Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The processes responsible for binding together elements of an experience are known to play a role in guiding behavior across a range of domains within human cognition, including perception, memory, and performance. Broadly speaking, this thesis is concerned with how binding processes might contribute to behavior in another research domain that has received little attention from this perspective, namely, the generation of explicit awareness of statistical relations. More specifically, the primary goal of this thesis was to examine how these binding processes mediate explicit awareness of contingencies between perceptual events, and how this awareness is related to the phenomenological and mnemonic consequences of these binding processes. The empirical work presented in this thesis suggests that awareness of strong statistical regularities is heavily influenced by the relationship between feature bindings across successive visual events, and that mismatches in feature bindings can obscure awareness of these regularities. Furthermore, it was found that binding mismatches likely obscure such awareness by way of their phenomenological and mnemonic consequences. The experimental results from this thesis have important implications for understanding the processes that govern the acquisition of explicit awareness of contingencies, and for theories of visual memory. It is suggested that binding processes may play a role in controlling the coordination between short-term memory representations and ongoing perceptual input.
Fiacconi, Chris M., "The Role of Perceptual Binding in Memory & Awareness" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7571.
McMaster University Library