Visual Masking

1st Edition

Studying Perception, Attention, and Consciousness

Print ISBN: 9780128002506
eBook ISBN: 9780128003831
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 22nd November 2013
Page Count: 116
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Visual masking is a technique used in cognitive research to understand pre-conscious processes (priming, for example), consciousness, visual limits, and perception issues associated with psychopathology. This book is a short format review of research using visual masking: how it has been used, and what these experiments have discovered.Topics covered include concepts, varieties, and theories of masking; masking and microgenetic mechanisms and stagesof visual processing; psychopharmacological and genetic factors in masking, and more.

Key Features

  • Provides succinct information about the widely dispersed masking studies and points out some new trends in masking research
  • Reviews transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an alternative to the traditional psychophysical masking methods
  • Comments on the methodological pitfalls hidden in the practice of masking, helping to improve the quality of future research where masking is used as a tool
  • Informs readers about recent developments in theoretical attempts to understand masking


Cognitive Psychologists, specifically those interested in memory, attention, and priming.

Table of Contents


Visual Masking: Studying Perception, Attention, and Consciousness

1 Introduction

2 The Concept of Masking, Varieties of Masking, and Main Theories of Masking

3 Learning and Individual Differences in Masking

4 Criterion Contents and Subjective Contents in Masking

5 Masking and Attention: Pre- and Posttarget Effects

6 Masking and Attention: OSM

7 Masking and NCC

8 Masked Priming and Unconscious Processing

9 How Masking Depends on the Visual Characteristics of the Target and Mask Stimuli

10 Uncovering the Microgenetic Mechanisms and Stages of Visual Processing by Masking

11 Novel Approaches in Masking Research

12 Masking by TMS

13 Modeling and Theoretical Accounts of Masking

14 Psychopharmacological and Genetic Factors in Masking

15 Applied Aspects of Masking Research: Medicine and Technology

16 Generalizations and Conclusions




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© Academic Press 2014
Academic Press
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"Reading the book is not only instructive but also fun. It portrays many surprising new findings, which are well beyond the main discussions about the mechanisms of masking…It is a truly balanced and an exhaustive review. Great!"--Perception, Visual Masking

"Unfortunately, the literature on masking is heavily distributed, with a low level of coherence.  Clearly, a new book was needed and fortunately Talis Bachmann and Greg Francis have taken the challenge and filled the gap with a marvelous review book.  The main bulk of the book is to review all current studies and theories on masking from 2006 onwards...the book has managed, in an elegant fashion, to present the current approaches to masking, together with their supporting and contradicting evidence.  All experiments and theories are not only well presented but critically discussed...patterns within the ocean of unrelated topics become visible.  Bachmann and Francis also cover applications, particularly, how masking is used in the clinic.  Reading the book is not only instructuve but also fun.  It is a truly balanced and an exhaustive review."

-Reviewed by Michael Herzog, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, for

Perception, 2015, 0(0) 1-2