Visual Sensing Without Seeing
Ronald A. Rensink, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Canada.

Psychological Science, 15: 27-32. 2004.   [pdf]


It has often been assumed that when we use vision to become aware of an object or event in our surroundings, this must be accompanied by a corresponding visual experience (i.e., seeing). It is shown here that this assumption is incorrect. When observers view a sequence of displays alternating between an image of a scene and the same image changed in some way, they often feel (or sense) the change even though they have no visual experience of it. The subjective difference between sensing and seeing is mirrored in several behavioral differences, suggesting that the two are distinct modes of conscious visual perception.

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