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Psychon Bull Rev. 2017 Oct;24(5):1620-1626. doi: 10.3758/s13423-017-1247-2.

Ego depletion in visual perception: Ego-depleted viewers experience less ambiguous figure reversal.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Cognition Institute, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK, PL4 8AA. marina.wimmer@plymouth.ac.uk.
2
School of Psychology, Cognition Institute, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK, PL4 8AA.
3
Psychology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK, FK9 4LA.

Abstract

This study examined the effects of ego depletion on ambiguous figure perception. Adults (N = 315) received an ego depletion task and were subsequently tested on their inhibitory control abilities that were indexed by the Stroop task (Experiment 1) and their ability to perceive both interpretations of ambiguous figures that was indexed by reversal (Experiment 2). Ego depletion had a very small effect on reducing inhibitory control (Cohen's d = .15) (Experiment 1). Ego-depleted participants had a tendency to take longer to respond in Stroop trials. In Experiment 2, ego depletion had small to medium effects on the experience of reversal. Ego-depleted viewers tended to take longer to reverse ambiguous figures (duration to first reversal) when naïve of the ambiguity and experienced less reversal both when naïve and informed of the ambiguity. Together, findings suggest that ego depletion has small effects on inhibitory control and small to medium effects on bottom-up and top-down perceptual processes. The depletion of cognitive resources can reduce our visual perceptual experience.

KEYWORDS:

Ambiguous figures; Bottom-up processes; Ego depletion; Reversal; Top-down processes

PMID:
28229298
DOI:
10.3758/s13423-017-1247-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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