What do you see?

A friend of mine recently sent me a video of a fascinating study that looked at the limits of perception, attention and awareness.

The study was on inattentional (or perceptual) blindness. It was done by Daniel Simons, University of Indiana and Christopher Chabris, Harvard University.

The study produced a series of videos that test awareness. While I cannot provide a link to the original videos, several have been remade as public service announcements.

Watch this video and count the number of passes the team in white makes.

If you enjoyed that video, this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAnKvo-fPs0 expands on the topic and features an interview Daniel Simons (sorry – embedding disabled on this one).

Watching these videos made me wonder how much we overlook in the course of doing our jobs. As an educator, what can I be looking at differently while trying to help people learn? As engineers, can we 'relax' our brains to see a bigger problem that needs to be solved?

In closing, these videos may also help explain how illusionists operate or why I don’t notice the dirty dishes in the sink