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Metacognition and Awareness

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Abstract:

It is tempting to assume that metacognitive processes necessarily evoke awareness. We review a number of experiments in which cognitive schema have been shown to develop without awareness. Implicit learning of a novel schema may not involve metacognitive regulation per se. Substitution of one automatic process by another as a result of the inadequacy of the former as circumstances change does, however, clearly involve metacognitive and executive processes of error correction and schema selection. We describe a recently published study in which we serendipitously discovered that a blindsight subject could change the schema with which he processed cue information in orienting spatial attention task without reporting any awareness of this change, or of the cues and targets which respectively directed and were the object his attention.

Document Type: Editorial

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE, United Kingdom

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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