The optimal spatial noise for continuous flash suppression masking is pink

Jan Drewes, Weina Zhu, David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A basic question in cognitive neuroscience is how sensory stimuli are processed within and outside of conscious awareness. In the past decade, CFS has become the most popular tool for investigating unconscious visual processing, although the exact nature of some of the underlying mechanisms remains unclear. Here, we investigate which kind of random noise is optimal for CFS masking, and whether the addition of visible edges to noise patterns affects suppression duration. We tested noise patterns of various density as well as composite patterns with added edges, and classic Mondrian masks as well as phase scrambled (edgeless) Mondrian masks for comparison. We find that spatial pink noise (1/F noise) achieved the longest suppression of the tested random noises, however classic Mondrian masks are still significantly more effective in terms of suppression duration. Further analysis reveals that global contrast and general spectral similarity between target and mask cannot account for this difference in effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6943
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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