We want to invite you to the next talk of the ScienceCampus Virtual Lecture series on May 6, 2021 at 3 p.m.:
Ian Phillips (John Hopkins University)
Bewitched by blindsight
Abstract: Textbooks tell us that, across a range of paradigms and conditions, perception parts ways with consciousness. The poster child is blindsight: a neuropsychological disorder defined by residual visual function following destruction of primary visual cortex. Blindsight is especially striking because residual visual function apparently includes capacities for voluntary discrimination in the total absence of awareness. Together with other neuropsychological disorders (e.g., hemineglect and visual form agnosia) and studies of neurotypical vision (e.g., under inattention or suppression), blindsight has revolutionised our thinking about visual consciousness, seemingly revealing a dramatic disconnect between performance and awareness, and motivating diverse theories of the neural and cognitive basis of consciousness. Counter to this orthodoxy, I’ll argue that blindsight is in fact severely and qualitatively degraded but nonetheless conscious vision. This residual conscious vision appears unconscious only because of conservative and unstable response criteria. A series of psychophysical and functional arguments against this interpretation are answered. And a range of consistent behavioral and first-person evidence is presented. This evidence helps answer the question of what it is like to have blindsight, as well as to account for the conservative and selectively unstable response criteria exhibited by patients. In closing, I’ll consider what lessons we can learn for the study of consciousness more generally, both in clinical and neurotypical vision.
The lecture will be on zoom; to join the meeting: https://dpz-eu.zoom.us/j/92724820616?pwd=MnV6QzlVRC9xZlZaTXdmdk56Tk02UT09
Meeting ID: 927 2482 0616
If you would like to continue the discussion with Ian after his talk, please send me an email to arrange a schedule
With best regards