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 Post subject: Selective attention
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Are you good at tracking the ball? Can you get the number right the first time through the video?

..... selective attention test

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:57 am 
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Post off topic. Start in another thread.

The moderator.


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:39 pm 
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WSJ.com wrote:
The Gorilla Lurking Where We Can't See It

By ALISON GOPNIK

Imagine that you are a radiologist searching through scans of lung tissue for abnormalities. On one scan, right next to a suspicious nodule, there is the image of a large, threatening gorilla. What would you do? Write to the American Medical Association? Check yourself into the schizophrenia clinic next door? Track down the practical joker among the lab technicians?

In fact, you probably wouldn't do anything. That is because, although you were staring right at the gorilla, you probably wouldn't have seen it. That startling fact shows just how little we understand about consciousness.

In the journal Psychological Science, Trafton Drew and colleagues report that they got radiologists to look for abnormalities in a series of scans, as they usually do. But then they added a gorilla to some of the scans. The gorilla gradually faded into the scans and then gradually faded out, since people are more likely to notice a sudden change than a gradual one. When the experimenters asked the radiologists if they had seen anything unusual, 83% said no. An eye-tracking machine showed that radiologists missed the gorilla even when they were looking straight at it.

This study is just the latest to demonstrate what psychologists call "inattentional blindness." When we pay careful attention to one thing, we become literally blind to others—even startling ones like gorillas.

In one classic study, Dan Simons and Christopher Chabris showed people a video of students passing a ball around. They asked the viewers to count the number of passes, so they had to pay attention to the balls. In the midst of the video, someone in a gorilla suit walked through the players. Most of the viewers, who were focused on counting the balls, didn't see the gorilla at all. You can experience similar illusions yourself at invisiblegorilla.com. It is an amazingly robust phenomenon—I am still completely deceived by each new example.

You might think this is just a weird thing that happens with videos in a psychology lab. But in the new study, the radiologists were seasoned professionals practicing a real and vitally important skill. Yet they were also blind to the unexpected events.

In fact, we are all subject to inattentional blindness all the time. That is one of the foundations of magic acts. Psychologists have started collaborating with professional magicians to figure out how their tricks work. It turns out that if you just keep your audience's attention focused on the rabbit, they literally won't even see what you're doing with the hat.

Inattentional blindness is as important for philosophers as it is for radiologists and magicians. Many philosophers have claimed that we can't be wrong about our conscious experiences. It certainly feels that way. But these studies are troubling. If you asked the radiologist about the gorilla, she'd say that she just experienced a normal scan in exactly the way she experienced the other scans—except that we know that can't be true. Did she have the experience of seeing the gorilla and somehow not know it? Or did she experience just the part of the scan with the nodule and invent the gorilla-free remainder?

At this very moment, as I stare at my screen and concentrate on this column, I'm absolutely sure that I'm also experiencing the whole visual field—the chair, the light, the view out my window. But for all I know, invisible gorillas may be all around me.

Many philosophical arguments about consciousness are based on the apparently certain and obvious intuitions we have about our experience. This includes, of course, arguments that consciousness just couldn't be explained scientifically. But scientific experiments like this one show that those beautifully clear and self-evident intuitions are really incoherent and baffling. We will have to wrestle with many other confusing, tricky, elusive gorillas before we understand how consciousness works.

Radiologists involved in an experiment on perception were looking at scans of lung tissue. An earlier version of this column referred incorrectly to the objects several times as slides.

A version of this article appeared August 10, 2013, on page C2 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The Gorilla Lurking Where We Can't See It.


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Here's a word defined in a quite literal sense. Ponder the application of the phrase in the case of the gorilla, and why "inattentional blindness" happens.

Wikipedia wrote:
Tunnel vision (also known as Kalnienk vision) is the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like field of vision.

Here's something we're allegedly supposed to be working on in Sanchin. The teacher starts with the training by watching the student's eyes.

Wikipedia wrote:
Mushin (無心; Japanese mushin; English translation "no mind") is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. They also practice this mental state during everyday activities. The term is shortened from mushin no shin (無心の心), a Zen expression meaning the mind without mind and is also referred to as the state of "no-mindness". That is, a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:42 pm 
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An interesting subject, and like everything, there is a yin to the yang. In the case of the radiologist, the gorilla is irrelevant to to the task at hand. If your task is to follow the ball, the gorilla again is irrelevant.

In the case of operating without logical, internal debate, there are yin and yang. One would be the complete absence of focus, as in meditation where the subconscious becomes aware through the senses. The other would be in concentration, or tunnel vision, where there is simply no room for extraneous thought.

I think they both have survival applications. There is the ability to sense subtle changes in the environment on the one hand, and once the changes become acute, there is the ability to act on a visceral level.

For some reason, this made me think of the "sheep, wolf, sheepdog" labels. It occurs to me that I have never met a person with eyes on the side of their head.


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:58 pm 
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The most immediate application I can think of is with many I have known who get their possessions stolen while traveling abroad. They seem to walk around with a ROB ME sign on their backs, and the wolves around them have their game down. This happens too routinely for me not to appreciate that there's a self-defense issue here.

Also of note is the general philosophy of Seisan kata, which also is taught to men in the military. Seisan has places in it where you're clearly scanning the horizon during and after an attack. (The second and third bent-over shokens, followed by 3 nukites in 3 different directions.) Fuzhou Suparinpei has a place where you clearly are turning your head back and forth before proceeding. There is an understanding that a threat of that magnitude is going to make you blind to other threats, and you need to compensate. The gorilla is a metaphor for that other threat which can take you out with ease.

Much has been written about this in the RBSD literature. *

Bill

* Learning From the American Tragedy: The Wounding and Killing of Law Enforcement Officers in the United States


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:01 pm 
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fivedragons wrote:
It occurs to me that I have never met a person with eyes on the side of their head.

This is an evolutionary trait.

Predators have eyes in the front with good binocular (3-dimensional) vision. That allows them to track and target their prey.

..... Wolf hunting

Typical prey have eyes on the sides of their heads. That makes for few blind spots while scanning the horizon for predators.

..... Rabbit running

The problem comes about when predator becomes prey. You cannot be excellent at both. But you can be pretty incredible at one task.

..... Eyes on the ball

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:54 pm 
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So... is your attention now properly tuned? Got mushin?

..... Dan Simons presents The Monkey Business Illusion

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Selective attention
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:29 pm 
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As I stalk the round rabbit, I will not be distracted by either clowns or curtains. Neither simian nor shade shall deter me from catching the bouncing bunny. :?


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