Authors
Ariane Bazan
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Abstract
Freud proposes that in unconscious processing, logical connections are also (heavily) based upon phonological similarities. Repressed concerns, for example, would also be expressed by way of phonologic ambiguity. In order to investigate a possible unconscious influence of phonological similarity, 31 participants were submitted to a tachistoscopic subliminal priming experiment, with prime and target presented at 1ms. In the experimental condition, the prime and one of the 2 targets were phonological reversed forms of each other, though graphemically dissimilar (e.g., “nice” and “sign”); in the control condition the targets were pseudo-randomly attributed to primes to which they don’t belong. The experimental task was to “blindly” pick the choice most similar to the prime. ERPs were measured with a focus on the N320, which is known to react selectively to phonological mismatch in supraliminal visual word presentations. The N320 amplitude-effects at the electrodes on the midline and at the left of the brain significantly predicted the participants’ net behavioral choices more than half a second later, while their subjective experience is one of arbitrariness. Moreover, the social desirability score (SDS) significantly correlates with both the behavioral and the N320 brain responses of the participants. It is proposed that in participants with low SDS the phonological target induces an expected reduction of N320 and this increases their probability to pick this target. In contrast, high defensive participants have a perplexed brain reaction upon the phonological target, with a negatively peaking N320 as compared to control and this leads them to avoid this target more often. Social desirability, which is understood as reflecting defensiveness, might also manifest itself as a defense against the (energy-consuming) ambiguity of language. The specificity of this study is that all of this is happening totally out of awareness and at the level of very elementary linguistic distinctions.
Keywords phonology  subliminal  unconscious  N320  ambiguity  avoidance  consciousness  defense
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00077
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Interpretation of Dreams.Sigmund Freud & A. A. Brill - 1900 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 10 (20):551-555.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sidestepping the Semantics of “Consciousness”.Michael V. Antony - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (2):289-290.
Ambiguity Avoidance is Overrated.Thomas Wasow - 2015 - In Susanne Winkler (ed.), Ambiguity: Language and Communication. De Gruyter. pp. 29-48.
Is 'Consciousness' Ambiguous?Michael V. Antony - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (2):19-44.
The Neurology of Ambiguity.Semir Zeki - 2004 - Consciousness and Cognition 13 (1):173-196.
Contextualism and Polysemy.François Recanati - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (3):379-397.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-04-06

Total views
91 ( #111,285 of 2,419,997 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #43,070 of 2,419,997 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes