New paper: Unpredictive linguistic verbal cues accelerate congruent visual targets into awareness in a breaking continuous flash suppression paradigm

Paffen, C. L. E., Sahakian, A., Struiksma, M., & Van der Stigchel, S.

Imagine you are at a supermarket trying to spot your favorite beer, which happens to be Amstel, and at that moment the intercom announces “GREEN”. Naturally, the question arises whether you will now take longer to spot the predominantly red labeled Amstel, than had the announcement been “RED”. Perhaps now only (the green labeled) Grolsch and Heineken grab your attention?

To answer these and other questions,  we examined the effect the influence of auditory linguistic cues on the time it takes for visual objects to enter the awareness.

To this end we used the breaking continuous flash suppression paradigm, and found that verbal cues (color words) accelerated matching visual targets into awareness. In a follow up experiment we found that non-matching and neutral cues (non-color words) affected targets in a similar way.

We suggest that, in line with the ideas of embodied cognition, linguistic information pre-activates sensory representations, and thereby facilitates visual processing.

Also check out this great Twitter thread by first author Chris Paffen, for more beer related explanations: