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Perception, attention and the grand illusion

Comments on the original article by A. Mack and I. Rock (see record 1999-02040-003), which summarizes research that led to the discovery of a phenomenon named Inattentional Blindness (IB), the occurrence of perception without accompanying attention. This paper looks at 2 puzzles raised by the phenomenon of IB. First, how can we see at all if, in order to see, we must first perceptually attend to that which we see? Second, if attention is required for perception, why does it seem to us as if we are perceptually aware of the whole detailed visual field when it is quite clear that we do not attend to all that detail? The authors offer a general framework for thinking about perception and perceptual consciousness that addresses these questions and they propose, in addition, an informal account of the relation between attention and consciousness. On this view, perceptual awareness is a species of attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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