Journal Article

Perceptual errors support the notion of masking by object substitution


Two experiments examined the effect of Object Substitution Masking (OSM) on the perceptual errors in reporting the orientation of a target. In Experiment 1 a four-dot trailing mask was compared with a simultaneous-noise mask. In Experiment 2, the four-dot and noise masks were factorially-varied. Responses were modelled using a mixture regression-model and Bayesian-inference to deduce whether the relative impacts of OSM on guessing and precision were the same as those of a noise mask, and thus whether the mechanism underpinning OSM is based on increasing noise rather than a substitution process. Across both experiments, OSM was associated with an increased guessing-rate when the mask trailed target offset, and a reduction in the precision of the target representation (although the latter was less reliable across the two experiments). Importantly, the noise mask also influenced both guessing and precision, but in a different manner, suggesting that OSM is not simply caused by increasing noise. In Experiment 2 the effects of OSM and simultaneous-noise interacted, suggesting the two manipulations involve common mechanisms. Overall results suggest that OSM is often a consequence of a substitution process, but there is evidence that the mask increases noise levels on trials where substitution doesn’t occur.

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Pilling, Michael
Guest, Duncan
Andrews, Mark

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-01-17

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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