Scientists have just come several steps closer to understanding change blindness — the well studied failure of humans to detect seemingly obvious changes to scenes around them — with new research that used a computer-based model to predict what types of changes people are more likely to notice.
These findings on change blindness were presented in a Journal of Vision article, "A semi-automated approach to balancing bottom-up salience for predicting change detection performance."
"This is one of the first applications of computer intelligence to help study human visual intelligence, " said author Peter McOwan, professor at Queen Mary, University of London. "The biologically inspired mathematics we have developed and tested can have future uses in letting computer vision systems such as robots detect interesting elements in their visual environment."
During the study, participants were asked to spot the differences between pre-change and post-change versions of a series of pictures. Some of these pictures had elements added, removed or color altered, with the location of the change based on attention grabbing properties (this is the "salience" level referred to in the article).
Unlike previous research where scientists studied change blindness by manually manipulating such pictures and making decisions about what and where to make a change, the computer model used in this study eliminated any human bias. The research team at Queen Mary's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science developed an algorithm that let the computer "decide" how to change the images that study participants were asked to view.
While the experiments confirmed that change blindness can be predicted using this model, the tests also showed that the addition or removal of an object from the scene is detected more readily than changes in the color of the object, a result that surprised the scientists. "We expected a color change to be a lot easier to spot, since color plays such an important role in our day-to-day lives and visual perception," said lead researcher Milan Verma of Queen Mary.
The authors suggest that the computer-based approach will be useful in designing displays of an essential nature such as road signs, emergency services, security and surveillance to draw attention to a change or part of the display that requires immediate attention.
"We live in a world in which we are immersed in visual information," explained Verma. "The result is a huge cognitive burden which may hinder our ability to complete a given task. This study is an important step toward understanding how visual information is processed and how we can go about optimizing the presentation of visual displays."
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include some 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 80 countries. The Association encourages and assists research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. For more information, visit www.arvo.org.
ARVO's Journal of Vision (www.journalofvision.org) is an online-only, peer-reviewed, open-access publication devoted to visual function in humans and animals. It explores topics such as spatial vision, perception, low vision, color vision and more, spanning the fields of neuroscience, psychology and psychophysics. JOV is known for hands-on datasets and models that users can manipulate online.
Queen Mary, University of London is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions with some 15,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Amongst the largest of the colleges of the University of London, Queen Mary's 3,000 staff deliver world class degree programmes and research across 21 academic departments and institutes, within three sectors: Science and Engineering; Humanities, Social Sciences and Laws; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Ranked 11th in the UK according to the Guardian analysis of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, Queen Mary has been described as 'the biggest star among the research-intensive institutions' by the Times Higher Education and also won the 'Most Improved Student Experience' award for 2009, reflecting the superb academic and social experience offered to all students at the College. The College has a strong international reputation, with around 20 per cent of students coming from over 100 countries.
Queen Mary has an annual turnover of £220 million, research income worth £61 million, and generates employment and output worth £600 million to the UK economy each year. As a member of the 1994 Group of research-focused universities, Queen Mary has made a strategic commitment to the highest quality of research, but also to the best possible educational, cultural and social experience for its students.
The College is unique amongst London's universities in being able to offer a completely integrated residential campus, with a 2,000-bed award-winning Student Village on its Mile End campus.Media Contact: Simon Levey
Katrina Norfleet | EurekAlert!
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy