Inattentional Blindness

  title={Inattentional Blindness},
  author={Arien Mack},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={180 - 184}
  • A. Mack
  • Published 1 October 2003
  • Philosophy
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
Surprising as it may seem, research shows that we rarely see what we are looking at unless our attention is directed to it. This phenomenon can have serious life-and-death consequences. Although the inextricable link between perceiving and attending was noted long ago by Aristotle, this phenomenon, now called inattentional blindness (IB), only recently has been named and carefully studied. Among the many questions that have been raised about IB are questions about the fate of the clearly… 
Inattentional Blindness: Perception or Memory and What Does It Matter?
An extensive research program surrounding a phenomenon called inattentional blindness is reported by Mack and Rock (1998) in their book of the same name. The general conclusion that is drawn from the
Blinded by irrelevance: pure irrelevance induced "blindness".
The results are a first demonstration of blindness when mental resources are clearly available and challenge attentional theories predicting strong selection only when resources are taxed.
What you see is what you set: sustained inattentional blindness and the capture of awareness.
The authors conclude that many--but not all--aspects of attention capture apply to inattentional blindness but that these 2 classes of phenomena remain importantly distinct.
Guessing right: Preconscious processing in inattentional blindness
The present study substantiated and generalised limited evidence by reanalysing 16 datasets in regard to participants’ guessing accuracy in multiple-choice questions concerning the unexpected object: Participants who did not notice the critical object showed guessing accuracy that lay significantly above chance.
The attentional cost of inattentional blindness
Inattentional Blindness : A Failure of the Visual System ?
Inattentional blindness, the act of failing to notice clearly visible, salient objects in one’s environment when engaged in a task is of great interest due to both its commonality and its overall
The Penny Drops: Change Blindness at Fixation
It is demonstrated that participants fail to detect a change in identity of a coin during a magic trick even though eyetracking indicates that the coin is tracked by the eyes throughout the trick, which suggests that during naturalistic viewing, attention can be focused on an object at fixation without including all of its features.
How Meaning Shapes Seeing
The results showed that an unexpected stimulus belonging to the attended semantic category but not sharing physical features with the attended stimuli was detected more often than a semantically unrelated stimulus, implying that the semantic relation between the observer's attentional set and the unexpected stimulus plays a crucial role in inattentional blindness.
Misdirected by the gap: The relationship between inattentional blindness and attentional misdirection


Inattentional blindness versus inattentional amnesia for fixated but ignored words.
Functional imaging is used to demonstrate true inattentional blindness for words and show that visual recognition wholly depends on attention even for highly familiar and meaningful stimuli at the center of gaze.
What we see: Inattention and the capture of attention by meaning
Gorillas in Our Midst: Sustained Inattentional Blindness for Dynamic Events
A new study builds on classic studies of divided visual attention to examine inattentional blindness for complex objects and events in dynamic scenes and suggests that the likelihood of noticing an unexpected object depends on the similarity of that object to other objects in the display and on how difficult the priming monitoring task is.
Inattentional Amnesia
Imagine that you are on the street and someone pulls you aside to ask you directions. You begin to engage this person in conversation. For mysterious reasons, in the middle of this conversation,
How not to be Seen: The Contribution of Similarity and Selective Ignoring to Sustained Inattentional Blindness
A new approach to the study of sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events is presented in order to explore the roles of similarity, distinctiveness, and attentional set in the detection of unexpected objects.
  • R. Rafal
  • Psychology, Biology
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology
  • 1994
Change Blindness
People often fail to notice large changes to visual scenes, a phenomenon now known as change blindness. The extent of change blindness in visual perception suggests limits on our capacity to encode,
Current Approaches to Change Blindness
Across saccades, blinks, blank screens, movie cuts, and other interruptions, observers fail to detect substantial changes to the visual details of objects and scenes. This inability to spot changes
Are eyes special? It depends on how you look at it
Test data provide important insight into the nature of the representations of directional stimuli involved in reflexive attentional orienting, and show that nonpredictive eyes and arrows are not subserved by the same brain systems.
A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness.
It is proposed that seeing is a way of acting, which provides a natural and principled way of accounting for visual consciousness, and for the differences in the perceived quality of sensory experience in the different sensory modalities.