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Visual masking and unconscious processing differences between backward and simultaneous masking

Visual masking and unconscious processing differences between backward and simultaneous masking

Memory & Cognition. 18(4): 430-435

Visual masking procedures are considered to have great potential for studying information processing that occurs outside of consciousness. Unfortunately, effects that indicate processing of masked word stimuli have been both difficult to obtain, and once obtained, difficult to replicate. The present seven experiments failed to obtain an effect of lexicality (word vs. nonword targets) on detection that was recently reported by Doyle and Leach (1988). Whereas Doyle and Leach had used backward binocular masking, most of the present experiments used simultaneous dichoptic masking. Doyle (1990) recently suggested that the effect of lexicality on detection (coupled with an effect of knowledge results, which was also obtained in the present research) could explain why Greenwald, Klinger, and Liu (1989) found no evidence for detectability of masked words that were nevertheless analyzed semantically. The differences of the present findings from those of Doyle and Leach (1988) not only confirm the uncertainity of generalizing across masking procedures, but also indicate that Greenwald et al.'s "detectionless processing" interpretation remains viable.

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Accession: 008000882

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2381322

DOI: 10.3758/bf03197132

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