Ronald A. Rensink, Departments of Psychology and Computer Science,
University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada.
In L. Itti, G. Rees, and J.K. Tsotsos (eds). Neurobiology of Attention. (pp. 76-81). San Diego, CA: Elsevier. 2005
Large changes that occur in clear view of an observer can become difficult to notice if made during an eye movement, blink, or other such disturbance. This change blindness is consistent with the proposal that focused visual attention is necessary to see change, with a change becoming difficult to notice whenever conditions prevent attention from being automatically drawn to it.
It is shown here how the phenomenon of change blindness can provide new results on the nature of visual attention, including estimates of its capacity and the extent to which it can bind visual properties into coherent descriptions. It is also shown how the resultant characterization of attention can in turn provide new insights into the role that it plays in the perception of scenes and events.
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