The recognition dynamics for unnoticed meanings of ambiguous figures

M. G. Filippova, D. I. Kostina, M. P. Mezentseva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The focus of this paper is the problem of selection of some meanings of ambiguous information to become aware of, and the problem of subsequent influence of unnoticed meanings on recognition processes. For the purpose of experimental verification of the idea that there is a dynamics of recognition of unnoticed meanings of ambiguous images, two experiments were conducted. The ambiguous images and reversible pictures were used as stimuli for memorization which had to be recognized immediately after presentation, the next day, a week and a month later. We tested the hypothesis according to which previously unnoticed meanings of ambiguous images tend to penetrate into consciousness as recognition errors in the course of time. The experimental results are consistent with the hypothesis: A month after the presentation the number of recognition errors for inverted characters of the reversible pictures reached 71.2%; the number of false recognition errors for descriptions of noticed meanings of ambiguous images with elements of alternative meanings reached 67,8% (both values are significantly different from those in control conditions). The comparison of several theoretical approaches to polysemy perception allows us to conclude that the best explanation for the obtained results can be proposed by the negative choice theory. This theory postulates that unnoticed polysemy interpretations show themselves in two ways: They are missed repeatedly in the same context but penetrate into consciousness as errors when context changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-56
Number of pages13
JournalPsikhologicheskii Zhurnal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Ambiguous figures
  • Inhibition
  • Negative choice
  • Recognition errors
  • Reversible figures
  • Unnoticed meanings
  • recognition errors
  • ambiguous figures
  • inhibition
  • reversible figures
  • negative choice
  • unnoticed meanings
  • FMRI
  • PET

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