Poster F123, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Automatic Counting and Involuntary Polymodal Imagery (Involving Olfaction, Audition, Touch, Taste, and Vision)
Jamie Renna1, Wei Dou1, Sabrina Bhangal1, Mark W. Geisler1, Ezequiel Morsella1,2; 1San Francisco State University, 2University of California, San Francisco
The Reflexive Imagery Task (RIT) reveals that high-level conscious thoughts and mental imagery can be activated involuntarily through the mere activation of action sets (Allen et al., 2013). In the original version of the RIT, participants are presented with visual objects and instructed to not think of the names of the objects. Involuntary subvocalizations arise on the majority of the trials. We extended this paradigm to investigate involuntary counting (Study 1) and unintentional imagery (Study 2). In Study 1, participants (n = 30) were presented with an array of nonsense shapes after receiving the instruction to not count the shapes. Some arrays had object counts below the “subitizing” range (2-5 shapes, the range for automatic counting); other arrays had counts exceeding this range (6-10 shapes). Involuntary counting was more likely for the former condition than the latter condition, t(29) = 29.42, p < .001. Does the likelihood of an RIT effect vary as a function of the type of sensory modality? To address this question, in Study 2, participants (n = 33) were presented with food items as orthographic stimuli (e.g., BANANA) or as line drawings. For each stimulus, participants were instructed to not experience a certain type of imagery (e.g., visual, olfactory, haptic, or auditory). Across the 216 trials, the rate of the RIT effect (involuntary imagery) varied as a function of modality, F(3, 96) = 47.10, p < .001. Because these RIT variants involve imagery and minimal overt behavior, they are well suited for exploration with neuroimaging technologies.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Multisensory