Change Blindness

Introduction

2013-1128 Change Blindness Globe Example

According to Wikipedia, change blindness “is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a change in a visual stimulus goes unnoticed by the observer.”  For example, there are a few differences between the two pictures above. If you cannot spot the differences, you may have a form of change blindness. There are several reasons why significant change are not noticed by the observer including, but not limited to “obstructions in the visual field, eye movements, or a lack of attention.”  Wikipedia continues by identifying regions of the brain that are active during change blindness including the “prefrontal lobe, frontal lobe, fusiform face area, pulvinar, cerebellum, inferior temporal gyrus, and parietal lobe.”

Change blindness is a highly researched topic due to its implications in eyewitness testimony, exam proctoring, and distracted driving.

Some people believe that their change blindness is due solely to a brain injury. The video in this post reveals the truth — even people who do not have a brain injury neglect to notice significant change. Watch the following video, and ask yourself if you would notice such obvious changes when they occur.

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Credits

Thanks to Wendy for sharing the program with me; ABC News for deciding to broadcast the program titled “Would You Fall for That;” Nick WattScott Rogowsk, and Sasheer Zamata for making the program informative and humorous; YouTube for hosting videos of the program; and all the other people who made it possible for me to include the picture, video, and text I used in this post.

4 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed that. I would have totally been one of the people that was fooled by the switch. I did great with the 2 still pictures and seeing the differences, but I would not have focused on their faces – instead I would have been more concerned with fitting them within the frame.

    Thanks again for sharing interesting videos with us.

    1. Sue, I noticed many of the switches in this video, but the switches in a different video were extremely difficult for me to detect. I must have watched the other video three or four times before I noticed the switches even though I knew they were there. In the other video, the experiment began with two men who had different facial hair but wore similar clothes. When the experiment changed to two similar women with slightly different clothes, I thought I would notice the switch, but I did not. I finally spotted the switches only after I paused the video where I knew the switches took place. The results definitely make me question the accuracy of eye-witness testimony.

  2. This is a great video. I’ve always enjoyed the brain teasers, even before my head injuries. I also recommend a series by National Geographic titled “Brain Games”. The brain is amazing!

    1. Mary, I appreciate your feedback and recommendation. I looked at the National Geographic Brain Games website, although I did not see any video previews, the text alone is enough to intrigue me. The website lists a show time, but the site does not mention the time zone. Since I do not have access to National Geographic on the television, I hope the full episodes will be available online or on DVD. — Scott

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