The siren song of implicit change detection

Stephen R. Mitroff, Daniel J. Simons, Steven L. Franconeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although change blindness could suggest that observers represent far less of their visual world than their conscious experience leads them to believe, they could fail to detect changes even if they fully represent all details Reports of implicit change detection in the absence of awareness are consistent with the notion that observers' representations are more complete than previously thought. However, to provide convincing evidence, studies must separate implicit detection from explicit processes. This article reexamines the 3 primary claims of implicit change detection and, after replicating original findings, provides theoretical and empirical support for alternative, explicit explanations. Even if observers do represent more of the scene than previously thought, change detection might occur only through explicit comparisons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-815
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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