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Continuous Flash Suppression Inhibits Semantic Processing of Chinese Characters with Unawareness: An Event-Related Potential Study

DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2018.810035, PP. 574-586

Keywords: Continuous Flash Suppression, Semantic Processing, Awareness, N400

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Abstract:

Semantic processing is a high level cognition function of the human brain. It has been argued intensively whether this process could be accomplished in the absence of awareness. Continuous flash suppression (CFS) is a powerful approach to create stable unconscious state. In this study, subjects were required to observe a series of paired Chinese words and judge the correlation between them in CFS paradigm. A negative component of event related potential, N400, and a Brain symmetry index were used to measure whether the meaning of the paired stimulus was registered in subliminal semantic processing. Analysis didn’t detect a significant difference in N400 response and EEG signal symmetry between correlated and uncorrelated pairs under unconscious condition. These results support the view that semantic information of Chinese character processing is absent without consciousness created by CFS.

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