Tim Brunson DCH

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Suggestion overrides automatic audiovisual integration.

Cognitive scientists routinely distinguish between controlled and automatic mental processes. Through learning, practice, and exposure, controlled processes can become automatic; however, whether automatic processes can become deautomatized - recuperated under the purview of control - remains unclear. Here we show that a suggestion derails a deeply ingrained process involving involuntary audiovisual integration. We compared the performance of highly versus less hypnotically suggestible individuals (HSIs versus LSIs) in a classic McGurk paradigm - a perceptual illusion task demonstrating the influence of visual facial movements on auditory speech percepts. Following a posthypnotic suggestion to prioritize auditory input, HSIs but not LSIs manifested fewer illusory auditory perceptions and correctly identified more auditory percepts. Our findings demonstrate that a suggestion deautomatized a ballistic audiovisual process in HSIs. In addition to guiding our knowledge regarding theories and mechanisms of automaticity, the present findings pave the road to a more scientific understanding of top-down effects and multisensory integration.

Conscious Cogn. 2014 Feb;24:33-7. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.12.010. Déry C(1), Campbell NK(1), Lifshitz M(1), Raz A(2). Author information: (1)McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada. (2)McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada; Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Québec, Canada. Electronic address: amir.raz@mcgill.ca.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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