Skip to main content Accessibility help

Can skeletomotor action integration occur without consciousness? Evidence from unconscious action inhibition

  • Alisabeth Ayars (a1)


Morsella et al. claim that consciousness functions to integrate incompatible skeletal muscle intentions. Their primary cases of conscious skeletomotor integration involve action suppression, such as holding one's breath underwater, which requires suppressing the urge to inhale. This indicates that the authors seem to think action inhibition counts as the relevant kind of integration. I suggest that there is reason to think this kind of inhibition can occur unconsciously via unconscious inhibitory mechanisms. Unconscious inhibition therefore potentially undermines the authors' thesis. If cases of unconscious inhibition are not instances of integration, then the authors should clarify exactly what counts as integration.



Hide All
Eimer, M. & Schlaghecken, F. (2003) Response facilitation and inhibition in subliminal priming. Biological Psychology 64(1):726.
Jaśkowski, P. & Przekoracka-Krawczyk, A. (2005) On the role of mask structure in subliminal priming. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis 65(4):409–17.
Schlaghecken, F., Bowman, H. & Eimer, M. (2006) Dissociating local and global levels of perceptuo-motor control in masked priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 32(3):618–32.
Schlaghecken, F. & Eimer, M. (2006) Active masks and active inhibition: A comment on Lleras and Enns (2004) and on Verleger, Jaśkowski, Aydemir, van der Lubbe, and Groen (2004). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 135(3):484–94.
Sumner, P., Nachev, P., Morris, P., Peters, A. M., Jackson, S. R., Kennard, C. & Husain, M. (2007) Human medial frontal cortex mediates unconscious inhibition of voluntary action. Neuron 54(5):697711.
Tucker, M. & Ellis, R. (2004) Action priming by briefly presented objects. Acta Psychologica 116(2):185203.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed