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Blinded by magic: eye-movements reveal the misdirection of attention.

Barnhart AS, Goldinger SD - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: In an eye-tracking experiment, participants watched videos of a new magic trick, wherein a coin placed beneath a napkin disappears, reappearing under a different napkin.Nevertheless, we observed high rates of IB.Unlike prior research, eye-movements during the critical event showed different patterns for participants, depending upon whether they saw the moving coin.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Research Lab, Department of Psychological Sciences, Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ, USA.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies (e.g., Kuhn and Tatler, 2005) have suggested that magic tricks can provide a powerful and compelling domain for the study of attention and perception. In particular, many stage illusions involve attentional misdirection, guiding the observer's gaze to a salient object or event, while another critical action, such as sleight of hand, is taking place. Even if the critical action takes place in full view, people typically fail to see it due to inattentional blindness (IB). In an eye-tracking experiment, participants watched videos of a new magic trick, wherein a coin placed beneath a napkin disappears, reappearing under a different napkin. Appropriately deployed attention would allow participants to detect the "secret" event that underlies the illusion (a moving coin), as it happens in full view and is visible for approximately 550 ms. Nevertheless, we observed high rates of IB. Unlike prior research, eye-movements during the critical event showed different patterns for participants, depending upon whether they saw the moving coin. The results also showed that when participants watched several "practice" videos without any moving coin, they became far more likely to detect the coin in the critical trial. Taken together, the findings are consistent with perceptual load theory (Lavie and Tsal, 1994).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Fixation locations at midpoint of coin's movement on the experimental trial as a function of Preview and Inattentional Blindness. The overlay procedure used to create this graphic makes the coins invisible, as they were in subtly different positions at their temporal midpoint across the two experimental videos.
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Figure 2: Fixation locations at midpoint of coin's movement on the experimental trial as a function of Preview and Inattentional Blindness. The overlay procedure used to create this graphic makes the coins invisible, as they were in subtly different positions at their temporal midpoint across the two experimental videos.

Mentions: Our first analysis examined fixation distances (in pixel space) from the coin, measured at the midpoint of the coin's movement on the experimental trial. Figure 2 depicts the fixation locations of participants as a function of Preview and IB. The mean fixation distances are presented in Table 1. The Euclidean distance was calculated from the fixation coordinates sampled at the temporal midpoint of the coin's movement and the coordinates of the coin's location. These values were then analyzed in a univariate ANOVA with between-subjects factors Preview (no-preview, preview) and IB (blind, not blind). This analysis produced only a reliable effect of Preview, F(1, 63) = 5.08, p = 0.03, η2p = 0.08. The fixation positions of participants in the Preview condition were an average of 79 pixels closer to the moving coin than those in the No-Preview condition. We carried out the same analysis on fixation locations at the midpoint of the coin's movement during the free-viewing trial. On this trial, there was a marginal effect of IB, F(1, 63) = 3.72, p = 0.058, η2p = 0.06, with IB participants fixating locations farther from the moving coin than no-IB participants. There was no effect of Preview, F(1, 63) = 1.78, p = 0.19, η2p = 0.03.


Blinded by magic: eye-movements reveal the misdirection of attention.

Barnhart AS, Goldinger SD - Front Psychol (2014)

Fixation locations at midpoint of coin's movement on the experimental trial as a function of Preview and Inattentional Blindness. The overlay procedure used to create this graphic makes the coins invisible, as they were in subtly different positions at their temporal midpoint across the two experimental videos.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4269107&req=5

Figure 2: Fixation locations at midpoint of coin's movement on the experimental trial as a function of Preview and Inattentional Blindness. The overlay procedure used to create this graphic makes the coins invisible, as they were in subtly different positions at their temporal midpoint across the two experimental videos.
Mentions: Our first analysis examined fixation distances (in pixel space) from the coin, measured at the midpoint of the coin's movement on the experimental trial. Figure 2 depicts the fixation locations of participants as a function of Preview and IB. The mean fixation distances are presented in Table 1. The Euclidean distance was calculated from the fixation coordinates sampled at the temporal midpoint of the coin's movement and the coordinates of the coin's location. These values were then analyzed in a univariate ANOVA with between-subjects factors Preview (no-preview, preview) and IB (blind, not blind). This analysis produced only a reliable effect of Preview, F(1, 63) = 5.08, p = 0.03, η2p = 0.08. The fixation positions of participants in the Preview condition were an average of 79 pixels closer to the moving coin than those in the No-Preview condition. We carried out the same analysis on fixation locations at the midpoint of the coin's movement during the free-viewing trial. On this trial, there was a marginal effect of IB, F(1, 63) = 3.72, p = 0.058, η2p = 0.06, with IB participants fixating locations farther from the moving coin than no-IB participants. There was no effect of Preview, F(1, 63) = 1.78, p = 0.19, η2p = 0.03.

Bottom Line: In an eye-tracking experiment, participants watched videos of a new magic trick, wherein a coin placed beneath a napkin disappears, reappearing under a different napkin.Nevertheless, we observed high rates of IB.Unlike prior research, eye-movements during the critical event showed different patterns for participants, depending upon whether they saw the moving coin.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Research Lab, Department of Psychological Sciences, Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ, USA.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies (e.g., Kuhn and Tatler, 2005) have suggested that magic tricks can provide a powerful and compelling domain for the study of attention and perception. In particular, many stage illusions involve attentional misdirection, guiding the observer's gaze to a salient object or event, while another critical action, such as sleight of hand, is taking place. Even if the critical action takes place in full view, people typically fail to see it due to inattentional blindness (IB). In an eye-tracking experiment, participants watched videos of a new magic trick, wherein a coin placed beneath a napkin disappears, reappearing under a different napkin. Appropriately deployed attention would allow participants to detect the "secret" event that underlies the illusion (a moving coin), as it happens in full view and is visible for approximately 550 ms. Nevertheless, we observed high rates of IB. Unlike prior research, eye-movements during the critical event showed different patterns for participants, depending upon whether they saw the moving coin. The results also showed that when participants watched several "practice" videos without any moving coin, they became far more likely to detect the coin in the critical trial. Taken together, the findings are consistent with perceptual load theory (Lavie and Tsal, 1994).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus