Attention and the detection of masked radial frequency patterns: Data and model

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A radial frequency (RF) stimulus is strongly masked by a second, surrounding RF stimulus that follows the first after a critical stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of around 100 ms. We sought to determine whether a mask-dependent attentional cuing effect, like that found when detecting pattern-masked sinusoidal gratings, would be obtained with RF stimuli. Observers detected RF modulations in cued or miscued stimuli that were masked with a simultaneous (SIM) RF mask or a delayed (SUC) RF mask that followed it after 100 ms. There were large cuing effects in the SUC condition and small cuing effects in the SIM condition, replicating previous findings. The data are well described by a model in which masks affect the informational persistence of stimuli and cues affect the rate at which stimulus information is transferred into visual short-term memory.

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