Tallat, Ghazala (2011)
M.Res. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The distinctive feature of stimuli related to self, as compared to the familiar or unfamiliar others, is supposed to be largely dependent on the social salience of the stimuli. 17 participants participated for the part of behavioural task only of experiment. To test the role of social salience by using novel arbitrary shapes, we found a rapid learning of self related visual associations relative to friend or other. Participants were supposed to learn the association of labels for self, friend and other with different geometrical shapes. Their task was to correctly judge the label-shape matching. We found evidence of substantial advantage of social salience of the self-relevant stimuli as compared to friend (familiar) or other (unfamiliar) even if the stimulus was irrelevant to the task at hand.
The effects of low frequency of repetitive Tanscranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) at right and left posterior parietal cortex were also studied using the social salience and hierarchical levels of stimulus. 10 participants were administered low level of 1Hz rTMS before they identified local and global target levels of stimuli. We found a significant difference in the pre and post TMS performance of the subjects on congruency conditions. We also found right and left hemisphere differences on the category of shape but did not get significance for target level i.e., global to local interference.
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