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date: 11 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Unconscious processes manifest themselves in two quite different ways. First, some processes are unconscious in the strict sense that they are executed automatically, in response to certain stimulus conditions. At least in principle automatic processes are unavailable to conscious introspection and are independent of conscious control. Second, some mental contents—percepts, memories, and the like—are unconscious in the sense that they are inaccessible to phenomenal awareness but nonetheless affect the person’s ongoing experience, thought, and action. Solid evidence for this aspect of unconscious mental life is provided by dissociations between explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious) memory and perception. There is also mounting evidence for implicit learning and implicit thought, dissociated from their conscious counterparts, as well as explicit-implicit dissociations in the domains of emotion and motivation. The explicit-implicit distinction provides a vehicle for identifying some of the neural correlates of consciousness.

Keywords: automaticity, attentional blindness, implicit emotion, implicit learning, implicit memory, implicit motivation, implicit perception, implicit thought, inattentional blindness, priming

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