How associative thinking influences scene perception

Shira Baror, Moshe Bar, Elissa Aminoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perception of our external environment is not isolated from the influence of our internal thoughts, and past evidence points to a possible common associative mechanism underlying both the perception of scenes and our internal thought. Here, we investigated the nature of the interaction between an associative mindset and scene perception, hypothesizing a functional advantage to an associative thought pattern in the perception of scenes. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that associative thinking facilitates scene perception, which evolved over the course of the experiments. In contrast to scene perception, Experiment 3 showed that associative thinking hinders the perception of mundane objects, in which associative information is minimized. Nevertheless, object perception was facilitated when associative thinking was reduced. This double dissociation suggests that an associative mind is more receptive of externally perceived associative information, and that a match between the orientation of internal and external processing may be key for perception.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103377
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Associations
  • Default mode network
  • Mindsets
  • Scene perception
  • State of mind
  • Thought


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