Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Lamme, Victor
Title: The crack of dawn : perceptual functions and neural mechanisms that mark the transition from unconscious processing to conscious vision
Online publication date: 29-Nov-2016
Language: english
Abstract: There is conscious vision, and there is unconscious visual processing. So far so good. But where lies the boundary between the two? What are the visual functions that shape the transition from “processing in the dark” to having a conscious visual percept? And what are the neural mechanisms that carry that transition? I review the findings on feature detection, object categorization, interference, inference, Gestalt grouping, and perceptual organization, and examine to what extent these functions correlate with the presence or absence of conscious vision. It turns out that a surprisingly large set of visual functions is executed unconsciously, indicating that unconscious vision is much “smarter” than we might intuitively think. Only when these unconscious mechanisms fail, and more elaborate and incremental processing steps are required, is consciousness necessary. The function of conscious vision may be to add a final layer to our interpretation of the world, to solve relatively “new” visual problems, and to enable visual learning.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-553052
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
Information on rights of use:
Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 22(T)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.15502/9783958570092
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

Files in This Item:
  File Description SizeFormat
55305.pdf3.88 MBAdobe PDFView/Open