Visual Thinking / Inattentional Blindness

This post deals with a problem that few people pay attention to – inattentive blindness as the “normal” state of  neurotypicals.

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What would we do without the crazy upside-down world of psychology? Check out this gem by Marc Green, PhD

“The eye is not a passive device that automatically converts images of the world into conscious perceptions. Very little of the sensory information registered by the eyes (or ears, or touch receptors or proprioceptors, etc.) contributes to perception, with most going unnoticed. Everyone (he’s referring to Neurotypicals, NOT Aspergers) is inattentionally blind to almost everything during every single moment of every day. Most people falsely believe that they seldom experience inattentional blindness because they are unaware of being unaware….”

“Lastly, inattentional blindness should be viewed as generally a good thing. It is the price we pay for the gift of attention. Paying attention to one thing (like texting while driving?) means that we don’t pay attention to everything else. Without this ability to block out the irrelevant, we could not function.”

“The irrelevant” content he refers to just happens to be the universe that we inhabit! Any Asperger who reads this will recognize the inattentional blindness of neurotypicals, who ceaselessly defend diminished sensory awareness as “normal” and criticize Asperger individuals for “seeing” a physical environment that social humans simply cannot perceive.

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It’s unbelievable. The small number of people who can run really fast go to the Olympics, win medals, and are praised as super humans. Aspergers, who can visually perceive an entire world that is hidden to neurotypicals, are labeled defective, and are kicked out of society as useless. Makes perfect sense!

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