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  • 1.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Grassini, Simone
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Different Electrophysiological Correlates of Visual Awareness for Detection and Identification2017In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 29, no 9, p. 1621-1631Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Detecting the presence of an object is a different process than identifying the object as a particular object. This difference has not been taken into account in designing experiments on the neural correlates of consciousness. We compared the electrophysiological correlates of conscious detection and identification directly by measuring ERPs while participants performed either a task only requiring the conscious detection of the stimulus or a higher-level task requiring its conscious identification. Behavioral results showed that, even if the stimulus was consciously detected, it was not necessarily identified. A posterior electrophysiological signature 200-300 msec after stimulus onset was sensitive for conscious detection but not for conscious identification, which correlated with a later widespread activity. Thus, we found behavioral and neural evidence for elementary visual experiences, which are not yet enriched with higher-level knowledge. The search for the mechanisms of consciousness should focus on the early elementary phenomenal experiences to avoid the confounding effects of higher-level processes.

  • 2.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Kastrati, Granit
    University of Skövde.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre.
    Recurrent processing enhances visual awareness but is not necessary for fast categorization of natural scenes2014In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 223-231Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Humans are rapid in categorizing natural scenes. Electrophysiological recordings reveal that scenes containing animals can be categorized within 150 msec, which has been interpreted to indicate that feedforward flow of information from V1 to higher visual areas is sufficient for visual categorization. However, recent studies suggest that recurrent interactions between higher and lower levels in the visual hierarchy may also be involved in categorization. To clarify the role of recurrent processing in scene categorization, we recorded EEG and manipulated recurrent processing with object substitution masking while the participants performed a go/no-go animal/nonanimal categorization task. The quality of visual awareness was measured with a perceptual awareness scale after each trial. Masking reduced the clarity of perceptual awareness, slowed down categorization speed for scenes that were not clearly perceived, and reduced the electrophysiological difference elicited by animal and nonanimal scenes after 150 msec. The results imply that recurrent processes enhance the resolution of conscious representations and thus support categorization of stimuli that are difficult to categorize on the basis of the coarse feedforward representations alone.

  • 3.
    Railo, Henry
    et al.
    Univ Turku, Dept Psychol, Turku 20014, Finland .
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Henriksson, Linda
    Aalto Univ, Espoo, Finland .
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Koivisto, Mika
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Unconscious and Conscious Processing of Color Rely on Activity in Early Visual Cortex: A TMS Study2012In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 819-829Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Chromatic information is processed by the visual system both at an unconscious level and at a level that results in conscious perception of color. It remains unclear whether both conscious and unconscious processing of chromatic information depend on activity in the early visual cortex or whether unconscious chromatic processing can also rely on other neural mechanisms. In this study, the contribution of early visual cortex activity to conscious and unconscious chromatic processing was studied using single-pulse TMS in three time windows 40-100 msec after stimulus onset in three conditions: conscious color recognition, forced-choice discrimination of consciously invisible color, and unconscious color priming. We found that conscious perception and both measures of unconscious processing of chromatic information depended on activity in early visual cortex 70-100 msec after stimulus presentation. Unconscious forced-choice discrimination was above chance only when participants reported perceiving some stimulus features (but not color).

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