Blog | Tuesday, July 23, 2013

QD: News Every Day--83% of radiologists overlooked a gorilla inserted into a CT scan

This zebra was a gorilla, actually.
Researchers asked 24 radiologists to examine five CT scans for lung nodules, with full control over the scans. But, the researchers inserted into the one of the scans an image of a gorilla that was 48 times larger than an average nodule. They used eye tracking to assess what happened next.

Results appeared online July 17 at Psychological Science.

Eighty-three percent of the radiologists did not see the gorilla, and eye-tracking revealed that the radiologists who missed the gorilla spent an average of 5.7 seconds looking at that CT scan and 250 milliseconds looking at the spot where the gorilla was located.

Inattentional blindness has been well-documented over the years, and a famous demonstration illustrates how easy it is to overlook the obvious when a person is focused on some other activity.