Category-selective attention modulates unconscious processes in the middle occipital gyrus

Consciousness and Cognition 22 (2):479-485 (2013)
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Abstract

Many studies have revealed the top-down modulation on unconscious processing. However, there is little research about how category-selective attention could modulate the unconscious processing. In the present study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging , the results showed that category-selective attention modulated unconscious face/tool processing in the middle occipital gyrus . Interestingly, MOG effects were of opposed direction for face and tool processes. During unconscious face processing, activation in MOG decreased under the face-selective attention compared with tool-selective attention. This result was in line with the predictive coding theory. During unconscious tool processing, however, activation in MOG increased under the tool-selective attention compared with face-selective attention. The different effects might be ascribed to an interaction between top-down category-selective processes and bottom-up processes in the partial awareness level as proposed by Kouider, De Gardelle, Sackur, and Dupoux . Specifically, we suppose an “excessive activation” hypothesis

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