Change Awareness


(YouTube link)

First, watch the video. Then come back and read the rest of this description. J.W. Suchow and G.A. Alvarez studied how motion affected awareness of color change in their research on change blindness. Try it yourself!

Keep your eyes fixed on the small white mark in the center. At first, the ring is stationary and it's easy to tell that the dots are changing. A few seconds later, the ring begins to rotate and the dots suddenly appear to stop changing.

But play the movie again, this time looking directly at one of the dots and following it as the ring rotates. You will see that, in fact, the dots had been changing the whole time, even during the rotation—you just didn't notice it. This failure to detect that moving objects are changing is silencing.

The findings were published in the journal Current Biology, with an abstract available online. Link -Thanks, Rob Hartmann!


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One thing that I noticed is that the rotation isn't smooth and the rate seems to be closely matched to the rate at which the colours chang and seem to "progress" around the ring.
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Like samuel, I still see colors change when it all rotates, but it seems like fewer of them change. I'd heard of this research earlier, but even so I think I'd have thought the same thing - still some change, but less of it.
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This was pointless. Sadly Neatorama has started to be come more and more less neat over the past month. I pressed play before I read anything and stared at the center dot and could see what was happening.
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