The nature of change detection and online representations of scenes

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2004 Oct;30(5):988-1015. doi: 10.1037/0096-1523.30.5.988.


This article provides evidence for implicit change detection and for the contribution of multiple memory sources to online representations. Multiple eye-movement measures distinguished original from changed scenes, even when college students had no conscious awareness for the change. Patients with amnesia showed a systematic deficit on 1 class of eye-movement measures of change detection, even though conscious awareness was not required for the effect to be observed. The authors' findings suggest that online representations of scenes are (a) built up across viewings, (b) composed of activated information from both long-term and working memory, and (c) directly compared with currently processed information regarding the external world. Subsequent online processing is influenced by these representations even when the results of the comparison are not accessible for verbal report.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Awareness*
  • Discrimination Learning*
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Psychophysics
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Saccades