Prior conscious experience enhances conscious perception but does not affect response priming☆

Dominique Lamy*, Tomer Carmel, Ziv Peremen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Recent research shows that prior experience and expectations strongly enhance a visual stimulus’ access to conscious awareness. However, whether such advance knowledge also influences this stimulus’ indirect impact on behavior is poorly understood. The resolution of this question has the potential of providing strong tests between current models of conscious perception because these diverge on whether a factor that affects conscious access by a stimulus necessarily also affects the strength of this stimulus’ representation and hence, its indirect impact on behavior. In five experiments we show that three different manipulations of prior experience with a stimulus boosted conscious perception of a similar stimulus (measured using both subjective reports and objective performance) but did not affect its indirect impact on motor action (measured by response priming). In particular, we observed a robust “awareness priming” effect: how clearly a stimulus was subjectively perceived on a recent trial irrespective of its physical strength, strongly affected conscious perception of a similar stimulus on the current trial but did not increase response priming. We discuss the implications of these findings for current models of conscious vision as well as for the study of unconscious processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-81
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Awareness priming
  • Conscious awareness
  • Expectation
  • Response priming
  • Unconscious processing


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