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Christine Mohr, Nikolaos Koutrakis, Gustav Kuhn
Magical ideation and belief in the paranormal is considered to represent a trait-like character; people either believe in it or not. Yet, anecdotes indicate that exposure to an anomalous event can turn skeptics into believers. This transformation is likely to be accompanied by altered cognitive functioning such as impaired judgments of event likelihood. Here, we investigated whether the exposure to an anomalous event changes individuals' explicit traditional (religious) and non-traditional (e.g., paranormal) beliefs as well as cognitive biases that have previously been associated with non-traditional beliefs, e...
2014: Frontiers in Psychology
Michiel van Elk
Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1) or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2)...
2015: PloS One
Yair Pinto, Simon van Gaal, Floris P de Lange, Victor A F Lamme, Anil K Seth
How do expectations influence transitions between unconscious and conscious perceptual processing? According to the influential predictive processing framework, perceptual content is determined by predictive models of the causes of sensory signals. On one interpretation, conscious contents arise when predictive models are verified by matching sensory input (minimizing prediction error). On another, conscious contents arise when surprising events falsify current perceptual predictions. Finally, the cognitive impenetrability account posits that conscious perception is not affected by such higher level factors...
2015: Journal of Vision
Shao-Min Hung, Po-Jang Hsieh
The classical view that multistep rule-based operations require consciousness has recently been challenged by findings that both multiword semantic processing and multistep arithmetic equations can be processed unconsciously. It remains unclear, however, whether pure rule-based cognitive processes can occur unconsciously in the absence of semantics. Here, after presenting 2 words consciously, we suppressed the third with continuous flash suppression. First, we showed that the third word in the subject-verb-verb format (syntactically incongruent) broke suppression significantly faster than the third word in the subject-verb-object format (syntactically congruent)...
October 2015: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance
Miguel A Vadillo, Emmanouil Konstantinidis, David R Shanks
The scientific community has witnessed growing concern about the high rate of false positives and unreliable results within the psychological literature, but the harmful impact of false negatives has been largely ignored. False negatives are particularly concerning in research areas where demonstrating the absence of an effect is crucial, such as studies of unconscious or implicit processing. Research on implicit processes seeks evidence of above-chance performance on some implicit behavioral measure at the same time as chance-level performance (that is, a null result) on an explicit measure of awareness...
February 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Marcus Rothkirch, Apoorva Rajiv Madipakkam, Erik Rehn, Philipp Sterzer
Direct gaze is a potent non-verbal signal that establishes a communicative connection between two individuals, setting the course for further interactions. Although consciously perceived faces with direct gaze have been shown to capture attention, it is unknown whether an attentional preference for these socially meaningful stimuli exists even in the absence of awareness. In two experiments, we recorded participants' eye movements while they were exposed to faces with direct and averted gaze rendered invisible by interocular suppression...
October 2015: Cognition
Jamie Ward, Michael J Banissy
Mirror-touch synesthesia (MTS) is the conscious experience of tactile sensations induced by seeing someone else touched. This paper considers two different, although not mutually exclusive, theoretical explanations and, in the final section, considers the relation between MTS and other forms of synesthesia and also other kinds of vicarious perception (e.g., contagious yawning). The Threshold Theory explains MTS in terms of hyper-activity within a mirror system for touch and/or pain. This offers a good account for some of the evidence (e...
2015: Cognitive Neuroscience
Aymen Ben Abbes, Emmanuelle Gavault, Thierry Ripoll
We conducted a series of experiments to explore how the spatial configuration of objects influences the selection and the processing of these objects in a visual short-term memory task. We designed a new experiment in which participants had to memorize 4 targets presented among 4 distractors. Targets were cued during the presentation of distractor objects. Their locations varied according to 4 spatial configurations. From the first to the last configuration, the distance between targets' locations was progressively increased...
2014: Advances in Cognitive Psychology
Takeo Watanabe, Yuka Sasaki
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance increase resulting from visual perceptual experience. Task-relevant VPL of a feature results from training of a task on the feature relevant to the task. Task-irrelevant VPL arises as a result of exposure to the feature irrelevant to the trained task. At least two serious problems exist. First, there is the controversy over which stage of information processing is changed in association with task-relevant VPL. Second, no model has ever explained both task-relevant and task-irrelevant VPL...
January 3, 2015: Annual Review of Psychology
Bruno G Breitmeyer, Evelina Tapia
Developments in visual neuroscience and neural-network modeling indicate the existence of separate pathways for the processing of form and surface attributes of a visual object. In line with prior theoretical proposals, it is assumed that the processing of form can be explicit or conscious only as or after the surface property such as color is filled in. In conjunction with extant psychophysical findings, these developments point to interesting distinctions between nonconscious and conscious processing of these attributes, specifically in relation to distinguishable temporal dynamics...
2011: Advances in Cognitive Psychology
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