Masking occurs when the delay between the target and the mask is less than a threshhold (say 50 milliseconds). If sensory data passes from lower to higher visual cortices/processing regions as in a linear one way street, how can the mask (which comes later) influence the perception of the target (which moved ahead of the mask)?
So does this mean masking works because the neuro-network consists of nested connections folding back and forth on itself? If so, at what scales do they operate? Do they occur both within higher regions and between higher and lower regions? Do we understand how they work in detail in the case of masking?
I learned that masking is often used as a research tool for subconsciousness/unconsciousness. But maybe neuro-feedback disruted using masking is just one of the many ways subconscious perception can occur? If so, shouldn't we reserve some qualms about general conclusions about subconsciousness/unconsciousness drawn using the masking method?