Social priming of hemispatial neglect affects spatial coding: Evidence from the Simon task

Isabel Arend, Daniela Aisenberg, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In the Simon effect (SE), choice reactions are fast if the location of the stimulus and the response correspond when stimulus location is task-irrelevant; therefore, the SE reflects the automatic processing of space. Priming of social concepts was found to affect automatic processing in the Stroop effect. We investigated whether spatial coding measured by the SE can be affected by the observer's mental state. We used two social priming manipulations of impairments: one involving spatial processing - hemispatial neglect (HN) and another involving color perception - achromatopsia (ACHM). In two experiments the SE was reduced in the “neglected” visual field (VF) under the HN, but not under the ACHM manipulation. Our results show that spatial coding is sensitive to spatial representations that are not derived from task-relevant parameters, but from the observer's cognitive state. These findings dispute stimulus-response interference models grounded on the idea of the automaticity of spatial processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Achromatopsia
  • Hemispatial neglect
  • Simon effect
  • Social priming
  • Spatial coding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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