Normal blindness to visible objects seems to be the result of limited-capacity prediction mechanisms in the brain

Jeremy M. Wolfe, Anna Kosovicheva, Benjamin Wolfe, Normal blindness: when we Look But Fail To See, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 26, Issue 9, 2022, Pages 809-819 DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2022.06.006.

Humans routinely miss important information that is \u2018right in front of our eyes\u2019, from overlooking typos in a paper to failing to see a cyclist in an intersection. Recent studies on these \u2018Looked But Failed To See\u2019 (LBFTS) errors point to a common mechanism underlying these failures, whether the missed item was an unexpected gorilla, the clearly defined target of a visual search, or that simple typo. We argue that normal blindness is the by-product of the limited-capacity prediction engine that is our visual system. The processes that evolved to allow us to move through the world with ease are virtually guaranteed to cause us to miss some significant stimuli, especially in important tasks like driving and medical image perception.

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