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How blind to change are you? The science of ignorant perception. (videos)

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posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 09:29 AM
I ran across this very interesting article about how our brains perceive change or lack of change anyway. I found it extremely interesting and thought I would share it since it seems more than relevant to several topics here on ATS, not to mention the significant scientific value that this research has provided.

It could be used to better our perception but sadly, I have a feeling that it will only be used in a manner that contradicts our interests.

Read the article and watch the videos embedded in the article to see if you too are change blind. Of the three videos, I was only fooled by the one with the buses. I got the other two right off the bat. How well did you do?

This failure to notice what should be very apparent is something we unconsciously experience every day as our brains filter the barrage of visual information which we are flooded with. And apparently it has a name; it is called change blindness.

Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London, have invented a unique spot-the-difference-style computer game in order to study it.

Milan Verma, a scientist at Queen Mary, explains: "It's the phenomenon where seemingly striking or obvious changes are not noticed." He and his colleagues are asking volunteers to play the game - which involves looking at a screen as it flashes between two images of the same scene.

"It flicks between a pre-change version and a post-change version of the scene," Dr Verma explains. "The volunteers simply have to press the button and tell us exactly when they spot the change."

Trying out the game at Dr Verma's office, my initial reaction was self-satisfaction; I spotted the difference in the first scene - a picture of a butterfly with orange stripes on its wings - almost immediately.

In the pre-change scene the colorful insect had two stripes - one on each wing, and on the post-change, there was just one. Easy. Next?

But I was quickly reminded that I am just as "change blind" as the next person. As an image of an iceberg scene with five penguins on it flashed in front of me, I stared blankly, unable to see a difference.

"I'll let you off - there is a lot going on in this image," Dr Verma reassured me. "But it's quite a big change."

He had to give me a clue - directing me to the area of the image where the change occurred - before I realized that a whole chunk of iceberg was missing in the post-change image.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Although this was not part of the article nor part of the particular research put into this game, here is a video from YouTube about this science:


posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 09:45 AM
I'm amazed that I could not catch the difference on the first two videos. The last video I did notice fairly quick. I am amazed that such obvious changes were hidden to me even though I was looking for a difference.
Thank you for that post.


posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 09:59 PM

holy !@#$, watch this video...

I already saw that video of the harvard study, I would have actually noticed the change. But of course people would say "well now you would be prepared to notice a change after I watched that video" and I would say not really. I am an attentive person and I pay quite some attention to detail. A complete person change would definitely be detectable. Say if they just changed the man's facial features around, like added a mole and crooked teeth, then I think it would be harder (or even easier?) to detect those changes. Most of those people were just looking around and never really focused on the guy.

[edit on 11-6-2010 by fordrew]

posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 01:55 AM
This is a great topic. Some people are more observant than others. But Ialso think if you have any interest in the person being changed you'd be more likely to notice the change even if you're less observant in general, so it depends.

reply to post by fordrew

I thought I was observant but I guess I was observing the wrong things like the nice legs on the maid
I only found a handful of the changes the first time through and even after watching repeatedly I only saw 18 out of the 21. That piece behind the butler's legs was really hard to spot before they removed it so it was hard to notice when they removed it.

But this is a fascinating topic indeed. I've always felt eyewitness testimony is less than reliable and even my own isn't that great apparently!

posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 02:07 AM
I too thought this was a very interesting article, I wonder how it relates to perception and that idea that different people experience different realities - maybe notice differet things?

Embarrassingly though, I failed all three videos

posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 08:46 AM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

Yea the first time I watched the video I was not paying attention too well. I actually did notice a few things the first time around but my mind did not catch on. I noticed the suit of armor and the portrait change but I never made the connection "HEY, wait a second, they are switching the scene around!"

posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 06:18 PM
It's crazy how our brains take short-cuts with certain things that should be extremely obvious. This should be taken into account for the sociology of current events.


posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 07:11 PM
i think this phenomenon is in at least some part a testament to the institutions that take it upon themselves to dedicate efforts on the social enginering of the ego, on behalf of the super ego, while defining/believing the id as being totally unconscious.

perhaps peoples' senses would be more receptive to their true environments if they weren't so complacent trying to adhere to a society's expectations that number so high (laws) that no citizen born today will ever live long enough to learn.

perhaps the part of us that wishes to be compliant with reality is deterred from doing so, because reality is no place feels like "home" untill you are welcome there. and laws that number so great no one knows the number of the laws..

well, let me just say if the manditory requirements themselves conflict with the manditory requirements themselves, then maybe they are not applicable??

take the bible for instance. if we were to take out every set of statements that negate another statement in the same book, how much of it would be left?

just some of my thoughts,

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