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Is "Change Blindness" Attenuated by Domain-specific Expertise? An Expert-Novices Comparison of Change Detection in Football Images

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When an aspect of a visual image is altered, observers often fail to notice the change. Recent studies suggest that successful change detection requires the observer to attend to and effortfully encode the changing aspect between the images. In this study we addressed the question of whether individual characteristics of the observer, namely expertise in a domain, selectively influence the ability to detect changes in images from that domain. A total of 48 individuals, half of whom were experts in the sport of American football and half of whom were American football novices, were presented alternating sequences of football-related and unrelated images. Our results indicate that expertise in a specific domain increases observers' sensitivity to semantic changes of domain-related images. Implications for the development of diagnostic tools are briefly addressed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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