Is conscious perception gradual or dichotomous? A comparison of report methodologies during a visual task

Consciousness and Cognition 15 (4):700-708 (2006)
In a recent article, [Sergent, C. & Dehaene, S. . Is consciousness a gradual phenomenon? Evidence for an all-or-none bifurcation during the attentional blink, Psychological Science, 15, 720–729] claim to give experimental support to the thesis that there is a clear transition between conscious and unconscious perception. This idea is opposed to theoretical arguments that we should think of conscious perception as a continuum of clarity, with e.g., fringe conscious states [Mangan, B. . Sensation’s ghost—the non-sensory “fringe” of consciousness, Psyche, 7, 18]. In the experimental study described in this article, we find support for this opposite notion that we should have a parsimonious account of conscious perception. Our reported finding relates to the hypothesis that there is more than one perceptual threshold [Merikle, P.M., Smilek, D. & Eastwood, J.D. . Perception without awareness: perspectives from cognitive psychology, Cognition, 79, 115–134], but goes further to argue that there are different “levels” of conscious perception
Keywords *Cognitive Psychology  *Consciousness States  *Subliminal Perception  Visual Perception
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2006.04.002
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