attentional blink


Dave Munger on a phenomenon apprarently called ‘attentional blink’:



“Take a look at the following three animations. Each will flash very rapidly through a set of words (9 words per second!). Your job is to watch carefully and see if you notice a word that describes an occupation that a human performs for money. Such a word may or may not be in each list, and you only get one chance with each one. No cheating!


List 1
List 2
List 3


Did you see an occupation in any of the lists? Just one or two of them?”


I got three out of three. I have no idea how.


How did you do? Here are the answers and a description of what is meant by the ‘attentional blink’.



Tags: Attention

Comments (3)

  1. Alicia says:

    That’s an interesting article, thanks for linking it. I got the first and the last ones (as well as noticing and remembering the "distractors"). I didn’t catch the middle one, but I knew I’d missed it and that it started with the letter "c". I even watched that animation twice and had the same result. What’s strange to me is that I could know I missed it and what letter it began with and still not be able to tell you what word it was.

  2. TommyW says:

    Like you, Alex, I got all three. There’s some speed-reading software that flashes through text, one letter at a time, in this way. I used it in the past, but never saw the speed increases I was hoping for. Perhaps the time I spent doing that helped train me for this exercise.

    Thanks for the pointer.