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Erotic images can turn you blind


Researchers have finally found evidence for what good Catholic boys have known all along – erotic images make you go blind. The effect is temporary and lasts just a moment, but the research has added to road-safety campaigners’ calls to ban sexy billboard-advertising near busy roads, in the hope of preventing accidents.

The new study by US psychologists found that people shown erotic or gory images frequently fail to process images they see immediately afterwards. And the researchers say some personality types appear to be affected more than others by the phenomenon, known as “emotion-induced blindness”.

David Zald, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Marvin Chun and colleagues from Yale University in Connecticut, showed hundreds of images to volunteers and asked them to pick a specific image from the rapid sequence. Most of the images were landscape or architectural scenes, but the psychologists included a few emotionally charged images, portraying violent or sexually provocative scenes.

The closer these emotionally charged images occurred prior to the target image, the more frequently people failed to spot the target image, the researchers found.

“We observed that people failed to detect visual images that appeared one-fifth of a second after emotional images, whereas they can detect those images with little problem after neutral images,” Zald says.

Primitive brain

“We think there is essentially a bottleneck for information processing and if a certain type of stimulus captures attention, it can jam up the bottleneck so subsequent information can’t get through,” Zald explains. “It appears to happen involuntarily. The stimulus captures attention and once allocated to that particular stimulus, no other stimuli can get through” for several tenths of a second.

He believes that a primitive part of the brain, known as the amygdala, may play a part. That region is involved in evaluating sensory input according to its emotional relevance and has an autonomic role, influencing heart rate and sweating.

“It is possible that emotionally-charged stimuli produce preferential rapid routing of the impulse that bypasses the slower cortical route via the amygdala," Zald told New Scientist. "Patients with amygdala lesions pick out the target image without reacting to violent images, although they show normal blindness reactions when sexual images are introduced, which suggests another mechanism may also be involved.”

Harm avoiders

The researchers think emotion-induced blindness could lead to drivers simply not seeing another car or pedestrian if they have just witnessed an emotionally charged scene, such as an accident or sexually explicit billboard.

The effect could exacerbate the more obvious problem of drivers simply being distracted by large, arresting images. "It's the responsibility of drivers to ensure that when they are behind the wheel they keep their eyes on the job in hand," says a spokeswoman from Brake, a UK road safety organisation.

And some people are more vulnerable than others. The study assessed participants using a personality questionnaire, rating them according to their level of “harm avoidance”. Those scoring highly were more fearful, careful and cautious; those scoring low were more carefree and more comfortable in difficult or dangerous situations.

The researchers found that those with low harm avoidance scores were better able to stay focused on a target image than those with high harm avoidance scores.

“People who are more harm avoidant may not be detecting negative stimuli more than other people, but they have a greater difficulty suppressing that information,” Zald suggests.

The Brake spokeswoman says companies should think about the consequences of placing emotionally charged billboards at dangerous road junctions: “We should be concerned if drivers are experiencing split-second breaks in concentration, which could result in an accident or death on the roads.”

Journal reference: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review (August 2005 issue)
I wonder what Kirby has to say about this
 

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He does wear glasses right :p (wrong?) Well I do, and now I know why :p
 

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Player-X said:
I wonder what Kirby has to say about this
I wouldn't call it blindness....more like temporary loss of concentration. Happens all the time....nothing abnormal here :D
 

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He's watching you.
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theres another way that you could get "blind" by watching porn......
 

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!!!METAL UNCLE!!!
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Razor Blade said:
He does wear glasses right :p (wrong?) Well I do, and now I know why :p

'Cuz you want to be blind? :evil:



But yeah, i always wonder why they have to put all those god damn female underwear billboards next on streets. They really take concentration away when driving. Luckily nothing has happened yet, but who knows.
 

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I would have to agreed with kirby :) its just a distraction. Its like when I was walking one day through the park this chick with a long coat... :emb: Do I have to carry on? and after this event I almost got bumped by a car 5 minutes later and if the guy never saw me he would have bumped me.
 

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It is my personal opinion that our culture has shaped our perspective on 'normal' and 'outrageous', and that we are more prone to analyze things we either have little experience with despite interest and/or consider outrageous in any fashion. Obviously, anything we take the extra time to analyze or think about is going to ditract our attention from any further outside-information for an indeterminable amount of time, IE until something else catches our interest. Certainly we men are not blind when we see a sexy lady walking down the side of the road... we can see HER just fine - thank you very much. It's also probable that human beings tend to filter out sensatory information that is unrelated to their current focus. I suggest there's two forms of stimuli - positive and negative. Positive would be anything we anything intense that we really enjoy or have some obsession over, typically sexual, and WANT to focus our attention on or analyze. Negative would be anything intense that is painful or hurtful to see or sense - any traumatic impact on any sense forces the human mind to focus upon the trauma. Have someone yell in your ear and see if you can hear out of the other one right after, or see if you notice any other pain in your body after you smash your finger with a hammer. It's all the same principal.

I think the conclusions being drawn are immature, and much more research across a larger spectrum of people must be conducted, along with an analysis of what portions of the brain are functioning during these experiences. I also think that some analysis should be performed on subjects who recieve the stimuli on repeated occasions to see if subjects become less 'distracted' after they get used to the images.

Anywho, just a nice juicy bit of food for my thought - no worries about paying me any nevermind. I just think too much.

Good day to you all, and goodnight:D
 

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Heretic
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I'm sure any outrageous image would cause this "emotion-induced blindness".
 

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I`m sure virgins are the most distracted. Since they had no *cought* contact *cought* they tend to look for opertunities, and get distracted when they see an ad.
Of course, this applies to virgins that really want to have sex. Maybe nimphomaniacs are affected the most...
I wonder what will happen if they put sexually-explicit ads (say, hentai ads for kirby:innocent: ).
 

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Cloud Strife 7 said:
I wonder what will happen if they put sexually-explicit ads (say, hentai ads for kirby:innocent: ).
Permenantly blind? :innocent:

Yours,
-Elly
 

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Lol i was busy reading the part that says alba as nancy,wasn't distracted at all.
 

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Damn it kirby you had a sex change:).
 
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