Guns, Tumors And The Limits Of The Human Eye

A study published in the journalĀ Current Biology looks into the problems involved in visually searching for exceedingly rare targets and comes to an unsettling conclusion: “If you don’t find it often, you often don’t find it,” says study author Jeremy Wolfe. In other words, we are not very good at finding things that are rarely there.

In one experiment, Wolfe took 20 X-rayed images of luggage stuffed with guns and knives, and mixed those images into stacks of images of X-rayed luggage that didn’t have guns and knives.

“If you stick those 20 bags into a stack of 40 bags, so on average there’s a gun and knife in 50 percent of the bags,” Wolfe says, “people missed about 7 percent of the bags.”

But when he took the exact same 20 bags and stuck them in a stack of 2,000 bags so that the targets showed up only 2 percent of the time, people got significantly worse. “All of a sudden, people were missing about 30 percent of the bags,” Wolfe says.

Full Story – HERE

Doesn’t inspire much confidence when it comes to the TSA’s screening.

5 COMMENTS

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Jesse April 4, 2010 at 09:08 am

I have a severe food allergy to peanuts so I travel with an epi-pen. It technically has a needle in it but it’s hard to get to it because it’s in an auto injector. The first time I flew about 3 and a half years ago I took it out because I thought it would be a big dead but no one seemed to care so I got in the habit of leaving it in my carry on bag. I’ve flown maybe 13 times since then and only once was I asked to step out of line because the x-ray tech noticed I had a syringe in my bag.

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Admin (Mike) April 4, 2010 at 11:49 pm

That’s interesting, considering all the dangerous things someone could potentially have in a syringe.

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Henry Bowman April 4, 2010 at 01:55 pm

Clearly the solution is to pass a law requiring all guns and knives to be made in the shape of nekkid wimmin.

Then fire all the TSA-ettes. Problem solved.

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Chase April 5, 2010 at 09:39 am

Henry Bowman, I think your solution will work very well. But we’ll have to restrict the job of scanning the bags to heterosexual men and lesbians.

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Admin (Mike) April 5, 2010 at 08:03 pm

hahah

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