‘The true is the whole.’ –Hegel


Loud bangs, bright flashes, and intense shocks capture attention, but other changes – even those of similar magnitude – can go unnoticed. Demonstrations of change blindness have shown that observers fail to detect substantial alterations to a scene when distracted by an irrelevant flash, or when the alteration happen gradually.

Here, we show that objects changing in hue, luminance, size, or shape appear to stop changing when they move. This motion induced failure to detect change, silencing, persists even though the observer attends to the objects, knows that they are changing, and can make veridical judgments about their current state. Silencing demonstrates the tight coupling of motion and object appearance.

During silencing, rapidly changing objects appear nearly static, which raises an immediate question: What is the perceived state at any given moment? To illustrate, consider an observer who fails to notice an object change gradually from yellow to red. One possibility is that the observer always sees yellow, never updating his percept to incorporate the new hue – this is freezing, erroneously keeping hold of an outdated state. Another possibility is that he always sees the current hue (e.g. yellow, orange, then red) but is unaware of the transition from one to the next – this is implicit updating.

{ Motion Silences Awareness of Visual Change via Thoughts on thoughts | Continue reading }

photo { Christopher Williams }