Change blindness

Magic and the Brain
Scientific American 299, 72 – 79 (2008)
Susana Martinez-Conde & Stephen L. Macknik
•Magic tricks often work by covert misdirection, drawing the spectator’s attention away from the secret “method” that makes a trick work.
•Neuroscientists are scrutinizing magic tricks to learn how they can be put to work in experimental studies that probe aspects of consciousness not necessarily grounded in current sensory reality.
•Brain imaging shows that some regions are particularly active during certain kinds of magic tricks.

Scientific American 18, 16 – 17 (2008)
Vilayanur S. Ramachandran & Diane Rogers-Ramachandran
We have eyes, yet we do not see.
PRETEND YOU ARE a member of an audience watching several people dribbling and passing a basketball among themselves. Your job is to count the number of times each player makes a pass to another person during a 60-second period.

Change-blindness as a result of ‘mudsplashes’
Nature 398, 34 (4 March 1999)
J. Kevin O’Regan, Ronald A. Rensink & James J. Clark
Change-blindness occurs when large changes are missed under natural viewing conditions because they occur simultaneously with a brief visual disruption, perhaps caused by an eye movement, a flicker, a blink, or a camera cut in a film sequence.
We have found that this can occur even when the disruption does not cover or obscure the changes.
When a few small, high-contrast shapes are briefly spattered over a picture, like mudsplashes on a car windscreen, large changes can be made simultaneously in the scene without being noticed.
This phenomenon is potentially important in driving, surveillance or navigation, as dangerous events occurring in full view can go unnoticed if they coincide with even very small, apparently innocuous, disturbances. It is also important for understanding how the brain represents the world.

Big Fish Stories Getting Littler
by Robert Krulwich
February 05, 2014


Richard Gregory’s Dalmatian image

Richard Gregory’s Dalmatian image

when we are talking about elite art, such as art galleries, classic music, even very good rock concerts, there is much more to it than just hyper-stimulation. There is an aspect of cleverness involved. One of them has to do with what Ramachandran calls a “pick-a-boo” principle in our brain. This is perfectly illustrated in Richard Gregory’s Dalmatian image.

Now, if you look at the image, you see pure black spots on a white background. But if you keep looking at it, you’ll notice a “pattern”, that of a dalmatian dog. When your mind finds out that it fits the Dalmatian pattern and “solves” the image puzzle, it reacts as if it said “Aha! There it is!”

figure used by:
Introduction to Neuroeconomics: how the brain makes decisions
Coursera. July 2014

Ramachandran: 3 clues to understanding your brain

VS Ramachandran: 3 clues to understanding your brain
Mar 2007

Vilayanur Ramachandran tells us what brain damage can reveal about the connection between celebral tissue and the mind, using three startling delusions as examples.

Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran looks deep into the brain’s most basic mechanisms.
By working with those who have very specific mental disabilities caused by brain injury or stroke, he can map functions of the mind to physical structures of the brain.

Bouba/kiki effect