Change blindness/Inattentional blindness

Even when we look in the direction of an object, if we’re not paying attention to it, we may not remember much about it … or even notice it. This experience of “looking but not seeing” is due to inattentional blindness. We can also be inattentionally blind to changing information.

Change blindness is studied with a flickering-image task. Trials involve what is essentially a 4-frame movie that loops. The 4 frames consist of an original image (300 ms), a blank grey screen (84 ms), a modified image in which one element is changed (300 ms), another blank grey screen (84 ms), the original image again, and so on. The participant views what looks like a flickering photo and is asked to locate the changing information (a deceptively difficult task).

Again, on each trial in this type of experiment, the observer sees one version of an image, followed by a modified version of that image. Typical modifications involve colour, size, or location. The difference between the two images could be, for example, an object that disappears/reappears, changes colour, changes size, appears in alternation at two different locations, etc.

Try our online demo below!

Online Demo

Try our online demo! (WARNING: This image will rapidly flicker.)