Heiko Reuss, Andrea Kiesel, Wilfried Kunde
Stimuli that are presented unconsciously can impact on our behavior. This finding has been demonstrated in a plethora of studies using the subliminal priming paradigm. A basic assumption of different theories regarding the mechanisms of masked priming is that top-down settings determine if subliminally presented stimuli impact on behavior.
An intriguing topic is if not only top-drown settings affect the way subliminal stimuli are processed, but if subliminal stimuli have the power to influence top down settings and cognitive control processes, too. For example, we demonstrated that the activation of task sets, which is regarded as one of the central cognitive control processes, can be triggered by task cues that are presented unconsciously. Our future research aims at determining which processes of cognitive control can be influenced unconsciously and which other factors contribute to unconscious stimulation being able to impact on cognitive control processes.
Reuss, H., Kiesel, A., Kunde, W., & Hommel, B. (2011). Unconscious activation of task sets. Consciousness & Cognition, 20, 556-567.
Reuss, H., Kiesel, A., Kunde, W., & Wühr, P. (2012). A cue from the unconscoius - masked symbols prompt spatial anticipation. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:397.doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00397.
Heinemann, A., Kunde, W., Kiesel, A. (2009). Context-Specific Prime-Congruency Effects: On the role of conscious stimulus representations for cognitive control. Consciousness and Cognition, 18, 966-976.
Kunde, W. (2003). Sequential modulations of stimulus-response correspondence effects depend on awareness of response conflict. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10(1), 198-205.