A gender- and sexual orientation-dependent spatial attentional effect of invisible images

Yi Jiang, Patricia Costello, Fang Fang, Miner Huang, Sheng He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human observers are constantly bombarded with a vast amount of information. Selective attention helps us to quickly process what is important while ignoring the irrelevant In this study, we demonstrate that information that has not entered observers' consciousness, such as interocularly suppressed (invisible) erotic pictures, can direct the distribution of spatial attention. Furthermore, invisible erotic information can either attract or repel observers' spatial attention depending on their gender and sexual orientation. While unaware of the suppressed pictures, heterosexual males' attention was attracted to invisible female nudes, heterosexual females' attention was attracted to invisible male nudes, gay males behaved similarly to heterosexual females, and gay/bisexual females performed in-between heterosexual males and females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17048-17052
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume103
Issue number45
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 7 2006

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Awareness
  • Interocular suppression

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