Reexamining unconscious response priming: A liminal-prime paradigm

Maayan Avneon, Dominique Lamy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on the limits of unconscious processing typically relies on the subliminal-prime paradigm. However, this paradigm is limited in the issues it can address. Here, we examined the implications of using the liminal-prime paradigm, which allows comparing unconscious and conscious priming with constant stimulation. We adapted an iconic demonstration of unconscious response priming to the liminal-prime paradigm. On the one hand, temporal attention allocated to the prime and its relevance to the task increased the magnitude of response priming. On the other hand, the longer RTs associated with the dual task inherent to the paradigm resulted in response priming being underestimated, because unconscious priming effects were shorter-lived than conscious-priming effects. Nevertheless, when the impact of long RTs was alleviated by considering the fastest trials or by imposing a response deadline, conscious response priming remained considerably larger than unconscious response priming. These findings suggest that conscious perception strongly modulates response priming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Conscious perception
  • Dual task
  • Liminal-prime paradigm
  • Perceptual Awareness Scale
  • Task relevance
  • Temporal attention
  • Unconscious response priming
  • Unconscious semantic priming


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