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Hello my name is Ron Rensink of
the University of British Columbia.
And what I'd like to do today is
talk to you about some of my work in
the area of visual attention.
I'll begin by considering a very
simple question, how do we see scenes?
It turns out that this is a little bit
more complex than you might think,
every scene that we see has got new
people, new places, new things.
In fact even familiar scenes tend
to change, things move around,
the weather can change,
all kinds of things can happen.
Basically every scene we
see is new in some way and
the question then is,
how do we manage to cope with this?
A common belief is that we see
scenes by somehow paying attention,
if we pay enough attention we
can see everything around us.
The question is: how is this done?
Let's consider a simple scene.
In the old days (meaning a few
decades ago) people thought
that you built up an internal
picture via a visual buffer,
that what you would do is
move your eyes around and
each glance would build up some detailed
information, you moved around and
eventually you'd build up
a complete picture, like that.
That's a nice idea, but then consider
this little flickering sequence,
what you see is an original
image followed by a brief blank,
followed by the image changed in some way.
Something could have been moved,
or appear, or change color, and
what we find is that under these kinds
of conditions people typically find it
very difficult to see these changes.
Have you seen it yet?
If you haven't, it's the engine
near the center of the picture