Testing the idea of privileged awareness of self-relevant information

Timo Stein*, Alisha Siebold, Wieske Van Zoest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Self-relevant information is prioritized in processing. Some have suggested the mechanism driving this advantage is akin to the automatic prioritization of physically salient stimuli in information processing (Humphreys & Sui, 2015). Here we investigate whether self-relevant information is prioritized for awareness under continuous flash suppression (CFS), as has been found for physical salience. Gabor patches with different orientations were first associated with the labels You or Other. Participants were more accurate in matching the self-relevant association, replicating previous findings of selfprioritization. However, breakthrough into awareness from CFS did not differ between self- and other-associated Gabors. These findings demonstrate that self-relevant information has no privileged access to awareness. Rather than modulating the initial visual processes that precede and lead to awareness, the advantage of self-relevant information may better be characterized as prioritization at later processing stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Continuous flash suppression
  • Self-prioritization
  • Self-relevance
  • Visual awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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