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Science News

Strong Emotions May Cause Temporary Blindness 367

Iphtashu Fitz writes "Ever been watching tv when a violent image comes on the screen and you don't even notice that somebody just entered the room? You've just encountered something known as emotion-induced blindness. Psychologists at Vanderbilt and Yale Universities have determined that people can suffer short periods of blindness, up to 1/2 a second in length, immediately after seeing highly emotional images. By displaying a series of images for 1/10 of a second each they were able to determine that test subjects couldn't identify images shown immediately after very erotic or gory images. You can try this out for yourself at the flash-based test site they have set up which also contains more details of the experiments."
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Strong Emotions May Cause Temporary Blindness

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  • goaste.cx? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:10PM (#13343892)
    is that why im blind?
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:11PM (#13343895) Homepage Journal
    Blindness is a poor and imprecise term for this finding and these findings are simply an extension of work performed in situational awareness. As one who's research deals with the neuroscience of vision and blindness, I have to say that "attention" or even "situational awareness: would be a better word/term, rather than "blindness". No offense to the authors of this study, but that sort of terminology might be expected of psychologists. :-) Seriously though, blindness implies a fundamental defect in the visual processing pathways as opposed to a failure to bring attention to a change in presentation due to conflicts of attention in higher or associative cortical processing. Now, if they demonstrated a lack of visual evoked potential in cortex, that might be something.

    The failure to attend to or notice changes in your environment due to more traffic in cortical associative areas is not surprising really, and has long been known by cognitive scientists working with Air Force pilots. The more tasks required or stress induced upon a situation will degrade attentive performance and result in missing changes introduced into the environment.

    For all you gamers out there, this is sort of an intuitive concept, right? How many times have you missed the doorbell, telephone or significant other trying to get ahold of you in the middle of a Doom/Marathon/Unreal fragfest? You increase the number of participants (and thus tasks to attend to) and you decrease your situational awareness of your immediate surroundings.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:19PM (#13343949)
      How many times have you missed the doorbell, telephone or significant other

            I never miss my significant other. I frag her all the time, DIE BIATCH lol lol 5h3 iz 5o l4/v\3 lol pWn3d a64iN!!!!
    • .... I have to say that "attention" or even "situational awareness: would be a better word/term, rather than "blindness".

      It does, however, explain the phrases like 'blind rage'.

      I'm guessing that the mind is 'stopping' to process full information out of the shocking image -- which means that processing of subsequent information is minimal/lost.

    • If you want to make the effect comprehensible to Joe Sixpack, words like "attention" or "situational awareness" are too vague, too hich on the abstraction scale. "Blindness", in the commonly accepted meaning of "unable to see" is a concrete word.

      "Hysterical blindness" is an accepted term for a condition where the physical parts are working but the processing is either not happening or not being accepted by whatever accepts vision. And how about those poor "stripe-blind" kittens that were reared with not

      • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:34PM (#13344063) Homepage Journal
        If you want to make the effect comprehensible to Joe Sixpack,....

        Yes, but they also use the term in their peer reviewed paper in addition to the popular press articles.

        "Hysterical blindness" is an accepted term for a condition...

        Situational awareness.

        And how about those poor "stripe-blind" kittens that were reared with nothing but strong vertical or horizontal lines...

        That is a form of "cortical blindness" that is real and has to do with developmental defects in the visual pathways.

        Obviously, the next step is to see whether the inputs briefly shut down, or if the input is ignored because of a rush of brain activity.

        $100 says it is the latter and if I were reviewing this paper, I would suggest just that experiment prior to acceptance for publication.

        • Agreed. I can't read the actual article, but I'm put strongly in mind of the so-called "attentional blink"; it would seem reasonable to relate the two phenomena. The presence of Marvin Chun (who has published on the subject before; Chun & Potter, 1995, being pretty well known) lends weight to my suspicions.
      • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:49PM (#13344132)
        Why not 'blindness'?
        Because calling it "blindness" doesn't promote comprehension; instead, it promotes confusion. Calling it "blindness" implys that there's some kind of physiological defect, which is inaccurate. "Distraction" would be closer to what's actually going on here.

        It's kind of like how people like to use "stealing" to describe copyright infringement -- they're superficially similar, but not synonymous.

        Generally, things should be referred to by the term that accurately describes them. Why else would we have different words to describe different things?
      • If you want to make the effect comprehensible to Joe Sixpack, words like "attention" or "situational awareness" are too vague, too hich on the abstraction scale. "Blindness", in the commonly accepted meaning of "unable to see" is a concrete word.

        Except that it's not "unable to see." It's "unable to notice."

        And Joe Sixpack already knows that it's extremely easy to miss something when he's intensley emotional.

    • by Mancow ( 887021 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:34PM (#13344065)
      Reminds me of the episode of King Of The Hill where Hank went blind at Christmas after seeing his mom having sex...
    • by hummassa ( 157160 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:42PM (#13344104) Homepage Journal
      Paying attention to something :-)
    • For all you gamers out there, this is sort of an intuitive concept, right? How many times have you missed the doorbell, telephone or significant other trying to get ahold of you in the middle of a Doom/Marathon/Unreal fragfest? You increase the number of participants (and thus tasks to attend to) and you decrease your situational awareness of your immediate surroundings.

      Those fucker doctors that my mom took me too when I was 13 were liars. They called what you speak of ADD. Put me on Ritalin for nothing. Th
    • If you can't process or retain any visual information, you're blind. Why does it matter if it's a low level or high level failure?
      • Re:Blindness (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:51PM (#13344777) Homepage Journal
        If you can't process or retain any visual information, you're blind. Why does it matter if it's a low level or high level failure?

        The classic demonstration of low level versus high level functionality has to do with something called a "true cortical blindness". In these cases, trauma or stroke (whatever) that damages occipital cortex may in some rare cases render a person functionally blind. However, when you throw a ball at them, strangely, they are able to catch it. Obviously there is some visual function related to vision taking place. What is happening here is that the tectum or visual centers in the brainstem whose functionality is orienting to place and timing are perfectly intact. However, visual centers related to conscious perception of what is being seen are damaged. All other visual pathways are intact.

    • It might be interesting to see what the results of this are on psychopaths. With their resilience to emotional overload, they may be totally unaffected. On the other hand, they may become 'overloaded' by totally different kinds of image to your normal human being.

      (I've heard psychopathy referred to as 'a fear deficit disorder'. Something I've often felt as if I may have a borderline case of. Its saved my ass many times ;)
    • Once I put them on, flirting is a game and it helps that your now blind. But in the morning, It's to time to choose chew off your own arm.

      I use what got me into that mess to get me out. I find that grabbing your pants, screaming FIRE FIRE!!!! and escaping in the ensuing confusing works best. She's looking for the fire your looking for the door. Any stage magician would understand. Also any current bachelor.

  • by maxmg ( 555112 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:11PM (#13343902)
    Now that's a very good idea to put a reference to erotic images and a link to a flash-based site on the main page of slashporn^H^H^H^Hdot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:12PM (#13343907)
    Wanking DOES cause blindness.
  • VBScript (Score:5, Funny)

    by hattan ( 869918 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:14PM (#13343913)
    It all makes sense now. I was wondering why I could never find the mouse after reading VB code.
    • Wow... I need to start paying more attention to VB code! Usually I don't find it that erotic, but I might have to give it another try.
  • temporary blindness after an intense and violent slashdotting.
  • by Tsu Dho Nimh ( 663417 ) <abacaxi AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:16PM (#13343930)
    "the fact that they never even saw the image of the building lying on its side is very significant"

    Witnesses to a crime often have problems remembering what happened after a traumatic event, to the extent that they often give conflicting accounts of which direction a suspect fled. This research indicated that they might not have processed that information because of the emotional overload.

    • I was recently in a smallish car accident. Some things I remember quite vividly. I know that I was stopped when the accident occurred because I was standing on the clutch and brake pedals, waiting for the collision. When we looked at the skid marks, the cars didn't line up the way I expected.

      I couldn't say whether I pulled ahead slightly after the accident and shut off the car, or if the other car just bumped me out of the way. I was later able to infer the latter by the way my tire was damaged. When t
      • I was in a serious car accident last October (and somehow walked away with just a cut finger.) I had the entire account pretty accurate from what the other witnesses said, except for one thing. I remember sitting in the car for less than 5 seconds before asking my passenger if he was okay, him asking the same of me, and us both getting out of the car (which actually required me kicking the door open.) According to the witnesses, we sat there for at least 3 minutes.

        I do remember waiting for the impact, t
    • by Darthmalt ( 775250 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @08:50PM (#13344459)
      Makes sense. I've been a lifeguard for 3 years and everytime I've had to make a save there is always a blank spot in my memory. I never remember actually getting in the pool. The time between realizing they need help and actually getting to them is usually blank.
    • There have been cases of emotional blindness and deafness that are permanent. Various experiments have shown that people thus inflicted can regain, at least ppartially, their sense when the trauma is blocked by hypnosis.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So that's why you can turn blind if you masturbate?
  • by JonLatane ( 750195 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:17PM (#13343936)
    Porn does make you blind! Hell, look at the name of the effect: "attentional rubbernecking."
  • to porn-induced blindness?
  • This is the first time the bots and spammers goatse-links will be of actual use!
  • It's not that it causes slight blindness, but the images in the flash demo move too damn fast. It doesn't matter if it contains blood/gore, etc... because you can't see it anyway, it's too fast.
    • Nah, your just too slow. Look a little faster.

      Jokes aside, I like how you just know these things, your a scientist right? Note the multiple trials where they rearranged the order of the pictures.

      Personally, that picture of the hand stuck in my mind longer than the rest, while the ones of trees seemed to go by faster. Meh.
    • I saw the bloody hand quite clearly and immediately the first time I ran the test, but hardly registered any of the other 'boring' images. Still, I knew what the test was about, so one could argue I was simply "looking for" something gory. But either way, your hypothesis that the speed of the images is the problem totally fails to explain the actual, measured differences in awareness of different images amongst test subjects between the experiment and control image sequences. (That's the whole point of havi

    • Yeah and I even cheated by looking at their frame by frame layout of the demo, that points out where in the sequences the target frame is. It still took a zillion tries to eventually work out what the heck I was seeing in some of the frames and finally I could see it. It's too quick for me to look for something that I don't know what it is, and at the same time determine that it's rotated 90 degrees. There's some kind of tree branch that I can see in the first sequence and not the next two, but it took many
  • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:22PM (#13343967) Homepage
    Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that this is the most elaborate Goatse troll ever.
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:22PM (#13343968) Journal
    I usually have pretty good reaction times, and in the flash test, purely by chance (well, okay, just because, having conducted psych research myself, I like to screw with their heads) I chose the third sequence first.

    I didn't see the target.

    I replayed that thing about a dozen times before I finally caught it.

    I suspect I missed it because "rotated 90 degrees" doesn't stand out enough to notice, with such complicated images and only a tenth of a second per image - Though I suppose using something like simple brightly colored shapes would tend to make the "graphic" image stand out unduly.

    Anyway, once I finally spotted the target image in the last sequence, I nailed it first try in the first two sequences (the ones supposed to induce temporary blindness).

    Then again, perhaps I just have a deep fear of fire hydrants, while bloody stumps don't really phase me.
    • I actually have rather poor twitch myself and could not see the rotated image at all in any of the examples - the manipulation wasn't obvious enough to be noticed in a split second for me.

      I think a better way to read the results would be, "people have a hard time getting a solid bearing of an image in a tenth of a second." Or perhaps, "split second reactions poor among Internet users."

    • I personally got the target image on the first and third sequences, but couldn't get it on the second one no matter how many times I repeated it.

      That said, I don't think they've been exhaustive enough to support the conclusion. Sure, they've proven that people are less likely to recognize a distinctive image shortly after another distinctive image. I RTFA, and I don't see any mention of testing where, instead of violent or erotic images, they used checkerboard patterns or other emotion-neutral pictures th
  • Hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dude163299 ( 906461 )
    To me that whole flash thing only messed up my eye sight a bit from the picture changing so much so fast. Which is what their probably talking bout. But i rather see them do a study on people playing video games being oblivious to the world around them, aka enviroment, as in people walking by. And a study on how people are when they are playing video games vs not playing video games in terms of brain waves, pulse etc. And than another wide spread test on video games and concentraion, since in my case i had
  • ...they should have used Goatse.
  • Even with my contacts a bit blury I was still able to spot all 3 images.

    Though I could care less about the bloody hand... the picture just didn't look right. Of course it could mean I'm just not very sensitive to detached limps.

    Maybe it's from too many shooters, but I'm pretty sure I could have scored a head shot there.

    Try some porn next time folks!
  • "seeing red" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:24PM (#13343984) Journal
    In my early 20's (I'm in my late 30's now) I learned what the phrase "seeing red" meant. For some reason I was quite angry -- suddenly -- at a grocery clerk and as I got mad my peripheral vision narrowed until my vision was swallowed up with a dark redness. Almost like I was passing out. I literally could not see until I calmed down. This incident took a few seconds to transpire but I'll never forget it.

    I guess with age I've mellowed, as I haven't been as mad as that since losing the contest for the Slashdot Cruiser -- well, maybe since the Karma Cap was instituted... or was the last time when I saw my first Microsoft ad on Slashdot? Hmmm...
    • Re:"seeing red" (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MurphyZero ( 717692 )
      Since I am very tired, I could hardly focus on any of the pictures, let alone note which ones were sideways. One problem with their hypothesis is that the hand stood out to me not because it was a gory picture, because I couldn't even tell it was a hand or anything else for that matter, let alone gory. It stood out because of the red. Due to image persistence and the short time frame, I never had the chance to see the next picture before the following picture was presented. Instead of trying to link thi
  • by Quirk ( 36086 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:26PM (#13344002) Homepage Journal
    "Psychologists at Vanderbilt and Yale Universities have determined that people can suffer short periods of blindness, up to 1/2 a second in length, immediately after seeing highly emotional images"

    Might such periods of "blindness" be in part responsible for the inability of crime witnesses to recall details, and, for conflicting crime reports by witnesses.

    There is the classic gambit of a law professor having a mock murder take place in front of law students to test their ability to recall details correctly. OTOH there was Aldus Huxley who, when left alone at home, would answer the door, deal with whomever was at the door, and, then return to his work without any memory of having dealt with some mundane task. A. Huxley was also able to recall, verbatim, pages of his college texts after having been given only a slight prompt.

    Charles Tart in his book Altered States [amazon.com] gives a fun run down on some of the oddities of human consciousness.

    • Could this effect explain the serial criminal's fixation on violent and/or erotic imagery of various taboo varieties. The blindness induced by a momentary image in a saccading mind would be magnified in a fixated sort of mind which holds onto such images for long periods. The whole Marquis de Sade thing is predicated on the ritual use of emotionally affective ... devices ... to transcend the primary senses.

      It would seem to point to a quality of selective attention, that when we attend to internal echoing i
  • Maybe, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aiken_d ( 127097 ) <brooks@noSPam.tangentry.com> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:26PM (#13344008) Homepage
    If you play with the flash-based demonstration on TFA's site, you'll see that the gap, if any, is speedy indeed.

    (For those who didn't / couldn't / wouldn't go to the site, basically it's a series of more or less random images, each one staying for 1/10th of a second or so, with a "target" image buried in the sequence. The "target" is identifiable because it's rotated 90 degrees)

    However, they don't include a control: a series of images *without* a a "disturbing" image. From my way of thinking and from my firsthand experience with the site, it may be that the same "blindess" would be caused whenever there's an image rotated 90 degrees.

    I'm sure the research is more thorough than that, but the implementation here doesn't seem to reflect that. Unless I'm just missing something.

    • That was sequence C.
    • Re:Maybe, but... (Score:5, Informative)

      by iphayd ( 170761 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @08:11PM (#13344244) Homepage Journal
      Image set 'A' was with the target image several images after the hand.

      Image set 'B' was with the target image quickly after the hand.

      Image set 'C' was with the target image in the same spot as 'B', but the hand was replaced with a fire hydrant.

      C is clearly the control. Well, unless you have some sort of a hidden memory of something bad (or erotic) dealing with a fire hydrant.
      • C is clearly the control. Well, unless you have some sort of a hidden memory of something bad (or erotic) dealing with a fire hydrant.

        Yeah, how do you think Goatse man got his fame? The whole thing is rigged I tell ya!
    • by GI Jones ( 21552 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @08:43PM (#13344416) Homepage
      When you view the flash file, option C is the control with no "emotional" image. When I looked at C, I could not see a sideways building, no matter how many times I watched it.

      I personally think that this is a bunch of crap. Requiring a person to interpret an image that is skewed should require more mental effort then a properly oriented image and would be more difficult to process when you might already be processing a gory image and questioning just what you saw.

      I would like to see the test done again, but instead of a complicated image, like a sideways building, why not use a large black arrow on a white background. I think that a simplistic object like an arrow would be easier to discern and would likely be noticed and its direction easy to determine. Would a lower processing requirement make the "blindness" less blinding?

      Blindness? What about simple distraction? Carnage and nudity are probably one of the few things that would make most anyone take another look at something-- just to make sure that they were seeing what they thought that they were seeing. Other things that would make a person double-take would require a context. For example, if you are sitting in your office and a horse walks by your door... you would likely have a reaction similar to seeing gore or nudity for a split second, but you can't provide a context when flashing images, so I think gore and nudity are all you are left with to evoke a "mental double-take."

      What if the image wasn't gory? What if in a series of tests they made the gory image less and less discernable, at what point would the effect be eroded? What about putting in something unexpected? Place a skewed image of something easily discernable (iconic) like a sideways Captain Crunch character or an upside down Nike Swoosh. Does an image that makes you mind work harder have the same effect. How about a word... place a misspelled or scrambled word before the sideways building... does it have the same effect? What about showing someone what the sideways building looks like before showing the clips, would that have any effect?

      What leads them to attribute this to emotional response? Replace the gory image with a photo of a loved one or a cute animal, is the response the same? How do they gauge an emotional response to an image?

      Maybe I am missing something, but this seems like bad science to me.

      Just my $0.02 --
    • The control sequence was much, much slower.

      Seems to me the problem this test proces is that in arbitrary images displayed at 1/10th of a second are virtually impossible to process in the first place, regardless of some infinitessimal "trauma" associated with the image.
  • Shed new lights on how masturbation makes you blind.. now we know they've been right all along...
  • I saw... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Blitzenn ( 554788 ) * on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:29PM (#13344030) Homepage Journal
    I saw my mom having sex once, I never saw the same after that. Is that the same thing?
  • I just tried the flash test out (before it gets slashdotted...) and I think I saw the image every time. It was kind of confusing, however, because I couldn't really register the images that came along. So I'm not certain if I did see it in tests B or C - something looked out of the ordinary, but I couldn't say what. That said, the injured hand really did stand out. But is that because it was a gross pic, or because it was a different and more vivid colour to the others? Not certain, but interesting tes
  • Women will also use this as proof that certain strong emotions in men last only a few seconds.
  • Very timely write-up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by l00sr ( 266426 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:34PM (#13344056)
    This is very timely in light of recent news that the eyewitness accounts of the tube shooting of Charles de Menezes, were just completely wrong [bbc.co.uk]. Despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary, he was not wearing winter clothing, he had not jumped the turnstile, was not chased into the train by police, etc. Amazing.
    • This is offtopic, but thanks for the link. It's nice to know that the police shot someone when he was already DOWN. I understand that after the first shot, everything goes to hell because no one knows who is shooting at who. There's just no time. But the idiot that pulled the trigger first committed murder. Perhaps it's not such a good idea to give guns to British bobbies after all...
  • Let me get this right, if you look at something, and it catches your attention, for whatever reason..then...you can't focus on anything else. WOW. what a revelation. So you mean when I'm driving down the road and I see a porno billboard, I can't help to look...I really needed this research to point this out to me.

  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:36PM (#13344075)
    When the eye moves, it temporarily shuts off the flow of visual data to the brain. That is why you don't experience the world swirling around as your eye darts from detail to detail. Experiments using an eye tracker found that one could change parts of the scene in the middle of the eye movement and the subject wouldn't notice the change. The tests looked at how severe a change was needed to make people notice that the scene was different -- colors of objects could change, people could be added to pictures, etc.

    The coolest experiment used an eye tracker that painted words on the screen only where the fovea (the high resolution central portion of the retina) was looking and painted "X"s on the screen everywhere else (the low resolution bulk of the eye). Every time the subject's eye moved, the screen was redrawn to show the words where they were now looking and hide the words were they weren't looking. Subjects could read documents normally and were totally unaware that the screen was, in reality, full of "x"s except where their central field of vision happened to be pointing.

    The point is that the eye & brain is not a simple pixel-based camera.
    • That is why you don't experience the world swirling around as your eye darts from detail to detail.

      Yes, it's because it takes a small, but finite, amount of time for your brain to reset and reacquire its focus.

      This also explains why pigeons, doves, chickens, etc. walk the way they do moving their head in fits and starts as they walk forward. The time lag for them to refocus their attention/eyes is pretty long.

      It also explains another visual semi-trick or observation. People tend to blink more frequently whe
  • They are so outraged by the editor's comments, that they fail to notice the links to the fine article.
  • I go blind whenever I walk past an Apple store. Maybe if I had money in my wallet, I could see the store and go in.
  • Strange, I took the test and the ONLY image I was able to identify was the one that followed the "disturbing" image.
    I also woke up about 2 minutes ago... the fact that I'm already on slashdot is probably more disturbing than a bloody hand.
  • What does it mean when you can only spot the picture in sequence B. For some reason that is the only of the series that I can spot the rotated picture and is the one everyone else scored the lowest in and has the bloody hand. Perhaps I see the hand and start paying attention... How weird.
  • ...sunglasses [wikipedia.org] I just got of the blackmarket are nothing but a hoax ? My brain does that already ?
    Arthur, give me back my money ! [engadget.com]
  • ahha! yes I knew it was true, now this proves it! ..no seriously this is the most idiotic study I've ever seen. If the flash based test was any indication of actual tests used in their study then its ridiculous. The pictures are going so quickly that a reference to a picture tilted 90 degrees to the left or right would be difficult to spot anyways. I couldn't even make out what most of the pictures represented. You might as well flash a bunch of pictures and ask me to find Waldo!!!
  • I've seen it happen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamrock ( 863246 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:58PM (#13344816)

    My brothers and I operate a chain of grocery stores in Jamaica. Two months ago, one of the small stores was invaded by four gunmen who made the staff lie on the floor, shooting three of our employees in the process; fortunately their wounds were minor. While they attempted to open the safe in the manager's office, she surreptitiously placed a cell call to the police station, which is only about 100 meters away. When the police arrived, a 45-minute shootout ensued, during which the police shot and killed two of the assailants. The police eventually teargassed the building, and when the remaining two attempted to slip out by mingling with the staff as they left, they were attacked by a large, very angry, machete-carrying mob that had gathered on the scene, and hacked into mincemeat. I really have no sympathy for the bastards, but Jesus, they died horrible, horrible deaths. When I eventually reached the store after visiting the staff at the hospital, the police were still hosing away blood and fragments of flesh.

    After seeing the three injured employees being treated, I arranged for the others, who were badly traumatized, to have a counseling session, and it was heartbreaking to hear them describe the ordeal of lying on the floor for 45 minutes while a firefight raged around them. The were showered with broken glass, lying in blood, having to look at the bodies of the two dead gunmen, one of whom had had his face shot away. They didn't believe that they were going to survive. While one of the group was recounting the events to the psychologist, he started sweating profusely, I mean veritable rivers running off his face and arms, and complained suddenly that he couldn't see. He didn't respond to hands being waved in front of his face, and the psychologist assured him that he'd seen this happen before as a result of extreme stress, and that his vision would return in a few minutes. I honestly don't know if he was just spinning a line of bullshit to calm down the guy, but sure enough, his vision returned in about five minutes. Clearly he hadn't suffered any physical injury apart from some cuts and bruises, but I can only surmise that the extreme psychological stress had screwed with his brain somehow. Can anyone shed any light as to the mechanism that could have caused this?

  • I'm an insensitive clod you insensitive clods!!
  • test subjects couldn't identify images shown immediately after very erotic or gory images.

    Great work guys. However, I propose a new test, in the interest of science of course, with erotic images!

  • by giminy ( 94188 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:38PM (#13345003) Homepage Journal
    In set C I can't see the rotated image. Is my visual neural net in need of an upgrade? I thought I was young...:(.

    Would be nice if they included a little button to go through the images slowly so I can feel sorry for myself.
  • People that have studied to any significant degree people's responses during life-threatening situations know that visual and auditory perception is shot to hell: you get tunnel vision and you often "black out".

    Hell, anyone that's had sex knows that your situational awareness goes to hell outside the smalle confine of the act itself.
  • Slightly off topic - read the adblock listing for the first link... they have 'popupunder' and 'antipopup' testing. (even says it in the dns of the link)

    Did any other firefox users get a zedo.com popup? I hit adblock, and blocked about 20 large swathes of abc advertising.

    You know, if they hadn't hijacked my computer and opened a window without my consent, then I wouldn't have had to. zedo.com also.

    pain in the ass bitches.
  • To be on the safe side I stick with :)
    or :)) at most
    I hate it when someone does a :)))))
    on me.
    Oh shppt Icamt swe

"A child is a person who can't understand why someone would give away a perfectly good kitten." -- Doug Larson