Thoughts on Change Blindness and the Evolutionary Perspective

On the weekly discussion board, one of my classmate brought up the topic. I don’t think human beings are evolving to be less alert with animate creatures. Moving objects always manage to catch eyes because they activate our ventral stream of our vision fields at a higher level. In my opinion, it takes more processes and energy for the brain to translate the moving objects into equally valuable information comparing to still objects and hence the brain prioritizes the visual processing of the animate objects like prioritized threads in computers. Regarding to the second paper and its experiment in Rachel’s post, a key requisite for better performance recognizing stable objects is the control of background visual characters. I would argue that under unchanged visual background, the selected attention is highly activated as proposed in the attention lab. Therefore, it’s possible that selected attention are better detecting still objects comparing to moving ones, as moving objects behave too randomly for selected attention to focus on.

Finally, an interesting finding is that the prevalent screens of electronic devices could impact on how human beings mindfully attend to objects. Studies have found that screens have largely lower the attention span of pre-school aged kids, and a particular study by Zivan supported a negative relationship between attention-related patterns and screen exposures for kids (2019). I am thinking: if human in the near future (VR for all?), soon gain most of the visual information from the screens instead of the real world, would our attention functionality change as all the animate objects are technically presented within the still screen? Or is there a line where the contents presented on the screens are real enough so that the brain, and the attention mechanism specifically treat the contents on screens as if they are real.

Source:

Zivan et al. 2019,“Screen-exposure and altered brain activation related to attention in preschool children: An EEG study” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31685126/

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