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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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This could have been a post over on Found on the Web, but it seemed generally interesting:

Watch this video and count the number of times the people in white shirts pass the basketball. I promise this isn’t any sort of disgusting trick (i.e., no goatse). Now watch it again without counting anything, just watch it straight through. Did you notice anything different?

I sure did. I can’t believe I didn’t spot the object the first time. I wonder whether it shows the blindness towards things not focused on or the power of distraction. In the former case, it’s pretty clear that when you focus on a specific item or activity much of the other objects or activities go unnoticed. In the latter case, there are so many elements in motion that it’s easy to miss something unusual. Moreover, you have to wonder whether such a visual omission would have occurred if you were actually watching in person rather than in a postage-stamp-sized video clip. I don’t think you would.

In conclusion, interesting demonstration but probably too muddled experimentally to be of any cognitive value.