CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

Online Extras: News to Note

January 3, 2013

Slate: Do you think like Sherlock Holmes?

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

When inattentional blindness (sometimes referred to as attentional blindness) strikes, our focus on one particular element in a scene or situation or problem causes the other elements to literally disappear. Images that hit our retina are not then processed by our brain but instead dissolve into the who-knows-where, so that we have no conscious experience of having ever been exposed to them to begin with. The phenomenon was made famous by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris: In their provocative study, students repeatedly failed to see a person in a gorilla suit who walked onto a basketball court midgame, pounded his chest, and walked off. But the phenomenon actually dates to research conducted by Ulric Neisser, the father of cognitive psychology, in the 1960s and 1970s.

One evening, Neisser noticed that when he looked out the window at twilight, he had the ability to see either the twilight or the reflection of the room on the glass. Focusing on the one made the other vanish. No matter what he did, he couldn't pay active attention to both. He termed this phenomenon "selective looking" and went on to study its effects in study after study of competing attentional demands. Show a person two superimposed videos, and he fails to notice when card players suddenly stop their game, stand up and start shaking hands — or fails to realize that someone spoke to him in one ear while he's been listening to a conversation with the other. In a real-world illustration of the innate inability to split attention in any meaningful way, a road construction crew once paved over a dead deer in the road. They simply did not see it, so busy were they ensuring that their assignment was properly carried out.

Inattentional blindness, more than anything else, illustrates the limitations of our attentional abilities. Try as we might, we can never see both twilight and reflection. We can't ever multitask the way we think we can. Each time we try, either the room or the world outside it will disappear from conscious processing. That's why Holmes is so careful about where and when he deploys that famed keenness of observation. Were he to spread himself too thin — imagine modern-day Holmes, be it Benedict Cumberbatch or Jonny Lee Miller, pulling out his cell to check his email as he walks down the street and has a conversation at the same time, something you'll never see either of these current incarnations actually doing — he'd be unable to deploy his observation as he otherwise would. Enter the email, exit the Baker Street steps — and then some.

Text Only
Online Extras: News to Note

New England News
Obituaries
  • Marie Rose (Robidoux) Audy

    LAWRENCE — Marie Rose (Robidoux) Audy, passed away at her home surrounded by her family, after suffering a stroke in April. She was born in Lawrence and was the daughter of the late Rose A. (Betit) and Alfred Robidoux, originally of Quebec, Canada. She was predeceased by her husband of 28 years, Armand Joseph Audy, who passed away on June 28, 1976.

    Continued ...
    6 days
  • Charles Anthony "Chuck" Carnival, 79

    Jackson, MS — Charles Anthony “Chuck” Carnival, 79, formerly of Raymond, N.H., passed away Thursday, June 19, 2014, at Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.

    Continued ...
    13 days 1 Photo
  • Francis M. Lurvey, 76

    Bar Harbor, ME — Francis M. Lurvey passed away Sunday, June 22, in Bar Harbor, Maine, after battling cancer. By his side were his sons, Edwin Lurvey and Steven Lurvey and his niece and husband, Debra and Richard Carey, as well as cousin, Marion McDonald. He was the son of Edwin R Lurvey (Bar Harbor) and Delia Amazeen (Dexter). He is survived by five children, a stepson, and their families. His sons, Edwin and wife April, Steven and wife, Pam, David and his daughter, Meghan, as well as his daughters, Lorraine and Ellen and her husband, Paul DiScipio with daughters, Katherine and Julia, and his stepson, Brian Faulkner and wife, Jody with children, Trevor, Rachel, and Keith. He is also survived by his sister, Sheryl, and many nieces and nephews including Frank Lurvey and Elaine Langer. Francis was predeceased by his twin brother, Frank, as well as his brothers, Edwin and Erwin. He was also predeceased by his longtime companion, Brian and Edwin’s mother, Maureen Faulkner and former wife, Roberta Lurvey Gilmore.

    Continued ...
    20 days 1 Photo
  • Norman R. Cote

    Atkinson, NH — Norman R. Cote, of Atkinson, was called to his heavenly home on June 16, 2014, following a period of declining health.

    Continued ...
    20 days
  • Frederick M. Hopper, 64

    Epping, NH — Frederick Michael Hopper, of Epping, N.H., passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Predeceased by his wife, Alice Hopper, he is survived by his longtime girlfriend, Joann Peatfield; daughters, Shay Belair and Jayne Pond; sons-in-law, Adam Belair and James Pond; mother, Arlene Hopper; father and stepmother, Frederick S. and Barbara Hopper; siblings, Susan Hardy, Stephan Hopper, Scott Hopper, and Sherri Chagnon; grandsons, Benjamin Belair, Jonathan Belair and Jackson Pond; and numerous nieces and nephews.

    Continued ...
    27 days 1 Photo

Stocks