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Mark W. Becker, Harold Pashler; Volatile visual representations. Journal of Vision 2002;2(7):269. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/2.7.269.
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‘Change Blindness’ results suggest that visual representations may be sparse and volatile, providing no cumulative record of the attended items in a scene. However, these studies failed to control attention. Thus they cannot completely rule out the possibility that the visual representation of a scene contains a cumulative record of previously attended objects. Subjects may nonetheless fail to detect many changes because the changes involve items that were never attended to. In two experiments subjects saw 12-digit arrays and identified either the highest digit in the array (Experiment 1) or the lowest digit not in the array (Experiment 2). Subsequent change detection tasks revealed that subjects often failed to detect changes that involved the same digits they had identified in order to successfully perform the digit tasks. Results provide direct evidence against the cumulative record hypothesis and provide additional evidence that accessible visual representations are relatively impoverished and volatile.
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