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Response to Tsuchiya et al.: Considering endogenous and exogenous attention.

Reply by the current authors to the comments made by Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Ned Block, and Christof Koch (see record 2012-29305-002) on the original article (see record 2012-19844-009). Tsuchiya and colleagues raise two main points in response to our view that attention is necessary but not sufficient for conscious awareness. First, they point out that, in their previous work, they have been careful to claim that certain types of objects can reach consciousness in the near absence of top-down, endogenous attention. They emphasize this fact because it is currently not possible to separate bottom-up attention from conscious awareness. We agree with this point and for this reason do not ever appeal to bottom-up attention to explain how the categories they put forward reach consciousness. Second, they state that there is no reason to believe that top-down attention is needed to perceive items that are presented in isolation. Specifically, top-down attention may not be necessary for items such as a single oriented bar. As it stands at present, this is an empirical question: if attention is engaged by demanding auditory or tactile attentional tasks, will an unexpected single visual item always go noticed? Even though there are examples in the literature of cross-modal inattentional blindness, none of these examples uses isolated visual stimuli. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)



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