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Can You Tell the Difference?

April 1, 2008
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That means, sometimes you cannot detect the changes to something in plain view. Jeremy Wolfe of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School devised a test posted in New York Times. Try it out!

In this article, “Blind to Change, Even as It Stares Us in the Face” Dr. Wolfe explains more.

“The basic problem is that far more information lands on your eyes than you can possibly analyze and still end up with a reasonable sized brain,” Dr. Wolfe said. Hence, the brain has evolved mechanisms for combating data overload, allowing large rivers of data to pass along optical and cortical corridors almost entirely unassimilated, and peeling off selected data for a close, careful view. In deciding what to focus on, the brain essentially shines a spotlight from place to place, a rapid, sweeping search that takes in maybe 30 or 40 objects per second, the survey accompanied by a multitude of body movements of which we are barely aware…

… the visual system can focus on only one or very few objects at a time, and that anything lying outside a given moment’s cone of interest gets short shrift. The brain, it seems, is a master at filling gaps and making do, of compiling a cohesive portrait of reality based on a flickering view.

PS: I got all of them right! 😀

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