September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Not So Moving: Irrelevance blindness with moving irrelevant stimuli
Author Affiliations
  • Adam Kimbler
    Eastern Kentucky University
  • Jason Hays
    Eastern Kentucky University
  • Amanda Renfro
    Eastern Kentucky University
  • D. Alexander Varakin
    Eastern Kentucky University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 440. doi:
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      Adam Kimbler, Jason Hays, Amanda Renfro, D. Alexander Varakin; Not So Moving: Irrelevance blindness with moving irrelevant stimuli. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):440.

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

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Inattentional blindness is the failure to notice unexpected objects when attention is occupied by a demanding cover task (Mack & Rock, 1998). It was widely assumed that a demanding cover task was necessary for inattentional blindness to occur. However, recent research (Eitam, Yeshurun, & Hassan, 2013) suggests that even under minimal attentional load, observers have reduced awareness of objects that are not related to the cover task. This effect is called irrelevance blindness, because visual features escape awareness due to irrelevance, not limited attentional resources. Previous research on irrelevance blindness demonstrates reduced awareness of visual features like color. The purpose of the current study is to examine whether irrelevance blindness occurs when irrelevant objects are moving. Observers (n = 80) were instructed to identify the color of a rectangle that was presented centrally on a display and surrounded by a field of 250 moving dots (each 10 pixels in diameter) all moving in the same direction (either up, down, left or right). Participants were not informed about the moving dots at all. Each observer viewed a single 500ms display. Immediately after the display offset, participants were first asked about the features of the irrelevant moving dots’ color and direction motion, and then about the color of the relevant central shape. Only individuals (n = 72) who accurately identified the central shape’s color were included in the analysis. Of these, 25 participants (35%) failed to identify the color of the dots and 23 participants (32%) failed to identify the direction in which the dot was moving. These results suggest irrelevance blindness can occur even if the irrelevant stimuli are moving.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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