Visual sensing is seeing: Why "mindsight," in hindsight, is blind

Daniel J. Simons, Gabriel Nevarez, Walter R. Boot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Faced with the surprising failure to notice large changes to visual scenes (change blindness), many researchers have sought evidence for alternative, nonattentional routes to change detection. A recent article in Psychological Science (Rensink, 2004) proposed a new, nonsensory "mindsight" mechanism to explain the finding that some subjects on some trials reported sensing the presence of a recurring change before they could explicitly identify it and without having a localizable visual experience of change. This mechanism would constitute a previously unknown mode of seeing that, as Rensink suggested, might be akin to a sixth sense. Its existence would have radical implications for the mechanisms underlying conscious visual experience. Provocative claims merit rigorous scrutiny. We rebut the existence of a mindsight mechanism by supporting a more mundane explanation: Some subjects take time to verify their initial conscious detection of changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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