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