Maintenance of non-consciously presented information engages the prefrontal cortex
2014 (English)In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 8, 938- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Conscious processing is generally seen as required for flexible and willful actions, as well as for tasks that require durable information maintenance. Here we present research that questions the assumption that only consciously perceived information is durable (>500 ms). Using the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon, we rendered otherwise relatively clearly perceived letters non conscious. In a first experiment we systematically manipulated the delay between stimulus presentation and response, for the purpose of estimating the durability of non-conscious perceptual representations. For items reported not seen, we found that behavioral performance was better than chance across intervals up to 15 s. In a second experiment we used fMRI to investigate the neural correlates underlying the maintenance of non conscious perceptual representations. Critically, the relatively long delay period demonstrated in experiment 1 enabled isolation of the signal change specifically related to the maintenance period, separate from stimulus presentation and response. We found sustained BOLD signal change in the right mid-lateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and crus II of the cerebellum during maintenance of non consciously perceived information. These findings are consistent with the controversial claim that working-memory mechanisms are involved in the short-term maintenance of non-conscious perceptual representations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Research Foundation , 2014. Vol. 8, 938- p.
non-conscious, durability, attention, conscious experience, perception, working memory
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-97212DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00938ISI: 000345132200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-97212DiVA: diva2:773536