Hidden in Plain View

Feb 26, 2012


Our senses are constantly processing sights, sounds, smells and touch. Most of these do not reach our consciousness. We only become aware of some of the inputs that pass through our brain.

How do we decide what to pay attention to?

On Feb 17th this year, psychologist Ulric Neisser passed away. He worked in the areas of

cognition and memory, and was famous for his experiments on Inattentional Blindness – why don’t we notice things that are in plain view?

In his blog posting “How to Live Forever“, Richard Wiseman directs us to these videos,

Dan Simons made a famous ‘cover’ of Neisser’s original  experiment in 1999


This is the original 1975 version/

Did your focus on the basketballers cause you to miss the ‘out of the ordinary’ things in these videos?

Wiseman writes

“And that’s what great about science. Your work doesn’t die with you, but instead leaves a lasting legacy for future generations. In many ways, you live forever. Ulric, your work showed that people often don’t see what is right in front of their eyes. We shall miss you too.”


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