Combining simultaneous with temporal masking
Simultaneous and temporal masking are two frequently used techniques in psychology and vision science. Although there are many studies and theories related to each masking technique, there are no systematic investigations of their mutual relationship, even though both techniques are often applied together. Here, the authors show that temporal masking can both undo and enhance the deteriorating effects of simultaneous masking depending on the stimulus onset asynchrony between the simultaneous and temporal masks. For the task and stimuli used in this study, temporal masking was largely unaffected by the properties of the simultaneous mask. In contrast, simultaneous masking seems to depend strongly on spatial grouping and was strongly affected by the properties of the temporal mask. These findings help to identify the nature of both temporal and simultaneous masking and promote understanding of the role of spatial and temporal grouping in visual perception.