Type 2 blindsight and the nature of visual experience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Blindsight is a kind of residual vision found in people with lesions to V1. Subjects with blindsight typically report no visual awareness, but they are nonetheless able to make above-chance guesses about the shape, location, color and movement of visual stimuli presented to them in their blind field. A different kind of blindsight, sometimes called type 2 blindsight, is a kind of residual vision found in patients with V1 lesions in the presence of some residual awareness. Type 2 blindsight differs from ordinary visual experience in lacking the particularity, transparency and fine-grainedness often taken to be essential to visual experience, at least in veridical cases. I argue that the case of type 2 blindsight provides a counterexample to the view that these characteristics are essential to veridical visual experience and that this gives us reason to resist the view that visual experience is essentially a perceptual relation to external objects. In the second part of the paper I argue that the case of type 2 blindsight yields important insights into the effects of attentional modulation on perceptual content and that cases of attentional modulation of appearance are not at odds with the view that the phenomenology of visual experience flows from its content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Direct realism
  • Experience of determinable properties
  • Particularity of vision
  • Phenomenal consciousness
  • Transparency of visual experience
  • Type 1 blindsight
  • Type 2 blindsight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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