High-Level Masking Effects on Perceptual Identification

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Cognition, Form perception, Masking, Reading

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The extent to which visual form versus higher-level information is used to identify briefly flashed words is assessed in a perceptual identification task. In this task, a word is briefly flashed, post-masked, and a decision is made between two alternatives. The availability of visual (e.g., case or color) and higher-level information (e.g., abstract letter codes, phonology, and meaning) was manipulated by varying the information that discriminates the alternatives. Performance was better with higher-level than with visual information when pattern post-masks were used, but the reverse occurred without masking. The authors conclude that both higher-level and visual-form information can be used to identify words with the strategy depending on the information available at the time of the choice.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Vision Research, v. 44, issue 12, p. 1427-1436