How much can we differentiate at a brief glance: Revealing the truer limit in conscious contents through the massive report paradigm (MRP)

Liang Qianchen, Regan M. Gallagher, Naotsugu Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Upon a brief glance, how well can we differentiate what we see from what we do not? Previous studies answered this question as 'poorly'. This is in stark contrast with our everyday experience. Here, we consider the possibility that previous restriction in stimulus variability and response alternatives reduced what participants could express from what they consciously experienced. We introduce a novel massive report paradigm that probes the ability to differentiate what we see from what we do not. In each trial, participants viewed a natural scene image and judged whether a small image patch was a part of the original image. To examine the limit of discriminability, we also included subtler changes in the image as modification of objects. Neither the images nor patches were repeated per participant. Our results showed that participants were highly accurate (accuracy greater than 80%) in differentiating patches from the viewed images from patches that are not present. Additionally, the differentiation between original and modified objects was influenced by object sizes and/or the congruence between objects and the scene gists. Our massive report paradigm opens a door to quantitatively measure the limit of immense informativeness of a moment of consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210394
Number of pages26
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • consciousness
  • contents of consciousness
  • expectation
  • massive report paradigms
  • natural scene perception
  • qualia

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