Processing of invisible stimuli: Advantage of upright faces and recognizable words in overcoming interocular suppression

Yi Jiang, Patricia Costello, Sheng He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations

Abstract

ABSTRACT Familiar and recognizable stimuli enjoy an advantage of predominance during binocular rivalry, and this advantage is usually attributed to their enhanced processing during the dominant phase. However, do familiar and recognizable stimuli have an advantage in breaking suppression? Test images were gradually introduced to one eye to compete against a standard high-contrast dynamic noise pattern presented to the other eye. Results showed that an upright face took less time than an upside-down face to gain dominance against the identical suppression noise. Results also showed that for Chinese readers, Chinese characters were faster to gain dominance than Hebrew words, whereas for Hebrew readers, the reverse was true. These results suggest that familiar and recognizable information, even when suppressed and invisible, is processed differently from unfamiliar information. Apparently, high-level information about visual form does contribute to the strength of a stimulus during its suppressed phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

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