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  1. Ronald A. Rensink, Four Futures and a History.
    Stephen Few provides a nice overview of the reasons why we should design data visualizations to be effective, and why it’s important to understand human perception when doing so. In fact, he’s done this so well that I can’t add much to his arguments. But I can, however, push the basic message a bit further, out into the times before and after those he discusses. Out into areas that are not as well known, or not really developed, where new opportunities (...)
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  2. Jason Harrison & Ronald A. Rensink, Obscuring Length Changes During Animated Motion.
    In this paper we examine to what extent the lengths of the links in an animated articulated figure can be changed without the viewer being aware of the change. This is investigated in terms of a framework that emphasizes the role of attention in visual perception. We conducted a set of five experiments to establish bounds for the sensitivity to changes in length as a function of several parameters and the amount of attention available. We found that while length changes (...)
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  3. Ronald A. Rensink, Changes.
    This past decade has seen a great resurgence of interest in the perception of change. Change has, of course, long been recognized as a phenomenon worthy of study, and vision scientists have given their attention to it at various times in the past (for a review, see Rensink, 2002a). But things seem different this time around. This time, there is an emerging belief that instead of being just another visual ability, the perception of change may be something central to our (...)
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  4. Ronald A. Rensink, Ideal Observers, Real Observers, and the Return of Elvis.
    Knill, Kersten, & Mamassian (Chapter 6) provide an interesting discussion of how the Bayesian formulation can be used to help investigate human vision. In their view, computational theories can be based on an ideal observer that uses Bayesian inference to make optimal use of available information. Four factors are important here: the image information used, the output structures estimated, the priors assumed (i.e., knowledge about the structure of the world), and the likelihood function used (i.e., knowledge about the projection of (...)
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  5. Ronald A. Rensink, Object Substitution Without Reentry?
    G. Francis and F. Hermens (2002) used computer simulations to claim that many current models of metacontrast masking can account for the findings of V. Di Lollo, J. T. Enns, and R. A. Rensink (2000). They also claimed that notions of reentrant processing are not necessary because all of V. Di Lollo et al. 's data can be explained by feed-forward models. The authors show that G. Francis and F. Hermens's claims are vitiated by inappropriate modeling of attention and by (...)
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  6. Ronald A. Rensink, On the Applications of Change Blindness.
    An overview is presented of the ways that change blindness has been applied to the study of various issues in perception and cognition. Topics include mechanisms of change perception, allocation of attention, nonconscious perception, and cognitive beliefs. Recent work using change blindness to investigate these topics is surveyed, along with a brief discussion of some of the ways that these approaches may further develop over the next few years.
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  7. Ronald A. Rensink, Research Article.
    It has often been assumed that when we use vision to become aware of an object or event in our surroundings, this must be accompanied by a corresponding visual experience (i.e., seeing). The studies reported here show that this assumption is incorrect. When observers view a sequence of displays alternating between an image of a scene and the same image changed in some way, they often feel (or sense) the change even though they have no visual experience of it. The (...)
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  8. Ronald A. Rensink, Scene Perception.
    Scene Perception is the visual perception of an environment as viewed by an observer at any given time. It includes not only the perception of individual objects, but also such things as their relative locations, and expectations about what other kinds of objects might be encountered. Given that scene perception is so effortless for most observers, it might be thought of as something easy to understand. However, the amount of effort required by a process often bears little relation to its (...)
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  9. Ronald A. Rensink, Seeing Seeing.
    This paper discusses several key issues concerning consciousness and human vision. A brief overview is presented of recent developments in this area, including issues that have been resolved and issues that remain unsettled. Based on this, three Hilbert questions are proposed. These involve three related sets of issues: the kinds of visual experience that exist, the kinds of visual attention that exist, and the ways that these relate to each other.
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  10. Ronald A. Rensink, The Management of Visual Attention in Graphic Displays.
    This chapter presents an overview of several recent developments in vision science, and outlines some of their implications for the management of visual attention in graphic displays. These include ways of sending attention to the right item at the right time, techniques to improve attentional efficiency, and possibilities for offloading some of the processing typically done by attention onto nonattentional mechanisms. In addition it is argued that such techniques not only allow more effective use to be made of visual attention, (...)
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  11. Ronald A. Rensink, The Perception of Correlation in Scatterplots.
    We present a rigorous way to evaluate the visual perception of correlation in scatterplots, based on classical psychophysical methods originally developed for simple properties such as brightness. Although scatterplots are graphically complex, the quantity they convey is relatively simple. As such, it may be possible to assess the perception of correlation in a similar way.
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  12. Ronald A. Rensink (forthcoming). Attention, Consciousness, and Data Display. 2006 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Statistical Graphics Section.
    Recent advances in our understanding of visual perception have shown it to be a far more complex and counterintuitive process than previously believed. Several important consequences follow from this. First, the design of an effective statistical graphics system is unlikely to succeed based on intuition alone; instead, it must rely on a more sophisticated, systematic approach. The basic elements of such an approach are outlined here, along with several design principles. An overview is then given of recent advances in our (...)
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  13. Hélène L. Gauchou, Ronald A. Rensink & Sidney Fels (2012). Expression of Nonconscious Knowledge Via Ideomotor Actions. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):976-982.
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  14. Ronald A. Rensink (2008). Towards a Science of Magic. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (9):349-354.
  15. Ronald A. Rensink (2005). Change Blindness. In Laurent Itti, Geraint Rees & John K. Tsotsos (eds.), Neurobiology of Attention. Academic Press. 76--81.
  16. Ronald A. Rensink (2005). Change Blindness: Implications for the Nature of Visual Attention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):16-20.
  17. Daniel J. Simons & Ronald A. Rensink (2005). Change Blindness: Past, Present, and Future. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):16-20.
    Change blindness is the striking failure to see large changes that normally would be noticed easily. Over the past decade this phenomenon has greatly contributed to our understanding of attention, perception, and even consciousness. The surprising extent of change blindness explains its broad appeal, but its counterintuitive nature has also engendered confusions about the kinds of inferences that legitimately follow from it. Here we discuss the legitimate and the erroneous inferences that have been drawn, and offer a set of requirements (...)
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  18. Daniel J. Simons & Ronald A. Rensink (2005). Change Blindness, Representations, and Consciousness: Reply to Noe. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (5):219.
  19. Daniel J. Simons & Ronald A. Rensink (2005). Perception Versus Inference. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):16-20.
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  20. Ronald A. Rensink (2002). Change Detection. Philosophical Explorations 53:245-277.
    Five aspects of visual change detection are reviewed. The first concerns the concept of _change_ itself, in particular the ways it differs from the related notions of _motion_ and _difference_. The second involves the various methodological approaches that have been developed to study change detection; it is shown that under a variety of conditions observers are often unable to see large changes directly in front of them. Next, it is argued that this "change blindness" indicates that focused attention is needed (...)
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  21. Ronald A. Rensink (2002). Visual Attention. In L. Nagel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.
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  22. Ronald A. Rensink (2001). Four-Sight in Hindsight: The Existence of Magical Numbers in Vision. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):141-142.
    The capacity of visual attention/STM can be determined by change-detection experiments. Detecting the presence of change leads to an estimate of 4 items, while detecting the absence of change leads to an estimate of 1 item. Thus, there are two magical numbers in vision: 4 and 1. The underlying limits, however, are not necessarily those of central STM.
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  23. Vincent Di Lollo, James T. Enns & Ronald A. Rensink (2000). Competition for Consciousness Among Visual Events: The Psychophysics of Reentrant Visual Processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 129 (4):481.
  24. Ronald A. Rensink (2000). Seeing, Sensing, and Scrutinizing. Vision Research:469-1487.
    Large changes in a scene often become difficult to notice if made during an eye movement, image flicker, movie cut, or other such disturbance. It is argued here that this _change blindness_ can serve as a useful tool to explore various aspects of vision. This argument centers around the proposal that focused attention is needed for the explicit perception of change. Given this, the study of change perception can provide a useful way to determine the nature of visual attention, and (...)
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  25. Ronald A. Rensink (2000). The Dynamic Representation of Scenes. Visual Cognition.
    One of the more powerful impressions created by vision is that of a coherent, richly-detailed world where everything is present simultaneously. Indeed, this impression is so compelling that we tend to ascribe these properties not only to the external world, but to our internal representations as well. But results from several recent experiments argue against this latter ascription. For example, changes in images of real-world scenes often go unnoticed when made during a saccade, flicker, blink, or movie cut. This "change (...)
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  26. Ronald A. Rensink, Kevin J. O'Regan & James J. Clark (2000). On Failures to Detect Changes in Scenes Across Brief Interruptions. Visual Cognition 7 (1-3):127-145.
    When brief blank fields are placed between alternating displays of an original and a modified scene, a striking failure of perception is induced: the changes become extremely difficult to notice, even when they are large, presented repeatedly, and the observer expects them to occur (Rensink, O'Regan, & Clark, 1997). To determine the mechanisms behind this induced "change blindness", four experiments examine its dependence on initial preview and on the nature of the interruptions used. Results support the proposal that representations at (...)
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  27. Kevin J. O'Regan, Ronald A. Rensink & James J. Clark (1999). Change Blindness as a Result of Mudsplashes. Nature 398 (6722):34-34.
  28. Ronald A. Rensink, J. Kevin O'Regan & James J. Clark (1997). To See or Not to See: The Need for Attention to Perceive Changes in Scenes. Psychological Science 8:368-373.
    Methods. We employed a "flicker" technique, in which an original and a modified image (each of duration 240 ms) continually alternated, with a blank field (duration 80 ms) between each display. Images were all of real-world scenes. One of three kinds of change (appearance/disappearance, color, or translation) was made to an object or region in each scene. Changes were large and easily seen under normal conditions. Subjects viewed the flicker display, and pressed a key when they noticed the change.
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