Motion silences awareness of visual change

January 25, 2011

Loud bangs, bright flashes, and intense shocks capture attention, but other changes—even those of similar magnitude—can go unnoticed. Demonstrations of change blindness have shown that observers fail to detect substantial alterations to a scene when distracted by an irrelevant flash, or when the alterations happen gradually. Here, we show that objects changing in hue, luminance, size, or shape appear to stop changing when they move. This motioninduced failure to detect change, silencing, persists even though the observer attends to the objects, knows that they are changing, and can make veridical judgments about their current state. Silencing demonstrates the tight coupling of motion and object appearance.