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Rapid iconic erasure without masking

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

We report on the erasure of the iconic memory of an array of 12 black letters flashed on a continuously- present white field. Erasure is accomplished by replacing the 16 ms letter array (frame 1) with a blank white frame for 16 ms (frame 2). The letter array returns in frame 3, with from one to six letters missing. Report of the missing letters is accurate without the blank white frame but is impoverished with it, as if interposing the blank erases the icon. Erasure occurs without any obvious luminance masking, 'mud splashes', pattern masking (backward, forward, or metacontrast), lateral masking, or masking by object substitution. Erasure is greatly decreased if the blank is presented one frame earlier or later. We speculate that erasure is due to a rapid reset of the icon produced by an informational mis-match.


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