What gorilla?

Telegraph.co.uk reports in today’s issue about an experiment where people were asked to watch a tape of people playing with basketballs and count the number of times the balls are passed.

After the tape is over, the scientists (article did not mention their fields of study) asked viewers if they saw the woman in the gorilla suit? Story says half reported not seeing a gorilla. For a group that were asked to just watch the tape, the gorilla was easily seen.

The experiment is used to help explain traffic accidents “when a driver ‘looked but failed to see’, and other examples of mayhem and mishap in everyday life.” The explanation is that the brain processes only so many messages and the focus on the passing basketballs causes it to ignore the visual messages of the woman in the gorilla suit. The experiment is not new; it’s been around awhile.

Tip: Crooked Timber. Here’s a link to the tape. I saw the gorilla, but, then I knew what to look for didn’t I?

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