Simon is a visiting PhD student from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The crux of his work is to investigate how much we experience, when we briefly see the world around us. Intuitively, many people would say that they experience a complete and detailed image of the outside world. This view is supported by some researchers, whereas others say that we do not necessarily experience much of the outer world. Though the latter view may go against our intuition, it is backed by data from several experiments.
The debate between rich and sparse views is ongoing and one problem is that we cannot measure people’s experiences directly. Researchers are instead left with having to e.g. systematically ask people or to estimate what people saw from how well they do in a given task (for instance of recognising images, that were flashed on a screen). This leaves room for interpretation and several classic experiments are interpreted to support the idea that our experiences are rich by some researchers and sparse by others.
Simon takes the approach of making diverging predictions on behalf of the two views and testing them against the results of new experimental setups. The outcome can support either theory, but crucially not both at the same time.
Crouzet, S. M., Kovalenko, L. Y., Del Pin, S. H., Overgaard, M., & Busch, N. A. (2017). Early visual processing allows for selective behavior, shifts of attention, and conscious visual experience in spite of masking. Consciousness and cognition, 54, 89-100.
Del Pin, S. H., Sandberg, K., Bibby, B. M., & Overgaard, M. (2017). Weak experiences sufficient for creating illusory figures that influence perception of actual lines. PloS one, 12(4), e0175339.
Sandberg, K., Blicher, J. U., Del Pin, S. H., Andersen, L. M., Rees, G., & Kanai, R. (2016). Improved estimates for the role of grey matter volume and GABA in bistable perception. cortex, 83, 292-305.
Sandberg, K., Del Pin, S. H., Bibby, B. M., & Overgaard, M. (2014). Evidence of weak conscious experiences in the exclusion task. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 1080.
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