Unconscious priming by color and form: Different processes and levels

Consciousness and Cognition 13 (1):138-157 (2004)
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Using a metacontrast masking paradigm, prior studies have shown that a target’s color information and form information, can be processed without awareness and that unconscious color processing occurs at early, wavelength-dependent levels in the cortical information processing hierarchy. Here we used a combination of paracontrast and metacontrast masking techniques to explore unconscious color and form priming effects produced by blue, green, and neutral stimuli. We found that color priming in normal observers is significantly reduced when an additional paracontrast mask precedes the target at optimal masking SOAs. However, no reduction of form-priming effects was obtained at similar optimal paracontrast SOAs. We conclude that unconscious color priming depends on an early, wavelength- or stimulus-dependent response of color neurons located at early cortical levels whereas unconscious form priming occurs at later levels



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