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Conscious Cogn. 2018 Jan;57:84-93. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2017.11.007. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Critical role of top-down processes and the push-pull mechanism in semantic single negative priming.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China; Shaanxi Provincial Key Laboratory of Behavior & Cognitive Neuroscience, Xi'an 710062, China. Electronic address: wyonghui@snnu.edu.cn.
2
School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China; Shaanxi Provincial Key Laboratory of Behavior & Cognitive Neuroscience, Xi'an 710062, China.
3
School of Public Management, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China.
4
Department of Student Work, Xi'an University of Science and Technology, Xi'an 710054, China.

Abstract

The present study investigated the roles of bottom-up mask-triggered inhibition and top-down inhibition in semantic categorization using the single negative priming (NP) paradigm. The masking (bottom-up) and ignore instructions (top-down, i.e., instructing participants to ignore the primes) were manipulated in Experiments 1-3 and Experiment 4, respectively. No priming was observed when only the masking was manipulated (Experiments 2 and 3), but NP was observed when a possible top-down ignore strategy (Experiment 1) or an ignore instruction (Experiment 4) was added. The results indicate that bottom-up mask-triggered inhibition cannot elicit semantic single NP by itself. However, top-down inhibition from an ignore instruction or ignore strategy is critical for triggering reliable semantic single NP. The findings suggest that semantic single NP originates from a push-pull mechanism by facilitating responses to unrelated trials and inhibiting responses to related trials. The experimental evidence also suggests that unconscious processes can be modulated by top-down control.

KEYWORDS:

Inhibition; Negative priming; Push-pull mechanism; Semantic categorization; Unconscious processes

PMID:
29190489
DOI:
10.1016/j.concog.2017.11.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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