A Video Illusion: Can You Spot the Change?

We’re a bit embarrassed to admit that it took us three times to spot the change in this fascinating video illusion at New Scientist, even after reading about the research behind the video. The test was developed by Kevin O’Regan and his team at the University of Paris Descartes as part of their work on perception. O’Regan is best known for his work on change blindness, our relative inability to perceive gradual change, and our tendency to focus solely on what we perceive to be the most dynamic or interesting element of a scene.

If this video isn’t enough to convince of you of O’Regan’s theories, he’s posted a whole slew of demonstrations at his website. Better yet, you can dispel any remaining doubts (or self-esteem) by taking this awareness test, which is even more dramatic. It bowled us over. Let us know in the comments if it did the same for you.

via Kirstin Butler

Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.



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by | Permalink | Comments (10) |

  • Amber

    It didn’t take me long. First time through, I noticed before they did the obvious segment.

  • Alex

    Oh, so you mean the change wasn’t the transition between the O’Charley’s advertisement and the video of the carousel? :)

    Took me two go-arounds, have to say.

  • Andrew

    I got it on the first try without a problem. I really don’t understand how you could miss it, but I guess that’s easy to say if you find it.

  • Sheerly

    These comments are humbling, to say the least :).

  • http://cannonballjones.wordpress.com Paul

    Managed to spot it just before the spoiler hit. Very interesting and incidentally a wonderful example of how evolution works – tiny imperceptible changes which result in massive change over time :-)

  • heather

    Caught it…seemed kinda obvious.

  • Carolina

    It took me two times :P

  • Gary Goldstein

    OMG! I missed it. I thought the change would be subtle. However, it was such a big difference between the ending and the beginning. The gradual shades of change in-between went right past my visual ability.

    Fascinating work by O’Regan. Thank you.

    Congratulations to those of you who saw the change.

  • William Lever

    I, too, caught it on the 3rd go around–I was scouring the minutiae–until it occured to me that the change might be otherwise–it was inobviously obvious. Good one! And it says whole bunches toward the accuracy of O’Regan’s theories.

  • Chandler

    Really? Commercials now?

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