Asymmetry in Object Substitution Masking Occurs Relative to the Direction of Spatial Attention Shift

Nobuyuki Hirose, Naoyuki Osaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A sparse mask that persists beyond the duration of a target can reduce its visibility, a phenomenon called object substitution masking. Y. Jiang and M. M. Chun (2001a) found an asymmetric pattern of substitution masking such that a mask on the peripheral side of the target caused stronger substitution masking than on the central side. Assuming spatial attention was focused toward the target, the peripheral and central masks were located in the same and opposite direction of an attentional path with reference to the target in their study. We hypothesized that this asymmetric mask configuration relative to the attentional shift contributes to asymmetric substitution masking. To test this hypothesis, we conducted four experiments among which the presence or absence of the center-periphery relationship and the presence or absence of the asymmetric mask configuration were manipulated independently and orthogonally. The results suggest that asymmetric substitution masking occurs relative to the direction of spatial attention irrespective of the central-peripheral relation. We propose that the asymmetry in substitution masking might be explained by attentional momentum associated with orienting toward the target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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