Unconscious semantic processing of polysemous words is not automatic

IntroductionDuring the last decades, the scope of unconscious cognitive processes has been dramatically enlarged (Kihlstrom, 1987; Dehaene and Naccache, 2001; Naccache, 2006; Van den Bussche et al., 2009; Dehaene, 2014). This major conceptual change, grounded on a rich set of original empirical findings collected in normal volunteers and in brain-damaged patients, concerns both the representational content of unconscious processes, and their relation to top-down executive control. Schematically, within this relatively short period the dominant view moved from a modular (Fodor, 1983), automatic (Schneider and Shiffrin, 1977) and “stupid” unconscious, to a heterogeneous unconscious which includes flexible (Naccache, 2008; Van den Bussche et al., 2008) and high-level cognitive processes (Naccache and Dehaene, 2001; Naccache et al., 2005; Kouider and Dehaene, 2007) sensitive to various influences including: endogenous spatio-temporal attention (Kentridge et…


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