories to define consciousness, and to what extent do these theories share common denominators? Here we first examine to what extent different theories are commensurable (or comparable) along particular dimensions. We posit logical (and, when applicable, empirical) commensurability as a necessary condition for identifying common denominators among different theories. By consequence, dimensions for inclusion in a set of logically and empirically commensurable theories of consciousness can be proposed...
February 27, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Timo Stein, Simon van Gaal, Johannes J Fahrenfort
One widely used scientific approach to studying consciousness involves contrasting conscious operations with unconscious ones. However, challenges in establishing the absence of conscious awareness have led to debates about the extent and existence of unconscious processes. We collected experimental data on unconscious semantic priming, manipulating prime presentation duration to highlight the critical role of the analysis approach in attributing priming effects to unconscious processing. We demonstrate that common practices like post-hoc data selection, low statistical power, and frequentist statistical testing can erroneously support claims of unconscious priming...
February 22, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Kathleen J Peters, Dana Maslovat, Anthony N Carlsen
Cognitive fatigue (CF) can lead to an increase in the latency of simple reaction time, although the processes involved in this delay are unknown. One potential explanation is that a longer time may be required for sensory processing of relevant stimuli. To investigate this possibility, the current study used a visual inspection time task to measure perceptual processing speed before and after a CF (math and memory) or non-fatiguing (documentary film) intervention. Subjective fatigue and simple reaction time significantly increased following the CF, but not the non-fatiguing intervention, confirming that CF was induced...
February 21, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Michael Wiesing, Eckart Zimmermann
Intentional actions produce a temporal compression between the action and its outcome, known as intentional binding. However, Suzuki et al. (2019) recently showed that temporal compression can be observed without intentional actions. However, their results show a clear regression to the mean, which might have confounded the estimates of temporal intervals. To control these effects, we presented temporal intervals block-wise. Indeed, we found systematically greater compression for active than passive trials, in contrast to Suzuki et al...
February 13, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Nicholas K Canby, Jared Lindahl, Willoughby B Britton, James V Córdova
Mystical experience, non-dual awareness, selflessness, self-transcendent experience, and ego-dissolution have become increasingly prominent constructs in meditation and psychedelic research. However, these constructs and their measures tend to be highly overlapping, imprecise, and poorly integrated with similar pathological experiences. The present study seeks to clarify the common factors involved in the characteristics of these experiences using precise distinctions across an array of experience contexts (including meditation, psychedelics, and psychopathology)...
February 11, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Ville Loukola, Jarno Tuominen, Santeri Kirsilä, Annimaaria Kyyhkynen, Maron Lahdenperä, Lilja Parkkali, Emilia Ranta, Eveliina Malinen, Sanni Vanhanen, Katariina Välimaa, Henri Olkoniemi, Antti Revonsuo, Katja Valli
Previous research indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected dreaming negatively. We compared 1132 dreams collected with prospective two-week dream diary during the pandemic to 166 dreams collected before the pandemic. We hypothesized that the pandemic would increase the number of threatening events, threats related to diseases, and the severity of threats. We also hypothesized that dreams that include direct references to the pandemic will include more threatening events, more disease-related threats, and more severe threats...
February 8, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Claudia Garcia Jimenez, Arnaud D'Argembeau
While previous studies have highlighted the role of episodic future thinking in goal pursuit, the underlying cognitive mechanisms remain unexplored. Episodic future thinking may promote goal pursuit by shaping the feeling that imagined events will (or will not) happen in the future - referred to as belief in future occurrence. We investigated whether goal self-concordance (Experiment 1) and other goal characteristics identified as influential in goal pursuit (Experiment 2) modulate belief in the future occurrence of goal-related events and predict the actual occurrence of these events...
February 6, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
S Montakhaby Nodeh, E MacLellan, B Milliken
This study examined proactive control in a two-target task using an endogenous cueing method. Participants identified two target words (T1 then T2) presented in rapid succession. T1 was presented alone or interleaved with a distractor word. In Experiment 1, informative pre-cues that signalled T1 selection difficulty were randomly intermixed with uninformative pre-cues. The results revealed a cueing effect for both T1 and T2, with better performance for informative cues than for uninformative cues. In Experiment 2, informative and uninformative cues were mixed for one group, and blocked for another group...
February 1, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
Mohamad El Haj
Until recently, little was known about whether or how autobiographical memory (i.e., memory of personal information) activates eye movement. This issue is now being addressed by several studies demonstrating not only how autobiographical memory activates eye movement, but also how eye movement influences the characteristics of autobiographical retrieval. This paper summarizes this research and presents a hypothesis according to which fixations and saccades during autobiographical retrieval mirror the construction of the visual image of the retrieved event...
January 31, 2024: Consciousness and Cognition
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