Qualitative Differences Between Conscious and Nonconscious Processing? On Inverse Priming Induced by Masked Arrows

Aytac Aydemir, Robert Henricus Johannes van der Lubbe, Margriet Groen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

116 Citations (Scopus)


In general, both consciously and unconsciously perceived stimuli facilitate responses to following similar stimuli. However, masked arrows delay responses to following arrows. This inverse priming has been ascribed to inhibition of premature motor activation, more recently even to special processing of nonconsciously perceived material. Here, inverse priming depended on particular masks, was insensitive to contextual requirements for increased inhibition, and was constant across response speeds. Putative signs of motor inhibition in the electroencephalogram may as well reflect activation of the opposite response. Consequently, rather than profiting from inhibition of primed responses, the alternative response is directly primed by perceptual interactions of primes and masks. Thus there is no need to assume separate pathways for nonconscious and conscious processing.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)494-515
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • IR-76622

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