August 25, 2004

An image, a flash, then a slightly altered image. Repeat. How long till you see what's changed? Your surprising slowness is one aspect of Change Blindness. This one is really evil. (more inside)

The effect also works with "mudsplashes" and with (in an opposite way) very slow changes. You can read about the science here and a catalog of more demos is here. The bottom line is that we are not so aware of what we see as we think we are. So how'd you do on the demonstrations? Found anything changing with those rabits?

  • Amazing. The kayak, OK eventually - but the rabbit one I'll have to try again later...
  • Yeah, I couldn't see any change in that rabbit one at all. I looked at so long I almost felt sick, too
  • I had to break the rabbit image into pieces by blocking portions with my hand before I finally saw the change. It's there, though. The "mud splash" ones were hard, but the other plain alternating images were almost immediately obvious to me. I thought maybe I should have been but wasn't getting the mud flashes or something.
  • Found it!...finally. Now I can get back to work.
  • Someone please tell me what changes in the rabbit one before I go crazy! My eyes hurt dammit!
  • Great post. Don't miss this or this... clips of a real-world change blindness study (each a 3mb applet).
  • Wow, that's really good. I still can't spot the difference in the 'couple' and 'rabbit' images. As for the magic trick, I think I prefer Pickover's ESP experiment and the hilarious explanations people have come up with.
  • Never mind that! Tell us what changes in the rabbit! I can feel epilepsy coming on...
  • Yes! TELL US.
  • always been really good at noticing little things like that. I captured all the differences within 3 frames. I've always liked that though, like when i'm on the road going really fast, I try to notice all the folliage and things that are closest (therefore faster moving) and I usually just see everything...I guess it helps to think that you're a superhero with super-vision when you're a little kid! ^_^
  • .qrenrocqthgirqrewolqniqdubqfaelq (Remove the q's, then reverse for solution to rabbit image.)
  • The only thing more frustrating than not being able to see the change is not being able to not see the change once you've found it.
  • Koant, the ESP trick is the first visual cognition test I ever did but I didn't understand it at first (in the sense that I got the trick, but didn't realise *that* was the trick so I thought my computer has screwed up somehow) -- very clever and the twisted rationales offered are great.
  • Holy crap. The bunny one took forever.
  • Check out some of the videos here. Go down to the one for "Inattentional Blindness..." and do the videos in the first section. Somewhat popular experiment, have read about it a number of times. I knew what to look for, so it was too easy, I'd like to know how the other monkeys fare. Don't read about it before doing, just check it out.
  • I saw the change fairly quickly -- maybe 3 or 4 flashes -- but I had to go back and look for several minutes to find the rabbit. I guess I'm suffering from Fudd Syndrome or something.
  • Same here. The only one that stumped me was the rabbit picture. All the others took me between 3 to about 8 flashes to get it right. The couple one was interesting, cos I actually saw the change from the third flash onwards, but I kept thinking it was the background changing, not the foreground. Weird.
  • That bunny is truly evil. I didn't see it until wanderingstan gave a clue. But on the video's link LoopyG gave, I spotted them almost straight away. Must be a static vs motion thing for my brain. Damn bunny, now I can't see properly.
  • The selective inattention video won't work unless you don't know anything about it going into it, and you're told to count the throws or something like that. I've been hawking this guy's book for a couple of years now
  • the easy way to find what changes is to save the gif and open it in an app like quicktime player, where you control the animation rate. if you see one image cut straight to the next without the white flash frame, you'll see it immediately. of course that negates the whole point, but who wants to know they're "change-blind" anyway.