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.
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© 2020 Elsevier Inc.
- Continuous flash suppression
- Face perception