Integration despite Fractionation: Continuous Flash Suppression

The relationship between integration and conscious awareness (CA) is pivotal to current debates on the nature and limitations of conscious and nonconscious processes [1]. Whereas influential theories posit that integration and awareness are inextricable, recent years have yielded evidence for integration without CA. Specifically, using continuous flash suppression (CFS), which allows prolonged exposure of stimuli without CA, it was shown that integration occurs across multiple levels of complexity. Moors et al.[2] challenge this conclusion, arguing that CFS causes fractionation of the input rather than integration.

Moors et al. base their conclusion on two points. First, they cite evidence that showed that CFS affects activity in the early visual cortex and conclude that higher processing is thus precluded. Second, they argue that some ‘influential’ studies suggesting high-level, semantic integration have been challenged, putting the evidence in doubt. Here we argue that, even if both facts hold, they do not strongly support the proposed conclusions, given a less selective review of the voluminous relevant literature. In Box 1 we provide examples of relevant findings.

Authors: Sklar A., Deouell, L.Y., Hassin, R.
Year of publication: 2018
Journal: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22, 956-957.

Link to publication:


“Working memory”