Many researchers use subliminal priming to investigate domain-specific processing mechanisms, which have classically been defined in terms of their autonomy from other cognitive systems. Surprisingly, recent research has demonstrated that nonconsciously elicited cognitive processes are not independent of attention. By extension, these findings have been used to call into question the autonomy of domain-specific processing mechanisms. By contrast, we argue that the demonstrated modulation of nonconscious cognitive processes by attention occurs at a predomain-specific stage of processing. Thus, although we agree that attention might be a prerequisite of nonconscious processes, we suggest that there is no reason to think that higher-level cognitive systems directly modulate domain-specific processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience