August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
A Flick of the Wrist: Abrupt change in direction of motion induces change blindness
Author Affiliations
  • Richard Yao
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 18. doi:
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      Richard Yao; A Flick of the Wrist: Abrupt change in direction of motion induces change blindness. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):18. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Through misdirection and sleight of hand, magicians transform the visual world in front of us without our noticing, effectively inducing change blindness (until they draw attention to what changed). Given that magicians have developed methods for directing attention over centuries, their intuitions about the factors that contribute to change blindness might reveal mechanisms previously unobserved by vision scientists. Here I test one observation made by magician Dariel Fitzkee in Magic by Misdirection: "A sudden change in the direction of a movement, as from a horizontal path of action to a vertical one, in making a pass, is a distraction." Subjects were asked to detect the rotation of a gabor patch in an array of moving gabors. Rotating the patch at the moment of an abrupt change in motion direction did attenuate change detection relative to when the patch rotated during continuous motion. A series of further experiments explored this new phenomenon in order to understand how and why it modulates attention and change detection. Past methods for inducing change blindness involved redirecting attention to preclude localization of a change signal. The current effect may function similarly, perhaps by introducing a motion transient as a result of the direction change or by occupying attention with the recalculation of trajectory.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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