Investigating the influence of masker and target properties on the dynamics of perceptual awareness under informational masking


  • Veyrié Alexandre
  • Noreña Arnaud
  • Sarrazin Jean-Christophe
  • Pezard Laurent

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Informational masking has been investigated using the detection of an auditory target embedded in a random multi-tone masker. The build-up of the target percept is influenced by the masker and target properties. Most studies dealing with discrimination performance neglect the dynamics of perceptual awareness. This study aims at investigating the dynamics of perceptual awareness using multi-level survival models in an informational masking paradigm by manipulating masker uncertainty, masker-target similarity and target repetition rate. Consistent with previous studies, it shows that high target repetition rates, low masker-target similarity and low masker uncertainty facilitate target detection. In the context of evidence accumulation models, these results can be interpreted by changes in the accumulation parameters. The probabilistic description of perceptual awareness provides a benchmark for the choice of target and masker parameters in order to examine the underlying cognitive and neural dynamics of perceptual awareness.

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