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Cognitive Psychology

Abstract on Change Blindness

Sometimes it becomes difficult to notice certain changes that occur in a even a very clear view of an observer if they have been made during an eye blink, movement, or some other such kind of disturbance. This change blindness has been seen consistent with the application that is focused on the visual attention. The visual attention is necessary in order to observe a change. An experiment was done on a total of 314 participants among which 225 were females, 87 were males, and 2 were non-binary. Images were presented in stimulus pairs and the procedure was based on multiple trials and then observing. A one-way ANOVA was conducted that examined the effect of the colour presentation on proportion of detected changes. The assumption of normality and sphericity were met.

Introduction to Change Blindness

This laboratory report is based on the “change blindness”. Change blindness could be understood as a phenomenon of the visual observation that generally happens when any stimulus undergoes a certain change that left unnoticed by the observer. Up to now, the effect has been generated and seen by changing the images that are displayed on a screen along with changing the other objects in a particular environment (Attwood et al., 2018). Change blindness can be explained as the inability in noticing and detecting when any change occurs to a visual stimulus. This happens at the moment when the local visual transient was being produced by a change. And, this gets masked by a larger visual transient. These transient could be a screen flicker, saccadic eye movement, eye blink, or a cut in a motion picture. It could be also during the local visual transient that could have been produced by a change corresponds with the multiple local transients that too at other site (O’Regan et al., 2000). This could be termed as mud-splashes. These mud-splashes act as distractions and are the reason behind the change to be unnoticed. Change blindness has been turned out to be a very strong and vigorous effect that could be induced in a variety of ways as explained above. The generalization of this effect has designated as the association of the mechanisms fundamental to the way that have been perceived as surrounding (Simons and Rensink, 2005). The purpose of these mechanisms and the way they are associated with each other is outlying from complete. But, it is apparent that the visual attention is critical and to be more precise the results specify that the focused attention is required for the change perception (Rensink et al., 1997). Change blindness has been appeared as a strong way to explore the natural world of the visual attention and the function it plays in an individual’s perception of the world, if we focus on its strength of its effects and its rigid connection with attention. For conducting an experiment regarding the change blindness and observe the relative differences certain photographs or videos of the natural sights are used and are displayed on the computer screens. In few studies, the experiment for change blindness has been seen to take place in the scenarios that are more naturalistic. For this study, a greyscale set of the same images were created, used, and displayed. The main focus of this is, generally traditional flicker paradigm is used. In flicker paradigm an original image along with a modified image are used and displayed continually in an alternate manner, one after the other one. However, for this study traditional flicker paradigm is not used while a single image is presented twice. Images were presented in stimulus pairs where the colour condition of the original and changed image was varied. The four selected pairs were Colour-Colour, Colour-Greyscale, Greyscale-Greyscale, and Greyscale-Colour. The cognitive process behind them is that when we repeatedly view a single image, its picture somewhere remains in our sub conscious mind. When we watch an image for the first time in order to build a detailed representation of that image the cognitive system encodes as much of the details regarding the image as possible. When a single image will be viewed twice maximum details will be encoded in the cognitive system. While, in flickr’s paradigm there are two different images and along with the processing of new image, we unknowingly also try to compare both of the images. Thinking, what is in front of us and what we have seen earlier and then, comparing both of them. In this experiment, we are trying to identify the role played by colour with respect to our ability for successfully detecting the change that has occur. It has been known that the occurrence of colour has been concerned with the facilitation of the memory in different experimental paradigms; however, it is still not known whether the colour plays an important role or not during the phase of encoding or retrieval at the time of comparing the images for the detection of a change. To observe this, manipulation of the presence of colour would be done at the two viewing phases that will help in investigating the effects. The examination of the effect of colour presentation on proportion of detected changes would also be done.

Discussion on Change Blindness

To observe the change blindness a visual attention is necessary. A total number of 314 participants among which 225 were females, 87 were males, and 2 were non-binary. Images were presented in stimulus pairs and the procedure was based on multiple trials and then observing them. The stimulus pair was the matched pairs of images that has an original image symbolized by A and an image that showed change was symbolized by A’. The images that were used in the experiment were a modified version of the Change Blindness Database (Sareen et al., 2016). The four pairs for the study were Colour-Colour, Colour-Greyscale, Greyscale-Greyscale, and Greyscale-Colour. During the whole procedure, the participants were supposed to press “P” or “A” if any change has been detected or not respectively. According to a study presented by Simons et al., (2000) it has been stated that the design of an experiment regarding any change-detection should offer a way that enables to decouple the change, difference and motion. For decoupling the change that has occurred from motion, there are at least two strategies that are possible. The first one is the change can occur steadily enough that no significant attention is drawn to the accompanying motion signal. The second one is the change that can occur contingent on an event that can potentially generate a global motion signal. This global motion signal would swamp the localized signal that is linked with the change. The findings of our experiment has detected that the colour presentation have significantly prejudiced the percentage of the considerable changes that have been detected (F(2,1252) = 12.07, p < .001, ƞp2 = .03). As per the study of Levin & Simons, (1997) it has been seen that the dynamic nature of the scene representation relies on the attentional management. It says that deploying attention as efficiently as it could be possible. There is an important factor that lies here and it is the degree up to which the change is expected by the observer along with the believes of the observer that he finds the reporting relevant or not. As per the pattern of results as shown in Table 1 and Figure 2 it has been found that more changes were detected in the colour-greyscale (t(314) = .06, p < .004, d = 0.25) and in the colour-colour presentations (t(314) = .09, p < .001, d = 0.33) as compared to the greyscale-colour. Change detection was improved in the colour-greyscale (t(314) = .06, p = .01, d = .35) and colour-colour (t(314) = .09, p < .000, d = 0.42) presentation when compared to the greyscale-greyscale images. However, there were no other comparisons that attained the significance. A one-way ANOVA examined the effect of the colour presentation on the proportion of the detectable changes. The assumption of the normality as well as the sphericity was met. In a study by Rensink, (2002) It has been seen that the degree of change blindness has found considerably much higher in the case where the observer do not think that any change has actually occur or expect any change. Though, there is still some ability for detecting the change. This has been supported by Rensink, (2002) by stating that the only properties that have been put into coherent form are the ones that are required for the task at hand. Recognition of the orientation change has been seen unaffected by the irrelevant variations with respect to the contrast sign. The observers have been seen to be more sensitive only when the detectable changes in the properties seem relevant to the experiment that have been carried out when the change was made.

References for Change Blindness

Attwood, J. E., Kennard, C., Harris, J., Humphreys, G., & Antoniades, C. A. (2018). A Comparison of Change Blindness in Real-World and On-Screen Viewing of Museum Artefacts. Frontiers in Psychology9, 151. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00151

Levin, D. T., Simons, D. J. (1997). Failure to detect changes to attended objects in motion pictures. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 4, 501-506.

O’Regan, J. K., Deubel, H., Clark, J. J., and Rensink, R. A. (2000). Picture changes during blinks: looking without seeing and seeing without looking. Vis. Cogn. 7, 191–211. doi: 10.1080/135062800394766

Rensink, R. A. (2002). Change detection. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 245-277

Rensink, R. A., O’Regan, J. K., and Clark, J. J. (1997). To see or not to see: the need for attention to perceive changes in scenes. Psychol. Sci. 8, 368–373. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.1997.tb00427.x

Simons, D. J., and Rensink, R. A. (2005). Change blindness: past, present, and future. Trends Cognitive Science,  9, 16–20. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.11.006

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