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Mark W. Becker, Sara Vera; Attentional filtering of repetitive transients reduces change blindness. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):649. doi: 10.1167/7.9.649.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
From a practical standpoint, change blindness may seldom occur in the real world. For instance, the odds of an object changing in perfect synchrony with a person's eye blinks or saccades seem fairly slim. Thus, in the real world, people's transient detection system may allow for excellent change detection. However, O'Regan, Rensink, and Clark (1999) reported that distracting transients that co-occur with a change produce change blindness. This finding may have real-world implications because there are often multiple objects that produce continuous transients. For instance, while sitting in your living room the VCR clock may be blinking and the ceiling fan may be rotating. These objects produce visual transients, but they are also repetitive, localized, and to some degree predictable. The question we ask is whether these types of repetitive transients produce change blindness. In four experiments we find that repeatedly presenting distracting transients prior to a change produces a recovery from change blindness. This recovery is not due solely to low-level neural adaptation of transient detectors, but instead seems to be based on attentional filtering of the distracting transient signals. Finally, this attentional filtering can be object- rather than location-based.
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