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Friday, February 12, 2016 - 12:00pm

IRCS Conference Room

Jeremy Wolfe
Visual Attention Lab
Harvard University

Dancing chickens and gorillas in the lung: If I can see so much, why do I miss so much?

When you open your eyes on a new scene, you immediately see something. You can understand the basic ‘gist’ of that scene within a fraction of a second. You can remember that scene for days after a just a few seconds exposure. Nevertheless, we can easily show that you are ‘blind’ or at least remarkably amnesic about very basic aspects of what you have just seen. Moreover, if you want to find a specific object in that scene, you are going to need to search. That search might be quick and efficient or slower and inefficient. I will attempt to explain this seemingly contradictory collection of abilities and limits. Moreover, I will discuss the impact of these aspects of normal human vision and attention on important tasks like airport security and cancer screening.