First, check out this video:
Dude loses his ball.
Second, I am typing my first post with my new clicky keyboard. :-)
It is a strange thing. My fingers have pretty much forgotten what's like to have key resistance. But, I'm already working on getting used to the track pointer in the middle of the keyboard, and the keys are starting to feel familar again.
I think I'll be downright happy before it's all over.
I'm already happily being forced to keep my hands in the right position. Oh yeah! I remember that position - it's a good thing, someone said. :-)
Now, back to the first thing again (after filling up a little space on the screen before explaining the purpose of the video.)
I love little videos like that. For a full explanation of what happened, you can see Scientific American's article.
Only about half the people were fooled by this simple illusion, but the intent is not to be totally deceiving, but to allow the scientists to track how the deception worked. (Pretend you were fooled for the rest of this little post. :-)
They explain over there that for the first 2 tosses, your eyes tracked the ball, but on the third toss, your eyes went to his face. You did not see the ball, so you went to the next best source of data - and the most natural source of data. You relied upon societal clues. It so happens that this member of society had decided to lie to you, and you were deceived.
This fascinates me.
Your eyes were not deceived. Your brain was. Your eyes were looking for the ball, and did not see it. But rather than take the simple facts that your eyes found as facts, you sought additional explanation, and you sought it from a fellow human. And you did it in less than the blink of an eye.
If that's not cool, what is?
Many people actually described the ball as going up off the top of the screen. In actuality, he palmed the ball. It never left his hand. You see it easily if you know to actually watch the ball.
We do this a hundred different ways. We see things that are so spot-on obviously in front us, but we look to each other for clues.
Usually it works.