September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
Ensemble statistics and the richness of perceptual experience
Author Affiliations
  • Michael Cohen
    MIT
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 26. doi:10.1167/17.10.26
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      Michael Cohen; Ensemble statistics and the richness of perceptual experience. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):26. doi: 10.1167/17.10.26.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

While our subjective impression is of a detailed visual world, a wide variety of empirical results suggest that perception is actually rather limited. Findings from change blindness and inattentional blindness highlight how much of the huge amounts of the visual world regularly go unnoticed. Furthermore, direct estimates of the capacity of visual attention and working memory reveal that surprisingly few items can be processed and maintained at once. Why do we think we see so much when these empirical results suggests we see so little? One possible answer to this question resides in the representational power of visual ensembles and summary statistics. Under this view, those items that cannot be represented as individual objects or with great precision are nevertheless represented as part of a broader statistical summary. By representing much of the world as an ensemble, observers have perceptual access to different aspects of the entire field of view, not just a few select items. Thus, ensemble statistics play a critical role in our ability to account for and characterize the apparent richness of perceptual experience.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017

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