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Nicolas Becker, Uwe Mattler; Action priming suppression by forward masks. Journal of Vision 2019;19(5):10. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.5.10.
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Visual stimuli may produce strong and reliable effects on subsequent actions irrespective of their visibility. This dissociation between action priming and conscious perception of the stimuli suggests two ways of processing of visual stimuli. One way of processing leads to the emergence of conscious visual perception, and another way leads to action priming effects. Here we examined the influence of forward masks that precede the prime on processing for action. In three experiments, we found that forward masks can suppress and even abolish priming effects. Suppression was larger with strong rather than weak forward masks and with short rather than long prime durations. Similar suppression effects occurred with surrounding paracontrast masks and with overlapping pattern masks. Our findings emphasize that processing for action depends crucially on preceding stimuli suggesting that action priming may depend on the initial part of the response to the prime. Results indicate that the use of forward masks to reduce prime visibility may also reduce action priming and potentially other priming effects.
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