Monday, 25 Jun 2012
Following earlier research showing that people who are clearly concentrated on a task may not notice a man in a gorilla suit walking across the room, researchers have now shown that under similar circumstances, a man saying "I'm a gorilla" may be equally inaudible.
In a paper in the journal Cognition entitled Gorillas We Have Missed: Sustained Inattentional Deafness for Dynamic Events, Polly Dalton and Nick Fraenkel report an experiment in which subjects were asked to listen to a discussion between two women.
While the women were speaking, a man repeated the words "I'm a gorilla" for 19 seconds. Most of those concentrating on the women's discussion did not notice him.
The researchers suggest that the experiment may suggest that drivers talking on mobile phones may be less aware of danger signs in traffic noise.