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To see or not to see: The need for attention to perceive changes in scenes

In a series of 3 experiments, investigated whether the visual perception of change in a scene occurs only when focused attention is given to the part being changed. 10 Ss participated in each experiment. Ss observed flicker sequences composed of an original image and a modified version with blank fields placed between successive images. Each image was displayed for 240 msec and each blank for 80 msec. In addition, the content of each scene was coded for central or marginal interest. Results indicate that under flicker conditions, changes in marginal interest scenes were extremely difficult to see. Changes in central interest scenes were noticed much more quickly. These findings support the idea that Os never form a complete, detailed representation of their surroundings. In addition, the results indicate that attention is required to perceive change, and that in the absence of localized motion signals, attention is guided on the basis of high-level interest. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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