Perceptual illusions in brief visual presentations

Document Type: 
Article
Article Type: 
Experimental
Disciplines: 
Psychology
Topics: 
Attention
Keywords: 
Phenomenal Consciousness, Access Consciousness, Illusion, Partial Report, Sperling, Overflow
Deposited by: 
Vincent de Gardelle
Contact email: 
vincent.gardelle@gmail.com
Date of Issue: 
2009
Authors: 
Vincent de Gardelle, Jérôme Sackur, Sid Kouider
Journal/Publication Title: 
Consciousness and Cognition
Volume: 
in press
Publisher: 
Elsevier
ID number: 
doi:10.1016/j.concog.2009.03.002
Alternative URL: 
http://www.lscp.net/persons/gardelle/papers/deGardelleSackurKouider2009%20perceptual%20illusions%20in%20brief%20visual%20presentations%20(ConsciousnessCognition).pdf
Abstract: 
We often feel that our perceptual experience is richer than what we can express. For instance, when flashed with a large set of letters, we feel that we can see them all, while we can report only a few. However, the nature of this subjective impression remains highly debated: while many favour a dissociation between two forms of consciousness (access vs. phenomenal consciousness), others contend that the richness of phenomenal experience is a mere illusion. Here we addressed this question with a classical partial-report paradigm now modified to include unexpected items in the unreported parts of the stimuli. We show that even in the presence of unexpected pseudo-letters, participants still felt that there were only letters. Additionally, we show that this feeling reflects an illusion whereby participants reconstruct letters using partial letter-like information. We propose that the feeling of seeing emerges from the interplay between partially accessible information and expectations.
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