A Function-Centered Taxonomy of Visual Attention

In Paul Coates & Sam Coleman (eds.), Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception, and Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 347-375 (2015)
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It is suggested that the relationship between visual attention and conscious visual experience can be simplified by distinguishing different aspects of both visual attention and visual experience. A set of principles is first proposed for any possible taxonomy of the processes involved in visual attention. A particular taxonomy is then put forward that describes five such processes, each with a distinct function and characteristic mode of operation. Based on these, three separate kinds—or possibly grades—of conscious visual experience can be distinguished, each associated with a particular combination of attentional processes.

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Ronald A. Rensink
University of British Columbia


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