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Ulrich Ansorge, Christoph Huber-Huber; Masked Priming: The Roles of RT Carry-Over and Congruence Sequence Effects. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):674. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.12.674.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We tested the influences of response time (RT) in a preceding trial n-1 for masked primes' congruence effects in a following trial n. Relative to masked incongruent primes, masked congruent primes facilitate responding to visible targets ('congruence effect'), even where masking prevents prime visibility. Importantly, studies showed congruence sequence effects with masked primes: stronger congruence effects in n following congruent n-1 than incongruent n-1 trials. Here, we asked whether the congruence sequence effect could be driven by intertrial carry-over of RTs and whether awareness of response speed could be a critical factor. Employing a linear mixed model approach with masked word primes and visible word targets, we found a congruence effect and stronger RT carry-over for congruent than for incongruent trials but no evidence of a congruence sequence effect (Experiment 1). In contrast, using arrows as masked primes and visible targets led to congruence and congruence sequence effects with masked primes (Experiments 2 and 3). In addition, a critical role of RT carry-over was replicated, but congruence sequence effects were not entirely explained by RT carry-over effects. Critically, in Experiments 1 and 2, RT carry-over was independent of the participants' awareness of their response speed. Similarly, the participants' awareness of the primes was not critical for their congruence sequence effects (Experiments 1 to 3). Jointly, results showed that congruence sequence effects in masked priming experiments depend on intertrial RT effects, but carry-over of RTs can only partially account for congruence sequence effects.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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