Navigation Links
If you're not looking for it, you probably won't see it
Date:7/19/2013

BostonIf you were working on something at your computer and a gorilla floated across your computer screen, would you notice it? You would like to think yes, however, research shows that people often miss such events when engaged in a difficult task. This is a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness (IB). In a new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, researchers have found that even expert searchers, operating in their domain of expertise, are vulnerable to inattentional blindness. This study published this week Psychological Science.

"When engaged in a demanding task, attention can act like a set of blinders, making it possible for stimuli to pass, undetected, right in front of our eyes," explained Trafton Drew, PhD, post-doctoral researcher at BWH and lead author on this study. "We found that even experts are vulnerable to this phenomenon."

The researchers asked 24 radiologists to perform a familiar lung nodule detection task. They examined five scans; each scan contained an average of 10 nodules. A gorilla, 48 times larger than the average nodule, was inserted in the last scan. The researchers found that 83 percent of radiologists did not report seeing the gorilla. With the help of Melissa Le-Hoa Vo, post-doctoral researcher at BWH, the researchers tracked the eye-movements of the radiologists and found that that the majority of those who missed the gorilla looked directly at it.

"The radiologists missed the gorillas not because they could not see them, but because the way their brains had framed what they were doing. They were looking for cancer nodules, not gorillas," explained Jeremy Wolfe, senior psychologist and director of the Visual Attention Laboratory at BWH. "This study helps illustrate that what we become focused on becomes the center of our world, and it shapes what we can and cannot see."

The researchers note that it would be a mistake to regard these results as an indictment of radiologists and stress that even this high level of expertise does not immunize against inherent attentional limitations of what we perceive. The results suggest that even expert searchers typically only see what they are looking for, and are often unaware of the unexpected. The researchers hope that the results will lead more expert searchers to recognize the important role of attention in determining what the searcher will find and what they may miss.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessica Maki
jmaki3@partners.org
617-534-1603
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Understanding the past and predicting the future by looking across space and time
2. Bees attracted to contrasting colors when looking for nectar
3. Looking into a flys eyes
4. Leaner Navy looking at future technology, fleet size and sequestration
5. Looking for the next American hyrax?
6. Better looking birds have more help at home with their chicks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2017)... 2017 A new independent identity strategy consultancy ... (IdSP) . Designed to fill a critical niche in ... founding partners Mark Crego and Janice ... in identity expertise that span federal governments, the 9/11 ... Crego-Kephart combined expertise has a common theme born from ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... Mass. , Jan. 31, 2017  Spero ... novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, ... set of antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio ... increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative ... Cantab Anti Infectives Ltd, a PBB group company. ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... YORK , Jan. 24, 2017 ... study of the laboratory use of nuclear magnetic ... 363 experienced end-users and profiled current practices, developments, ... years, as well as growth and opportunities. These ... Instrument suppliers, NMR instruments, needs and innovation requirements, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... February 28, 2017 , ... Patient travel is ... expertise. Colpitts Clinical Trial Travel and Expense , a division of global ... need within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the United States, Europe, and ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... February 28, 2017 , ... Over 8,000 recognized rare diseases ... new educational webinar on March 7, DrugDev will gather international experts to ... especially difficult area. , Webinar: Overcoming the Challenges of Rare Disease Clinical Trials, ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... , ... February 28, 2017 , ... ... high-impact life science and biotechnology companies today announced it named Joan Siefert ... be based out of Durham, NC and will begin work immediately. , Rose ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. ... stage regenerative medicine company developing unique biologic products for ... and chronic tendon degeneration, today announced it has recently ... have committed to work with RepliCel to get the ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: