Brief Reports (As Such)

“Recent research on change detection has documented surprising failures to detect visual changes occurring between views of scene, suggesting the possibility that visual representations contain few details. Although these studies convincingly demonstrate change blindness for objects in still images and motion pictures, they may not adequately assess the capacity to represent objects in the real world. Here we examine and reject the possibility that change blindness in previous studies resulted from passive viewing of 2-d displays… Furthermore, successful detection depended on social group membership; pedestrians from the same social group as the experimenters detected the change but those from a different social group did not. A second experiment further examined the importance of this effect of social group. Provided that the meaning of a scene is unchanged, changes to attended objects can escape detection even when they occur during a natural real-world interaction. The discussion provides a set of guidelines and suggestions for future research on change blindness……..

A more fundamental question involves assessing the similarity of the experimenters. Clearly no one would be surprised if  pedestrians failed to notice a substitution of identically dressed identical twins. The inability to notice small changes is unsurprising because such changes naturally occur between views. For example, people rarely notice variation in the position and orientation of moveable objects such as the body parts. If we constantly noticed such changes, they would likely detract from our ability to focus on other, more important aspects of our visual world. Change detection as a method relies on the tendency of our visual system to assume an unchanging world. The fact that we do not expect one person to be replaced by another during an interaction may contribute to our inability to detect some changes. A critical question for future research is why some changes are more likely to be detected than others. Clearly we would be quite surprised if subjects missed a switch between enormously different people (e.g. a switch from a 4ft. 9 in. female to a 6ft 5 in. male of another). The change in this case would alter not only the visual details of a person, but also category membership. If, as suggested by other recent findings of change blindness, we retain only abstracted information and not visual details from one moment to the next, changes to category membership may well be detectable. Abstraction of category information is clearly central to coding other people and may underlie the representation of other objects across views as well.”


D.J. Simons & D.T. Levin, Failure to detect changes to people during a real- world interaction, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1998, 5 (4)



This Week I will mostly Be Reading….

Going to be reading much more science and phlosophical history over the winter. I thought I should perhaps look and see what causes ‘slips of action’, when I read.

Kill two birds with one stone as I seem to be engaged in some form of classification, I notice I also seem to do this without giving it much thought.

Put the paper I was reading down as I am predicting from its start it is intended as a general introduction for an audience not entirly familiar with the specific subject but grounded within a recognizable narrative and familiar with science history.

Looking for more specific information and detail so I am predicting I am not going to find it here.

The fact that my partner is still rather unhappy about having to wash a large pile of dishes I utterly forgot about as I became somewhat distracted in a rather detailed thesis on the subject, would tend to support that observation.

I will now be both cooking and dish washing for some nights to come.




One Day Will We All Be Selling Cultural French Fries For The Science Heritige Burger Industry?

“During the Enlightnment, the great apes from Africa and Southeast Asia sparkeed an intense debate about wether these animals should be considered human or not. Language played an imortant part in these disscussions….. I will focus on one eccentric voice, Lord Monboddo……..

I am starting to drift off at the mention of eccentricity. My mind wanders to wondering if my house keys are in my jean pocket or if have I left them in my coat.


Monboddo’s worldview was built upon acient Greek philosophy and the Great Chain of Being. Nevertheless, his ideas about great apes still sound familiar to modern ears.

My only thought here relates entirly to the present; I have a large pile of washing up in the kitchen. Dealing with it now is starting to look rather inviting.

Standard H.O.S narrative frame. I drift off into outer space everytime as I find it a somewhat alien formula. Present the past as some ripping yarn from days of yore before moving on to the wonder of modernity and the modern mind.


S. Blancke, Lord Monboddo Ourang-Outang and the Orgin and Progress of Language

Fictive Kinship

I’m now hoping my on the hoof comparison with Donald Trump and the issue of Lordship and kindred based social and political organization is a flawed imaginative error on my part.

It is customary for great lords that, when their families and kindreds multiply, their clients and their followers are oppressed, injured and wasted.


Break the formula down into three steps.

(1) Expansion.

(2)Internal strife and feuding within the kindred as the fight for internal resources grows as the kindred expands and its resource base decreases.

(3) The balancing act. Engage in aggressive expansion to act as a break on internal pressure.

Trumps political interference in U.K domestic politics looks from the outside naive. One response may be to note that it may not be naivety but necessity which is the driver.

Trump may already be at stage three straight out of the gate, if lordship and kindred based structures are indeed a comparative tool of organizational analysis.

A Kindred is not based exclusivly on genetic ties, it includes a range of relationships marriage, client status, friendship. Culturaly mediated ties are also of importance, fosterage and god parent- hood are two classic Gaelic examples of what is termed fictive kinship.

Its an old and effective form of dynamic social organization, its issues are biological in nature and relate directly to reproduction.