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Emotion-Induced Blindness

  1. Aug 17, 2005 #1

    dduardo

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    Ahh....I'm blind..... :bugeye:

    Psychologists at Vanderbilt have found out that you can go temporary blind for up to 0.5 seconds by seeing violent images.

    There is a flash based test on the page to see if you go temporary blind. Be advised of the warning. The image is pretty intense.

    http://exploration.vanderbilt.edu/news/news_rubberneck.htm
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2005 #2
    I saw each of the images everytime. Guess it doesn't work on me.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    Um, I don't think it worked for me. I found the target image in the first sequence after two attempts (long delay between the "negative" and target image), found it in the second sequence (shorter delay between the negative and target image) after about 4 attempts, and had a really hard time finding it in the last sequence (neutral image substituted for target image)...I think I clicked on it about 10 times before I spotted it. Unless I find something particularly disturbing about fire hydrants, I'm unconvinced.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2005 #4

    dduardo

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    They could be showing more intense images. That bloody hand was a joke. I think all the tv/video games has desensitized us. Interesting theory anyhow.
     
  6. Aug 17, 2005 #5

    Evo

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    I think they're off a bit, it seems anything that grabs your attention causes you to miss what comes next. I can't see the two pictures after the barn because it catches my eye.
     
  7. Aug 17, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    I tend to agree with that. I'm still not sure where the fire hydrant even is in that last sequence, let alone the sideways image that's supposed to come after it. I think something that contrasts with all the other images distracts you for a moment. They could probably put something like a flag in the midst of all those landscape photos and get the same effect since it would contrast with all the blue-green scenery backgrounds.
     
  8. Aug 17, 2005 #7

    dduardo

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    Yeah, that's probably it.
     
  9. Aug 18, 2005 #8

    honestrosewater

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    Can someone please tell me what exactly the violent images are? I want to take the test, but certain things will cause me to have something like a panic attack, which I don't want to deal with now. You can put it in white, so it doesn't spoil things for everyone else.
     
  10. Aug 18, 2005 #9

    dduardo

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    It's a bloody hand.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2005 #10

    honestrosewater

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    The bloody hand doesn't bother me. I still can't figure out what the target image is. And I only count 8 or 9 images. Maybe I'm just slow. :yuck:
     
  12. Aug 18, 2005 #11

    brewnog

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    It all went far too fast for me! I could make out what some of the pictures were, but couldn't spot the target, even in the first one.
     
  13. Aug 18, 2005 #12
    I didn't make the target image out any time at all except once in sec. A, and even then it was only an outline I saw.
     
  14. Aug 18, 2005 #13

    arildno

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    Complete and utter psychologists' nonsense!
    I agree fully with Evo on this.
    This has to do with that if your attention is caught up with something very interesting or unusual, well then it isn't as receptive for other signals.
    To say that "momentary blindness is caused" by this, is just unscientific twisting of words.

    After all, if you read a really good book on your way home, you don't really notice how the bus bumps, the chatter behind you, or the sexy person going down the aisle (ok, that last one is perhaps dubious..)

    Should we therefore say that reading a great book causes momentary loss of the tactile sense, our balance sense, our hearing as well as our sight??
     
  15. Aug 18, 2005 #14
    Yeah. Reading makes you blind. My doctor said so.
     
  16. Aug 18, 2005 #15

    Moonbear

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    That's why I had to keep replaying it.

    I agree with all the others claiming it's nonsense. You have a bunch of images that are all pretty much the same and nearly impossible to distinguish from one another as they blink past you too fast to focus on anything, then suddenly one image that's strikingly different...different colors, different patterns, mostly empty space with an object in the middle...and they're trying to conclude something from that about their subjective determination of what is a "negative" vs. a "neutral" image?

    It probably also depends on which target image they use. Their illustration shows a sideways lighthouse, and the demonstration uses sideways trees. It would probably be easier to spot a lighthouse (sideways or otherwise) than trees amidst a series of images of other trees.

    All it tells me is if you blink images past me in such rapid succession, I can't possibly spot them all. I wonder if they considered the position of the image in the series? For instance, is it easier to spot the 10th image than the 4th one if it takes a moment to react to and focus on the blur of images?

    Edit: I just went and played it again. Oddly, the images didn't seem to fly by me as rapidly this time as they did last night! And I'm on a faster connection. :confused: I had no problem finding the target image on the first pass in all three this time, but it helped to know what the target image was that I was looking for, and that's what I focused in on...I didn't even notice the bloody hand this time! :bugeye: Now I'm thinking it's biased toward knowing what you're looking for. If you're told there's going to be a possibly gorey image, that's what your eyes are looking for. You're going to spot that first (it's hard to know what to look for regarding a sideways image when it could be of absolutely anything). If I was told to look for a lighthouse, or a mailbox, I don't know if I'd notice the gorey image in the series while scanning for the object I'm interested in. Maybe if they just told me to look for a sideways image and didn't warn me of what else might be in the photo, I'd have had no trouble on the first try. Seems like a good test of the power of suggestion on what we see!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2005
  17. Aug 18, 2005 #16

    honestrosewater

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    The tree WAS sideways?! :rofl:
     
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