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Relational Memory Is Evident in Eye Movement Behavior despite the Use of Subliminal Testing Methods.

Nickel AE, Henke K, Hannula DE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: While it is generally agreed that perception can occur without awareness, there continues to be debate about the type of representational content that is accessible when awareness is minimized or eliminated.Eye movements were recorded and recognition memory responses were made.The reported outcomes indicate that memory for studied relationships can be expressed in eye movement behavior without awareness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
While it is generally agreed that perception can occur without awareness, there continues to be debate about the type of representational content that is accessible when awareness is minimized or eliminated. Most investigations that have addressed this issue evaluate access to well-learned representations. Far fewer studies have evaluated whether or not associations encountered just once prior to testing might also be accessed and influence behavior. Here, eye movements were used to examine whether or not memory for studied relationships is evident following the presentation of subliminal cues. Participants assigned to experimental or control groups studied scene-face pairs and test trials evaluated implicit and explicit memory for these pairs. Each test trial began with a subliminal scene cue, followed by three visible studied faces. For experimental group participants, one face was the studied associate of the scene (implicit test); for controls none were a match. Subsequently, the display containing a match was presented to both groups, but now it was preceded by a visible scene cue (explicit test). Eye movements were recorded and recognition memory responses were made. Participants in the experimental group looked disproportionately at matching faces on implicit test trials and participants from both groups looked disproportionately at matching faces on explicit test trials, even when that face had not been successfully identified as the associate. Critically, implicit memory-based viewing effects seemed not to depend on residual awareness of subliminal scene cues, as subjective and objective measures indicated that scenes were successfully masked from view. The reported outcomes indicate that memory for studied relationships can be expressed in eye movement behavior without awareness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Scene Degradation.Illustration of the approach that was used to systematically degrade scenes that were presented in the subliminal masking sequences. A gray layer (R: 115, B: 113, G: 113) was superimposed on top of each scene. The opacity of this layer was then systematically increased to produce a set of nine additional scene exemplars that were used in a norming experiment. Scenes carried forward for use in the experiment proper were selected based on the outcome of the norming investigation.
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pone.0141677.g001: Scene Degradation.Illustration of the approach that was used to systematically degrade scenes that were presented in the subliminal masking sequences. A gray layer (R: 115, B: 113, G: 113) was superimposed on top of each scene. The opacity of this layer was then systematically increased to produce a set of nine additional scene exemplars that were used in a norming experiment. Scenes carried forward for use in the experiment proper were selected based on the outcome of the norming investigation.

Mentions: For norming purposes, each scene was systematically degraded in a process that yielded a set of nine additional exemplars. To produce each set, a gray layer (R: 115, B: 113, G: 113) was superimposed on top of the original scene and the opacity of this layer was repeatedly increased by 10% so that the visibility of the picture underneath was systematically reduced (see Fig 1). Resulting images were embedded in a subliminal masking sequence [31] to determine which version of each picture would be carried forward for use in the primary investigation. Among the subset of scenes that was selected, the maximum level of required degradation was 70%. Ultimately, 96 scenes in the final set were successfully masked from view during norming without any degradation. Remaining scenes had superimposed gray-scale layers with opacities set to 10 (15 pictures), 20 (10 pictures), 30 (9 pictures), 40 (8 pictures), 50 (11 pictures), 60 (14 pictures), or 70 (5 pictures) percent, respectively (see S1 Supplementary Materials for more information about the norming procedure).


Relational Memory Is Evident in Eye Movement Behavior despite the Use of Subliminal Testing Methods.

Nickel AE, Henke K, Hannula DE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Scene Degradation.Illustration of the approach that was used to systematically degrade scenes that were presented in the subliminal masking sequences. A gray layer (R: 115, B: 113, G: 113) was superimposed on top of each scene. The opacity of this layer was then systematically increased to produce a set of nine additional scene exemplars that were used in a norming experiment. Scenes carried forward for use in the experiment proper were selected based on the outcome of the norming investigation.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4626025&req=5

pone.0141677.g001: Scene Degradation.Illustration of the approach that was used to systematically degrade scenes that were presented in the subliminal masking sequences. A gray layer (R: 115, B: 113, G: 113) was superimposed on top of each scene. The opacity of this layer was then systematically increased to produce a set of nine additional scene exemplars that were used in a norming experiment. Scenes carried forward for use in the experiment proper were selected based on the outcome of the norming investigation.
Mentions: For norming purposes, each scene was systematically degraded in a process that yielded a set of nine additional exemplars. To produce each set, a gray layer (R: 115, B: 113, G: 113) was superimposed on top of the original scene and the opacity of this layer was repeatedly increased by 10% so that the visibility of the picture underneath was systematically reduced (see Fig 1). Resulting images were embedded in a subliminal masking sequence [31] to determine which version of each picture would be carried forward for use in the primary investigation. Among the subset of scenes that was selected, the maximum level of required degradation was 70%. Ultimately, 96 scenes in the final set were successfully masked from view during norming without any degradation. Remaining scenes had superimposed gray-scale layers with opacities set to 10 (15 pictures), 20 (10 pictures), 30 (9 pictures), 40 (8 pictures), 50 (11 pictures), 60 (14 pictures), or 70 (5 pictures) percent, respectively (see S1 Supplementary Materials for more information about the norming procedure).

Bottom Line: While it is generally agreed that perception can occur without awareness, there continues to be debate about the type of representational content that is accessible when awareness is minimized or eliminated.Eye movements were recorded and recognition memory responses were made.The reported outcomes indicate that memory for studied relationships can be expressed in eye movement behavior without awareness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
While it is generally agreed that perception can occur without awareness, there continues to be debate about the type of representational content that is accessible when awareness is minimized or eliminated. Most investigations that have addressed this issue evaluate access to well-learned representations. Far fewer studies have evaluated whether or not associations encountered just once prior to testing might also be accessed and influence behavior. Here, eye movements were used to examine whether or not memory for studied relationships is evident following the presentation of subliminal cues. Participants assigned to experimental or control groups studied scene-face pairs and test trials evaluated implicit and explicit memory for these pairs. Each test trial began with a subliminal scene cue, followed by three visible studied faces. For experimental group participants, one face was the studied associate of the scene (implicit test); for controls none were a match. Subsequently, the display containing a match was presented to both groups, but now it was preceded by a visible scene cue (explicit test). Eye movements were recorded and recognition memory responses were made. Participants in the experimental group looked disproportionately at matching faces on implicit test trials and participants from both groups looked disproportionately at matching faces on explicit test trials, even when that face had not been successfully identified as the associate. Critically, implicit memory-based viewing effects seemed not to depend on residual awareness of subliminal scene cues, as subjective and objective measures indicated that scenes were successfully masked from view. The reported outcomes indicate that memory for studied relationships can be expressed in eye movement behavior without awareness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus