Interference between conscious and unconscious facial expression information

Xing Ye, Sheng He, Ying Hu, Yong Qiang Yu, Kai Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


There is ample evidence to show that many types of visual information, including emotional information, could be processed in the absence of visual awareness. For example, it has been shown that masked subliminal facial expressions can induce priming and adaptation effects. However, stimulus made invisible in different ways could be processed to different extent and have differential effects. In this study, we adopted a flanker type behavioral method to investigate whether a flanker rendered invisible through Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS) could induce a congruency effect on the discrimination of a visible target. Specifically, during the experiment, participants judged the expression (either happy or fearful) of a visible face in the presence of a nearby invisible face (with happy or fearful expression). Results show that participants were slower and less accurate in discriminating the expression of the visible face when the expression of the invisible flanker face was incongruent. Thus, facial expression information rendered invisible with CFS and presented a different spatial location could enhance or interfere with consciously processed facial expression information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere105156
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 27 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Interference between conscious and unconscious facial expression information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this