Getting to the heart of it: Multi-method exploration of nonconscious prioritization processes

Yaniv Abir, Ran R. Hassin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Understanding the determinants of consciousness is crucial for theories that see it as functionally adaptive, and for explaining how consciousness affects higher-level cognition. The invention of continuous flash suppression (CFS), a long-duration suppression technique, resulted in a proliferation of research into the process of prioritization for consciousness. We developed a new technique, repeated masked suppression (RMS), that facilitates the measurement of long suppression times, but relies on different visual principles. RMS enables a theoretical leap: It allows scientists to examine the central process of prioritization across different suppression methods. In five experiments (n = 282) we collected chronometric RMS and CFS data, finding that the previously reported face inversion effect and the face priority-dimension generalize beyond CFS. Our results validate the use of multi-method designs in the study of prioritization for consciousness. Furthermore, we show how RMS could be used online to reach diverse samples, previously beyond the reach of consciousness science.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number103005
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Consciousness
  • Continuous flash suppression
  • Face perception
  • Prioritization


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