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Comparing theories of consciousness: Object position, not probe modality, reliably influences experience and accuracy in object recognition tasks

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  • Simon Hviid Del Pin, Consciousness Lab, Jagiellonian University in Kraków
  • ,
  • Zuzanna Skóra, Jagiellonian University in Kraków
  • ,
  • Kristian Sandberg
  • Morten Overgaard
  • Michał Wierzchoń, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

People often claim seeing images completely despite performing poorly. This highlights an issue with conscious representations. We introduce an experimental manipulation aiming to disentangle two prevalent positions: Rich views posit that people virtually represent the external world with unlimited capacity; Sparse views state that representations are reconstructed from expectations and information. In two experiments using the object recognition task, we tested two probe types: Images, which should aid reconstruction more, and Words, which should aid it less. From a sparse view, one should expect that Images lead to greater accuracy and reported experience. We found no reliable differences in accuracy and reported experience across probe types; however, we observed that the object positions influenced both accuracy and reported experience, which is surprising from a Rich view as it seemingly requires assumptions of different access across the visual field. Both theoretical positions thus currently need further development to explain our results.

TidsskriftConsciousness and Cognition
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2020

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