Conscious Cogn 2019 May 16;71:92-108. Epub 2019 Apr 16.
Georg-Elias-Müller Institute for Psychology, University of Göttingen, Germany. Electronic address:
Masked priming has been employed to study the role of consciousness for different levels of visual processing. However, masking procedures differ systematically between studies. To examine these procedural differences we contrasted priming effects with metacontrast masking, which is often applied in the context of perceptual priming, and priming effects with sandwich pattern masking, frequently used in studies on semantic priming. Results indicate that the amount of masking neither affects perceptual nor semantic priming effects in a semantic categorization task when a metacontrast masking paradigm was used. However, perceptual and semantic priming effects increased with increasing prime visibility when a sandwich pattern masking paradigm was used. Findings suggest that different types of masking procedures affect the processing of the masked stimuli in substantially different ways even if the masking effect on conscious perception of these stimuli is comparable.