Implicit change identification: A replication of Fernandez-Duque & Thorton (2003)
Keywords:change detection, change blindness, implicit change detection, awareness, attention
Deposited by:Dr Axel Cleeremans
Date of Issue:2006
Journal/Publication Title:Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Abstract:Using a simple change detection task involving vertical and horizontal stimuli, Thornton and Fernandez-Duque (2000) showed that the implicit detection of a change in the orientation of an item influences performance in a subsequent orientation judgment task. However, Mitroff, Simons and Franconeri (2002) were not able to replicate this finding after correcting for confounds, and thus attributed Thornton et al’s results to methodological artifacts. Because Mitroff et al.’s failure to replicate might in turn stem from several methodological differences between their study and those of Thornton and Fernandez-Duque (2000) and of Fernandez-Duque and Thornton (2003), we set out to conduct a further replication in which we corrected all known methodological biases identified so far. Our results suggest that implicit change detection indeed occurs: People’s conscious decisions about the orientation of an item appear to be influenced by previous undetected changes in the orientation of other items in the display. We discuss the implications of this finding in light of current theories of visual awareness.