Spatial attention can modulate unconscious orientation processing

Bahador Bahrami, David Carmel, Vincent Walsh, Geraint Rees, Nilli Lavie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has recently been suggested that visual spatial attention can only affect consciously perceived events. We measured the effects of sustained spatial attention oil orientation-selective adaptation to gratings, rendered invisible by prolonged interocular suppression. Spatial attention augmented the orientation-selective adaptation to invisible adaptor orientation. The effect of attention was clearest for test stimuli at peri-threshold, intermediate contrast levels, suggesting that previous negative results were due to assessing orientation discrimination at maximum contrast. Oil the basis of these findings we propose a constrained hypothesis for the difference between neuronal mechanisms of spatial attention in the presence versus absence of awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1520-1528
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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