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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2004 Dec;133(4):475-93.

Negative compatibility or object updating? A cautionary tale of mask-dependent priming.

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


The negative compatibility effect (NCE) is the surprising result that visual targets that follow a brief prime stimulus and a mask can be identified more rapidly when they are opposite rather than identical to the prime. In a recent article in this journal, S. T. Klapp and L. B. Hinkley (2002) proposed that this reflected a competition between inhibitory unconscious processes and excitatory conscious processes. The authors of the current article report 7 experiments with results countering this theory and propose an alternative account within the framework of object substitution masking. In this account, the NCE reflects the updating of perceptual objects, including their links to responses closely associated with those objects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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