The mask who wasn't there

Does a visual mask need to be perceptually present to disrupt processing? In this research, we proposed to explore the link between perceptual and memory mechanisms by demonstrating that a typical sensory phenomenon (visual masking) can be replicated at a memory level. Experiment 1 highlighted an interference effect of a visual mask on the categorization of auditory targets and confirmed the multimodal nature of knowledge. In Experiment 2, we proposed to reactivate this mask in a categorization task on visual targets. Results showed that the sensory mask has disrupted (slower reaction times) the processing of the targets whether the mask was perceptually present or reactivated in memory. These results support a sensory-based conception of memory processing and suggest that the difference between perceptual processes and memory processes is characterized by the presence (perception) or the absence (memory) of the sensory properties involved in the activity.

Rey, A.E., Riou, B., Muller, D., Dabic, S., & Versace, R. (2015). The mask who wasn’t there: Visual masking effect with the perceptual absence of the mask. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 567-573. (pdf)

Emotional norms

We recently validated a database of 524 French personality traits words. These words have been pre-tested on 328 participants on valence, approach/avoidance tendencies associated with the trait, possessor- and other-relevance of the trait, and discrete emotions conveyed by the trait (i.e., anger, disgust, fear, happiness, and sadness). The database can be accessed here.

Ric, F., Alexopoulos, T., Muller, D., & Aubé, B. (2013). Emotional norms for 524 French personality-trait words. Behavior Research Methods, 45, 414-421. (pdf)