Tag Archives: perception

traffic light

History of Traffic Signals

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I am happy to share a new theme that we are starting today that will appear now and again on EID. As many of you know, I a big fan of history. It is a cliché to say that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But there is a lot we can learn from the scientific, legal, and cultural practices of our ancestors as well as from those around the world that our ancestors never even knew existed. That is the notion in which we are going to frame this new history theme.

I was listening to the Dinner Party Download podcast (a fun weekend diversion if you are interested) and I heard this story about the history of traffic lights. The human factors of the original design immediately jumped to mind, even if they didn’t call it by that name back in 1868 when the first gas powered lamps were used or 1914 when they switched to electric.

Light bulb rainbow

Synesthesia

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Synesthesia is a condition where presentation of one perceptual class consistently evokes additional experiences in different perceptual categories. Synesthesia is widely considered a congenital condition, although an alternative view is that it is underpinned by repeated exposure to combined perceptual features at key developmental stages.

When I first heard about synesthesia, I thought it was a little hokey. But when I discovered it was real, I was fascinated – perhaps because I don’t seem to have much sensitivity in my individual senses. To have them multiply active – well – I am jealous.

two boys playing video games

Games for Training Perceptual and Cognitive Functions

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An intriguing study out of Nanyang Technological University has implications for us in HF/E. They were interested in whether training people with video games could improve a variety of perceptual and cognitive skills. It turns out, as with most things in HF/E, the answer is that “it depends.”

Previous evidence points to a causal link between playing action video games and enhanced cognition and perception. However, benefits of playing other video games are under-investigated. We examined whether playing non-action games also improves cognition…