Implicit semantic perception in object substitution masking
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Decades of research on visual perception has uncovered many phenomena, such as binocular rivalry, backward masking, and the attentional blink, that reflect 'failures of consciousness'. Although stimuli do not reach awareness in these paradigms, there is evidence that they nevertheless undergo semantic processing. Object substitution masking (OSM), however, appears to be the exception to this rule. In OSM, a temporally-trailing four-dot mask interferes with target perception, even though it has different contours from and does not spatially overlap with the target. Previous research suggests that OSM has an early locus, blocking the extraction of semantic information. Here, we refute this claim, showing implicit semantic perception in OSM using a target-mask priming paradigm. We conclude that semantic information suppressed via OSM can nevertheless guide behavior. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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