Mixing Memory

The Amazing Color Changing Card Trick

Cool video (via Bill Benzon over at The Valve:

A bit more below the fold, but only after you watch the video.

What a great example of change blindness, eh? I missed them all.


  1. #1 RBH
    May 9, 2007

    I’m going to turn in my Dick Tracy Crimestoppers card collection and get a tin cup and a little monkey and wear dark glasses. 🙁

  2. #2 Robert Chiste
    May 10, 2007

    I didn’t notice any of the color changes, but I did notice the person in the gorilla suit sitting quietly on the sidelines. I wonder if I was primed to see that given that Wiseman was the one who did the basketball/gorilla thing.

  3. #3 Chris
    May 10, 2007

    I kept waiting for the gorilla to do something.

  4. #4 Laura 3:)
    May 10, 2007

    Damn – I didn’t even see the gorilla!!!!

  5. #5 Robert Chiste
    May 10, 2007

    Sorry about that, it was actually Daniel Simons and Chris Chabris that did the study.

  6. #6 Bill Benzon
    May 10, 2007

    I missed all the color changes, but I did catch the gorilla in the background.

  7. #7 Aunt Ryn
    May 10, 2007

    Three out of four color changes spotted. But what really kept distracting me were their odd hand motions at the end of the costume change that show up in the first video. Focus on the woman’s hands and you’ll see what I mean.

  8. #8 RPM
    May 12, 2007

    Ironically, I noticed the black table and curtain at the beginning of the video and thought to myself, “Hey, they always use a black table and black background in card tricks”, but I failed to notice when they changed colors. Intuitively, the color change of the shirts is far more subtle.

    And I wonder if that was a person in a gorilla suit or a large stuffed gorilla.

  9. #9 Abel
    May 15, 2007

    When I show my students a similar video (the gorilla one) those who notice the changes will often ask if this means they are more “aware” (or whatever) compared to other students. I usually get a good laugh when I answer: No, it actually means you don’t pay enough attention to what’s important!

  10. #10 Carlie
    May 15, 2007

    Great stuff. There are a lot of “watch for changes” videos at the Illinois visual cognition laboratory that you can watch here, along with descriptions. I play the original gorilla basketball video for my classes sometimes, and it’s shocking how many never see the gorilla. For anyone who scoffs that video isn’t as easy to spot things in, there are also videos that were taken of real-life situations – in one, a person stops someone on the univ. quad and asks for directions. After they talk for a minute some guys walk between them with a sheet of drywall, and the guy switches places with another behind the drywall, and after they pass by she keeps on talking, oblivious to the fact that she’s now talking to a completely different person.

  11. #11 Joel
    June 7, 2007

    To be honest, I was simply irritated by the fact that this is not authentic sleight of hand. It wouldn’t work in front of a live audience–the “trick” is created using video. And no, I didn’t see the gorilla, either, until the secret of the “trick” was revealed.

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