Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems

CCNCS Seminar Details

Immediate Priming and Cognitive Aftereffects

Speaker: Dr David Huber
Date/Time: Wednesday 25 March 2009, 4.15pm
Location: SB110B, Computing Laboratory, Cornwallis


I present a series of behavioral, electrophysiological, and computational experiments aimed at understanding the implicit processes involved in perceptual identification. This was examined with a variety of paradigms, including perceptual word identification, face identification, spatial attention, priming of memory, semantic satiation, change detection, and evaluation of valence. Across all these paradigms, brief primes produced positive priming while longer prime durations eliminated or fully reversed priming. It is proposed that the dynamics of neural habituation explain these cognitive aftereffects, which exist to automatically separate current events from immediately prior events, thereby reducing temporal source confusion (i.e., reducing the tendency to blur rapidly presented items). This theory was tested in a naming task by presenting prime words subliminally or supraliminally, followed immediately by a target word flashed briefly at the perceptual threshold. Repetition and associative priming were examined, including conditions that primed the correct answer and other conditions that primed an incorrect alternative. The model that explained these behavioral results was then used to produce predictions for the time course of orthographic and semantic neural activation and these predictions were confirmed with electrophysiological measures (ERP and MEG).

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Centre for Cognitive Science and Cognitive Systems, School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

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