Learning rapidly about the relevance of visual cues requires conscious awareness

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 71 (8):1698–1713 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Humans have been shown capable of performing many cognitive tasks using information of which they are not consciously aware. This raises questions about what role consciousness actually plays in cognition. Here, we explored whether participants can learn cue-target contingencies in an attentional learning task when the cues were presented below the level of conscious awareness, and how this differs from learning about conscious cues. Participants’ manual (Experiment 1) and saccadic (Experiment 2) response speeds were influenced by both conscious and unconscious cues. However, participants were only able to adapt to reversals of the cue-target contingencies (Experiment 1) or changes in the reliability of the cues (Experiment 2) when consciously aware of the cues. Therefore, although visual cues can be processed unconsciously, learning about cues over a few trials requires conscious awareness of them. Finally, we discuss implications for cognitive theories of consciousness.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,283

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Unconscious activation of task sets.Heiko Reuss, Andrea Kiesel, Wilfried Kunde & Bernhard Hommel - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (3):556-567.
Is priming during anesthesia unconscious?Catherine Deeprose & Jackie Andrade - 2006 - Consciousness and Cognition 15 (1):1-23.
The learning of responses to multiple weighted cues.Stanley A. Summers - 1962 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 64 (1):29.
Conscious contributions to subliminal priming.Piotr Jaśkowski - 2008 - Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1):72-83.
Consciousness is still in business☆.Yossi Guterman - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (2):653-655.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-07-04

Downloads
30 (#536,225)

6 months
11 (#245,306)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Nicholas Shea
School of Advanced Study, University of London