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The attentional requirements of consciousness

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 16(9) of Trends in Cognitive Sciences (see record 2012-23510-011). The inattentional blindness stimuli and results displayed in Figure 2 of this article were reproduced, with permission, from reference [57], not reference [59] as indicated in the caption of the Figure. The correct reference is included here for convenience. The authors apologize to the readers of the article for this error.] It has been widely claimed that attention and awareness are doubly dissociable and that there is no causal relation between them. In support of this view are numerous claims of attention without awareness, and awareness without attention. Although there is evidence that attention can operate on or be drawn to unconscious stimuli, various recent findings demonstrate that there is no empirical support for awareness without attention. To properly test for awareness without attention, we propose that a stimulus be studied using a battery of tests based on diverse, mainstream paradigms from the current attention literature. When this type of analysis is performed, the evidence is fully consistent with a model in which attention is necessary, but not sufficient, for awareness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)



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