About this topic

Change blindness is the experimentally demonstrated phenomenon in which a subject fails to notice a distinguishing feature or change when consecutively presented with two slightly different stimuli (e.g., words, illustrations or photographs). Change blindness occurs when stimuli are changed during saccadic eye movements, when changes are introduced to a stimulus display that flickers on and off, or when the stimulus is interrupted by a 'mask', for example a blank display or a 'mudsplash', consisting of small, high-contrast shapes temporarily 'splattered' over the image. Inattentional blindness is a related experimentally demonstrated phenomenon in which subjects fail to notice stimuli in their visual field because they are engaged in a task that requires attention to a different stimulus. For example, some subjects fail to notice a stimulus presented close to fixation because they are attending to a cross at fixation to discern which of its lines is longer. Inattentional blindness also occurs with complex and dynamic stimuli. In a popular experiment subjects fail to notice a man in a gorilla suit who walks through the action in the video they are watching. Similar effects can be produced in "real-world" situations, situations in which subjects interact directly with other people and not merely with video images. These results have been taken to show that there is no explicit conscious awareness of an item without attention, and that if it seems to us that we experience many items in our visual field simultaneously or in detail we are subject to an illusion. Both of these conclusions are contested.

Key works Key works on change blindness include: Rensink et al 1997O'Regan et al 1999, and Rensink et al 2000. Key works on inattentional blindness include: Mack & Rock 1998Mack & Rock 2003Simons & Chabris 1999Most et al 2000 Key works on the grand illusion include: Noë 2002 and Mack 2002.
Introductions Good introductory works include: Mack & Rock 1998Mack & Rock 2003. For a popular introduction see Chabris and Simons (2010), The Invisible Gorilla. 
Related categories

305 found
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  1. A Comparative Study of Four Change Detection Methods for Aerial Photography Applications.Gil Abramovich, Glen Brooksby, Stephen Bush, Manickam F., Ozcanli Swaminathan, Garrett Ozge & D. Benjamin - 2010 - Spie.
    We present four new change detection methods that create an automated change map from a probability map. In this case, the probability map was derived from a 3D model. The primary application of interest is aerial photographic applications, where the appearance, disappearance or change in position of small objects of a selectable class (e.g., cars) must be detected at a high success rate in spite of variations in magnification, lighting and background across the image. The methods rely on an earlier (...)
  2. Musical Change Deafness: The Inability to Detect Change in a Non-Speech Auditory Domain.Kat R. Agres & Carol L. Krumhansl - 2008 - In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 969--974.
  3. When You Fail to See What You Were Told to Look For: Inattentional Blindness and Task Instructions.Anne M. Aimola Davies, Stephen Waterman, Rebekah C. White & Martin Davies - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1):221-230.
    Inattentional blindness studies have shown that an unexpected object may go unnoticed if it does not share the property specified in the task instructions. Our aim was to demonstrate that observers develop an attentional set for a property not specified in the task instructions if it allows easier performance of the primary task. Three experiments were conducted using a dynamic selective-looking paradigm. Stimuli comprised four black squares and four white diamonds, so that shape and colour varied together. Task instructions specified (...)
  4. Perception.Kathleen Akins (ed.) - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
  5. The Myth of Persistence of Vision Revisited.Joseph Anderson & Barbara Anderson - 1993 - Journal of Film and Video 45:3--12.
  6. The Relationship Between Change Detection and Recognition of Centrally Attended Objects in Motion Pictures.Bonnie L. Angelone, Daniel T. Levin & Daniel J. Simons - 2003 - Perception 32 (8):947-962.
  7. Change Detection: Paying Attention To Detail.Erin Austen & James Enns - 2000 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 6.
    Changes made during a brief visual interruption sometimes go undetected, even when the object undergoing the change is at the center of the observer's interest and spatial attention . This study examined two potentially important attentional variables in change blindness: spatial distribution, manipulated via set size, and detail level, varied by having the change at either the global or local level of a compound letter. Experiment 1 revealed that both types of change were equally detectable in a single item, but (...)
  8. Subjective Flicker Rate with Relation to Critical Flicker Frequency.S. H. Bartley - 1938 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 22 (4):388.
  9. Moral Blindness.Bernard H. Baumrin - 1986 - Metaphilosophy 17 (4):205-213.
  10. Attending to Music Decreases Inattentional Blindness.Vanessa Beanland, Rosemary A. Allen & Kristen Pammer - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1282-1292.
    This article investigates how auditory attention affects inattentional blindness , a failure of conscious awareness in which an observer does not notice an unexpected event because their attention is engaged elsewhere. Previous research using the attentional blink paradigm has indicated that listening to music can reduce failures of conscious awareness. It was proposed that listening to music would decrease IB by reducing observers’ frequency of task-unrelated thoughts . Observers completed an IB task that varied both visual and auditory demands. Listening (...)
  11. Change in Motor Plan with a Change in the Selection of the to-Be-Recognized Word.Cécile Beauvillain - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):674-675.
    New experimental evidence throws doubt on postulating no relationship between saccade control and visual object recognition. The control of saccades during reading depends on the perceptual system mediating object recognition.
  12. Change Blindness and Change Awareness.Diane Beck, Geraint Rees, Christopher D. Frith & Nilli Lavie - 2001 - Nature Neuroscience 4.
  13. Neural Correlates of Change Detection and Change Blindness.Diane Beck, Geraint Rees, Christopher D. Frith & Nilli Lavie - 2001 - Nature Neuroscience 4 (6):645-650.
  14. Implicit Learning for Probable Changes in a Visual Change Detection Task.M. Beck, B. Angelone, D. Levin, M. Peterson & D. Varakin - 2008 - Consciousness and Cognition 17 (4):1192-1208.
    Previous research demonstrates that implicitly learned probability information can guide visual attention. We examined whether the probability of an object changing can be implicitly learned and then used to improve change detection performance. In a series of six experiments, participants completed 120–130 training change detection trials. In four of the experiments the object that changed color was the same shape on every trial. Participants were not explicitly aware of this change probability manipulation and change detection performance was not improved for (...)
  15. Change Blindness Blindness: Beliefs About the Roles of Intention and Scene Complexity in Change Detection.Melissa R. Beck, Daniel T. Levin & Bonnie L. Angelone - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (1):31-51.
    Observers have difficulty detecting visual changes. However, they are unaware of this inability, suggesting that people do not have an accurate understanding of visual processes. We explored whether this error is related to participants’ beliefs about the roles of intention and scene complexity in detecting changes. In Experiment 1 participants had a higher failure rate for detecting changes in an incidental change detection task than an intentional change detection task. This effect of intention was greatest for complex scenes. However, participants (...)
  16. Metacognitive Errors in Change Detection: Lab and Life Converge.Melissa R. Beck, Daniel T. Levin & Bonnie L. Angelone - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (1):58-62.
    Smilek, Eastwood, Reynolds, and Kingstone suggests that the studies reported in Beck, M. R., Levin, D. T. and Angelone, B. A. are not ecologically valid. Here, we argue that not only are change blindness and change blindness blindness studies in general ecologically valid, but that the studies we reported in Beck, Levin, and Angelone, 2007 are as well. Specifically, we suggest that many of the changes used in our study could reasonably be expected to occur in the real world. Furthermore, (...)
  17. Varieties of Visual Perspectives.David Bennett - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (3):329-352.
    One often hears it said that our visual-perceptual contact with the world is “perspectival.” But this can mean quite different things. Three different senses in which our visual contact with the world is “perspectival” are distinguished. The first involves the detection or representation of behaviorally important relations, holding between a perceiving subject and the world. These include time to contact, body-scaled size, egocentric position, and direction of heading. The second perspective becomes at least explicitly manifest in taking up the “proximal (...)
  18. Action Blindness in Response to Gradual Changes.Bruno Berberian, Stephanie Chambaron-Ginhac & Axel Cleeremans - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):152-171.
    The goal of this study is to characterize observers’ abilities to detect gradual changes and to explore putative dissociations between conscious experience of change and behavioral adaptation to a changing stimulus. We developed a new experimental paradigm in which, on each trial, participants were shown a dot pattern on the screen. Next, the pattern disappeared and participants had to reproduce it. In some conditions, the target pattern was incrementally rotated over successive trials and participants were either informed or not of (...)
  19. Endogenous Versus Exogenous Change: Change Detection, Self and Agency.Bruno Berberian & Axel Cleeremans - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):198-214.
    The goal of this study is to characterize observers’ abilities to discriminate between endogenous and exogenous changes. To do so, we developed a new experimental paradigm. On each trial, participants were shown a dot pattern on the screen. Next, the pattern disappeared and participants were to reproduce it. Changes were surreptuously introduced in the stimulus, either by presenting participants anew with the dot pattern they had themselves produced on the previous trial or by presenting participants with a slightly different dot (...)
  20. Individual Differences in Change Blindness.Katharina Verena Bergmann - unknown
    The present work shows the existence of systematic individual differences in change blindness. It can be concluded that the sensitivity for changes is a trait. That is, persons differ in their ability to detect changes, independent from the situation or the measurement method. Moreover, there are two explanations for individual differences in change blindness: a) capacity differences in visual selective attention that may be influenced by top-down activated attention helping to focus attention onto relevant stimuli b) differences in working memory (...)
  21. Hereditary Blindness: The Report of the Prevention of Blindness Committee.J. Myles Bickerton - 1933 - The Eugenics Review 25 (3):167.
  22. Searching for Objects in Real-World Scenes.Irving Biederman, Arnold L. Glass & E. Webb Stacy - 1973 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 97 (1):22.
  23. Response Decrement, Induced by Stimulus Change, as a Function of Amount of Training.Dalbir Bindra & John F. Seely - 1959 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 57 (5):317.
  24. The Grand Illusion: Why Consciousness Exists Only When You Look for It.Susan J. Blackmore - 2002 - New Scientist 174 (2348):26-29.
    Like most people, I used to think of my conscious life as like a stream of experiences, passing through my mind, one after another. But now I’m starting to wonder, is consciousness really like this? Could this apparently innocent assumption be the reason we find consciousness so baffling?
  25. Is the Richness of Our Visual World an Illusion? Transsaccadic Memory for Complex Scenes.Susan J. Blackmore, Gavin Brelstaff, Katherine Nelson & Tom Troscianko - 1995 - Perception 24:1075-81.
  26. Perceptual Consciousness Overflows Cognitive Access.Ned Block - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (12):567-575.
    One of the most important issues concerning the foundations ofconscious perception centerson thequestion of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of ‘iconic memory’ toarguethatperceptual consciousnessisricher (i.e.,has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argumenthas been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to the (...)
  27. The More Things Change….Robert C. Bolles - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (1):53.
  28. Spatial Allocation of Attention-Line Length Discrimination Versus Luminance Detection.Am Bonnel, Ca Possamai & B. Scharf - 1987 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 25 (5):347-347.
  29. When Seemingly Irrelevant Details Matter: Hidden Covariation Detection Reexamined.M. Bos & B. Bonke - 1998 - Consciousness and Cognition 7 (4):596-602.
    Hidden covariation detection (HCD) theory states that when personality characteristics are surreptitiously associated with irrelevant features, these features obtain heuristic value for future evaluations of personality characteristics. According to the theory, subjects are not consciously aware of using such heuristics in their evaluations. We tested these hypotheses by confronting participants with statements that were said to belong to separate individuals, in which the apparent level of intelligence was associated with an irrelevant feature of the person who allegedly made these statements. (...)
  30. It's Great but Not Necessarily About Attention.Jochen Braun - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
  31. The Role of Attention in the Detection of Luminance Changes: Endogenous Versus Exogenous Cuing.P. T. Brawn & R. J. Snowden - 1996 - In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Perception. Ridgeview. pp. 25--3.
  32. The Attentional Cost of Inattentional Blindness.Paola Bressan & Silvia Pizzighello - 2008 - Cognition 106 (1):370-383.
  33. Failure to Detect Displacements of the Visual World During Saccadic Eye Movements.Bruce Bridgeman, David Hendry & L. Stark - 1975 - Vision Research 15:719-22.
  34. Experience, Attention, and Mental Representation.Justin Broackes - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):978-979.
    O'Regan & Noë make plausible that perception involves mastery of sensory-motor dependencies. Their rejection of qualia, however, is less persuasive; as is their view that we see only what we are attending to. At times they seem to oppose “internal representation” in general; I argue that they should in fact only be rejecting crude conceptions of brain picturing.
  35. The Invisible Man: Interpersonal Goals Moderate Inattentional Blindness to African Americans.Jazmin L. Brown-Iannuzzi, Kelly M. Hoffman, B. Keith Payne & Sophie Trawalter - 2014 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143 (1):33-37.
  36. Inattentional Blindness for Ignored Words: Comparison of Explicit and Implicit Memory Tasks.Beverly C. Butler & Raymond Klein - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (3):811-819.
    Inattentional blindness is described as the failure to perceive a supra-threshold stimulus when attention is directed away from that stimulus. Based on performance on an explicit recognition memory test and concurrent functional imaging data Rees, Russell, Frith, and Driver [Rees, G., Russell, C., Frith, C. D., & Driver, J. . Inattentional blindness versus inattentional amnesia for fixated but ignored words. Science, 286, 2504–2507] reported inattentional blindness for word stimuli that were fixated but ignored. The present study examined both explicit and (...)
  37. Eye Movements to Audiovisual Scenes Reveal Expectations of a Just World.Mitchell J. Callan, Heather J. Ferguson & Markus Bindemann - 2013 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 142 (1):34.
  38. Failures to See: Attentive Blank Stares Revealed by Change Blindness.G. Caplovitz, R. FendRich & H. HugHes - 2008 - Consciousness and Cognition 17 (3):877-886.
    Change blindness illustrates a remarkable limitation in visual processing by demonstrating that substantial changes in a visual scene can go undetected. Because these changes can ultimately be detected using top–down driven search processes, many theories assign a central role to spatial attention in overcoming change blindness. Surprisingly, it has been reported that change blindness can occur during blink-contingent changes even when observers fixate the changing location [O’Regan, J. K., Deubel, H., Clark, J. J., & Rensink, R. A. . Picture changes (...)
  39. The Role of Perceptual Load in Inattentional Blindness.Ula Cartwright-Finch & Nilli Lavie - 2007 - Cognition 102 (3):321-340.
  40. Priming Effects Under Correct Change Detection and Change Blindness.Corrado Caudek & Fulvio Domini - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1):290-305.
    In three experiments, we investigated the priming effects induced by an image change on a successive animate/inanimate decision task. We studied both perceptual and conceptual priming effects, under correct change detection and change blindness . Under correct change detection, we found larger positive priming effects on congruent trials for probes representing animate entities than for probes representing artifactual objects. Under CB, we found performance impairment relative to a “no-change” baseline condition. This inhibition effect induced by CB was modulated by the (...)
  41. Visual Performance After Preadaptation to Colored Lights.C. R. Cavonius & R. Hilz - 1970 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 83 (3p1):359.
  42. The Invisible Gorilla.Christopher Chabris & Daniel Simons - 2010 - Crown Publishers.
    If a gorilla walked out into the middle of a basketball pitch, you’d notice it.
  43. Ongoing Spontaneous Activity Controls Access to Consciousness: A Neuronal Model for Inattentional Blindness.Jean-Pierre Changeux & Stanislas Dehaene - 2005 - PLoS Biology 3 (5):e141.
    1 INSERM-CEA Unit 562, Cognitive Neuroimaging, Service Hospitalier Fre´de´ric Joliot, Orsay, France, 2 CNRS URA2182 Re´cepteurs and Cognition, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
  44. Facilitatory or Inhibitory Nontarget Effects in the Location-Cuing Paradigm.Garvin Chastain & MaryLou Cheal - 1997 - Consciousness and Cognition 6 (2-3):328-347.
    The effect of nontargets on the identification of targets in the location-cuing paradigm was investigated in order to determine whether observers consistently allocate their attention to a validly cued location and whether the effect of nontargets is to facilitate or to inhibit performance. In four experiments, the effects of a single matching nontarget or a single nonmatching nontarget were compared. In each experiment, it was shown that observers consistently allocate their attention to a cued location when a precue appears and (...)
  45. Attention, Fixation, and Change Blindness.Tony Cheng - 2017 - Philosophical Inquiries 5 (1):19-26.
    The topic of this paper is the complex interaction between attention, fixation, and one species of change blindness. The two main interpretations of the target phenomenon are the ‘blindness’ interpretation and the ‘inaccessibility’ interpretation. These correspond to the sparse view (Dennett 1991; Tye, 2007) and the rich view (Dretske 2007; Block, 2007a, 2007b) of visual consciousness respectively. Here I focus on the debate between Fred Dretske and Michael Tye. Section 1 describes the target phenomenon and the dialectics it entails. Section (...)
  46. Natural Scenes and the Dipper Function.M. Chirimuuta & D. J. Tolhurst - 2004 - In Robert Schwartz (ed.), Perception. Malden Ma: Blackwell. pp. 33--176.
  47. Bounded Awareness: What You Fail to See Can Hurt You. [REVIEW]Dolly Chugh & Max H. Bazerman - 2007 - Mind and Society 6 (1):1-18.
    ObjectiveWe argue that people often fail to perceive and process stimuli easily available to them. In other words, we challenge the tacit assumption that awareness is unbounded and provide evidence that humans regularly fail to see and use stimuli and information easily available to them. We call this phenomenon “bounded awareness” (Bazerman and Chugh in Frontiers of social psychology: negotiations, Psychology Press: College Park 2005). Findings We begin by first describing perceptual mental processes in which obvious information is missed—that is, (...)
  48. Is Seeing All It Seems?Andy Clark - 2002 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 9:181-202.
  49. Change Blindness to Gradual Changes in Facial Expressions.Axel Cleeremans - unknown
    Change blindness—our inability to detect changes in a stimulus—occurs even when the change takes place gradually, without disruption (Simons et al., 2000). Such gradual changes are more difficult to detect than changes that involve a disruption. In this experiment, we extend previous findings to the domain of facial expressions of emotions occurring in the context of a realistic scene. Even with changes occurring in central, highly relevant stimuli such as faces, gradual changes still produced high levels of change blindness: Detection (...)
  50. Undetected Changes in Visible Stimuli Influence Subsequent Decisions.Axel Cleeremans - 2008 - Consciousness and Cognition 17 (3):646-656.
    Change blindness—our inability to detect changes in a stimulus—occurs even when the change takes place gradually, without any disruption [Simons, D. J., Franconeri, S. L., & Reimer, R. L. . Change blindness in the absence of a visual disruption. Perception, 29, 1143–1154]. Such gradual changes are more difficult to detect than changes that involve a disruption. Using this method, David et al. [David, E., Laloyaux, C., Devue, C., & Cleeremans, A. . Change blindness to gradual changes in facial expressions. Psychologica (...)
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