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Retrospective Attention Gates Discrete Conscious Access to Past Sensory Stimuli
Université Paris Descartes.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Université Paris Descartes.
Université Paris Descartes.
2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 2, e0148504Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cueing attention after the disappearance of visual stimuli biases which items will be remembered best. This observation has historically been attributed to the influence of attention on memory as opposed to subjective visual experience. We recently challenged this view by showing that cueing attention after the stimulus can improve the perception of a single Gabor patch at threshold levels of contrast. Here, we test whether this retro-perception actually increases one's chance of consciously perceiving the stimulus, or simply allows for a more precise recall of its features. We used retro-cues in an orientation-matching task and performed mixture-model analysis to independently estimate the proportion of guesses and the precision of non-guess responses. We find that the improvements in performance conferred by retrospective attention are overwhelmingly carried by a reduction in the proportion of guesses, providing strong evidence that attracting attention to the target’s location after its disappearance increases the likelihood of perceiving it consciously.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 2, e0148504
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-275325DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148504ISI: 000370046600078PubMedID: 26863625OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-275325DiVA: diva2:899941
Available from: 2016-02-02 Created: 2016-02-02 Last updated: 2016-08-30Bibliographically approved

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