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Non-conscious processing, attentional amplification and conscious access : experimental investigations in healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia

Abstract : In many studies, persons with schizophrenia exhibited an elevated threshold for conscious perception while subliminal processing was preserved. In this thesis, we rely on this dissociation between conscious and subliminal processing to examine conscious access mechanisms and non-conscious processing. We found that consciousness threshold was associated with cerebral dysconnectivity in patients with psychosis, which may favour psychotic symptoms. We explored how attentional factors modulated conscious access in healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia. We showed that an accumulation of evidence could occur under unattended conditions and was tremendously amplified for attended stimuli in healthy controls but not in patients with schizophrenia. We conducted three additional studies in healthy controls to further study interactions between bottom-up and top-down processing. In a first study, we observed a synergy between attentional blink and visual masking in preventing conscious access. In a second experiment, we examined whether predicted events were better processed under low visibility conditions and found that stimuli violating expectations were more easily identified than confirming or random ones. Finally, we conducted behavioural experiments on language, revealing that syntactic features could be subliminally extracted and induce different levels of priming.
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Lucie Berkovitch. Non-conscious processing, attentional amplification and conscious access : experimental investigations in healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia. Neurons and Cognition [q-bio.NC]. Sorbonne Université, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SORUS405⟩. ⟨tel-02885981⟩

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