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ERIC Number: EJ933762
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Competing for Consciousness: Prolonged Mask Exposure Reduces Object Substitution Masking
Goodhew, Stephanie C.; Visser, Troy A. W.; Lipp, Ottmar V.; Dux, Paul E.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n2 p588-596 Apr 2011
In object substitution masking (OSM) a sparse, temporally trailing 4-dot mask impairs target identification, even though it has different contours from, and does not spatially overlap with the target. Here, we demonstrate a previously unknown characteristic of OSM: Observers show reduced masking at prolonged (e.g., 640 ms) relative to intermediate mask durations (e.g., 240 ms). We propose that with prolonged exposure, the mask's visual representation is consolidated, which allows processing of the lingering target icon to be reinitiated, thereby improving performance. Our findings suggest that when the visual system is confronted with 2 temporally contiguous stimuli, although one may initially gain access to consciousness above the other, the "losing" stimulus is not irreversibly lost to awareness. (Contains 5 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A