Subjective visibility report is facilitated by conscious predictions only

Josipa Alilović, Heleen A Slagter, Simon van Gaal

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Predictions in the visual domain have been shown to modulate conscious access. Yet, little is known about how predictions may do so and to what extent they need to be consciously implemented to be effective. To address this, we administered an attentional blink (AB) task in which target 1 (T1) identity predicted target 2 (T2) identity, while participants rated their perceptual awareness of validly versus invalidly predicted T2s (Experiment 1 & 2) or reported T2 identity (Experiment 3). Critically, we tested the effects of conscious and non-conscious predictions, after seen and unseen T1s, on T2 visibility. We found that valid predictions increased subjective visibility reports and discrimination of T2s, but only when predictions were generated by a consciously accessed T1, irrespective of the timing at which the effects were measured (short vs. longs lags). These results further our understanding of the intricate relationship between predictive processing and consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103048
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Early online date28 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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