This article presents the results of two experiments on the problem of the perception of ambiguous information. In both experiments, double meaning pictures are used as the stimulus material. However, whereas in the first experiment the situation of spontaneous perception of double meaning images is studied, when subjects tend to ignore one of its values, in the second attention is paid to the reverse situation, in which the subjects are aware of several possible interpretations of the stimulus and tend to ignore irrelevant alternatives. In Experiment 1, using the priming paradigm in combination with the task of picture classification, spontaneous dynamics of double meaning stimulus was studied. Three stages of perception of double meaning figure were found: 1) the initial activation of both meanings, 2) choice of more relevant meanings to be aware and inhibition of alternative and 3) the subsequent weakening of the previous choice. The existence of two kinds of cognitive control was suggested, unconscious (Experiment 1) and conscious (Experiment 2). The purpose of unconscious control, according to our understanding, is the preparation of awareness results, namely the classification of incoming information in to be aware and not to be aware. Conscious control which was studied in the Experiment 2 with using the task of ambiguous puzzle is realized by trying to switch between two different representations of one and the same object. However, in this case, the subjects have to overcome the results of unconscious control, namely of a once-made positive choice, the task of which is defense of initial interpretation of the double meaning object. The evidence that the conscious cognitive control is more energy-consuming, difficult and subjectively more tiring than unconscious, was found. The conclusion was made, that unawareness of ambiguity in many cases may be more rational from point of view of effectiveness of input information processing.
- perception of ambiguous information
- double meaning figures
- priming effect
- cognitive control