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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

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
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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