Skip to comments.Motion Induced Blindness (Why you should scan, NOT stare when driving or piloting.)
Posted on 03/05/2012 11:20:03 AM PST by dickmc
An excellent demonstration of the phenomenom. Applies to walking, driving, sailing, flying, hunting, biking, skiing, and so many other activities of daily life.
Applies to everyone, not just pilots, as we all spend time driving at night and the same concepts apply here! Scan, scan, scan...
For all you pilots and drivers, here is an interesting phenomenon. This is why you have to scan a scene to see all of its detail instead of just staring at a part of it. It works exactly like it says, and is one major reason people in cars can 'look right at you' (when you're on a motorcycle or bicycle)...AND NOT SEE YOU.
Go to http://www.msf-usa.org/motion.html to take the visual test.
You will see a rotating array of blue crosses and 3 yellow dots. Now fixate on the centre (watch the flashing green spot). Note that the yellow spots disappear once in a while: singly, in pairs or all three simultaneously. In reality, the 3 yellow spots are continuously present, honest!
You can use the larger/smaller buttons to change size. Disappearance persists up to surprisingly large sizes.
You can use the back-col button to change the background colour. The yellow dots disappear into whatever colour the background has.
The defaults button at the top restores the standard settings.
According to Michael Bach, "Steady fixation favours disappearance, blinks or gaze shifts induce reappearance. All in all reminiscent of the Troxler effect, but stronger and more resistant to residual eye movements."
Blinking your eyes stops this. Learned early in flight training.
Well known effect in the target shooting community. You have about 20 seconds from the time of target acquisition to shoot. After that, your sight degrades rapidly.