Posing for awareness: Proprioception modulates access to visual consciousness in a continuous flash suppression task
The rules governing the selection of which sensory information reaches consciousness are yet unknown. Of our senses, vision is often considered to be the dominant sense, and the effects of bodily senses, such as proprioception, on visual consciousness are frequently overlooked. Here, we demonstrate that the position of the body influences visual consciousness. We induced perceptual suppression by using continuous flash suppression. Participants had to judge the orientation a target stimulus embedded in a task-irrelevant picture of a hand. The picture of the hand could either be congruent or incongruent with the participants' actual hand position. When the viewed and the real hand positions were congruent, perceptual suppression was broken more rapidly than during incongruent trials. Our findings provide the first evidence of a proprioceptive bias in visual consciousness, suggesting that proprioception not only influences the perception of one's own body and self-consciousness, but also visual consciousness.