Not seeing the trees for the forest

Here is an interesting abstract. It is from a paper by Poljac, de-Wit, Wagemans in Journal of Cognition, Perceptual wholes can reduce the conscious accessibility of their parts.

Humans can rapidly extract object and category information from an image despite surprising limitations in detecting changes to the individual parts of that image. In this article we provide evidence that the construction of a perceptual whole, or Gestalt, reduces awareness of changes to the parts of this object. This result suggests that the rapid extraction of a perceptual Gestalt, and the inaccessibility of the parts that make up that Gestalt, may in fact reflect two sides of the same coin whereby human vision provides only the most useful level of abstraction to conscious awareness.

This is exactly what is expected of a process that gives awareness of an integrated model of world – not awareness of the perceptions that were used to create the model.

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