Visual masking deficit in schizophrenia has been suggested to be a potential vulnerability marker for schizophrenia. An important characteristic of a vulnerability marker is stability over time, but relatively little is known about the longitudinal course of masking performance of schizophrenia patients. In this study, we examined the stability of visual masking performance in recent-onset schizophrenia patients over an 18-month period. We administered both forward and backward masking trials with multiple stimulus onset asynchronies for four masking conditions at three time points (baseline, 6-month, and 18-month). Recent-onset schizophrenia patients showed stable masking performance for both forward and backward conditions over a period of 18 months. Furthermore, the stable performance was observed across all four masking conditions. The findings of this study provide further support for the view that visual masking deficits reflect a possible vulnerability marker for schizophrenia. © 2008.