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The Visual (Un)Conscious and Its (Dis)ContentsA microtemporal approach$
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Bruno G. Breitmeyer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712237

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712237.001.0001

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Consciousness and attention: Partners but not equals

Consciousness and attention: Partners but not equals

Chapter:
(p.135) Chapter 8 Consciousness and attention: Partners but not equals
Source:
The Visual (Un)Conscious and Its (Dis)Contents
Author(s):

Bruno G. Breitmeyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712237.003.0008

The processes underlying attention and consciousness, while overlapping, are not identical. Unconsciously processed stimuli can serve as cues for allocating stimulus-driven attention to selective locations (space-based attention) as well as to objects (object-based attention) or their features (feature-based attention). Moreover, stimuli to which attention is selectively directed do not always register in consciousness. This demonstrates that selective attention is not sufficient for conscious registration. Whereas attention can be directed separately to form and surface features at unconscious levels of processing, it can be directed to the entire object only at conscious levels. Some evidence indicates that the conscious registration of stimuli like highly familiar scenes or faces can occur without selective attention but other evidence indicates that some attention is required. A model is proposed of how attention, viewed in terms of cortical arousal distributed across the visual field, can be locally modulated by selective processes.

Keywords:   visual attention, space-/feature-/object-based attention, unconscious levels of processing, conscious levels of processing, selective attention

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