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Here’s Why Your Brain Is So Bad At Those "Spot The Difference” Games

If you’ve ever come across one of those spot-the-difference games and wondered why you can’t see the differences, you’re not alone. In fact, what psychologists call "change blindness" is really a power struggle raging in our brains. When we view something, we notice big details — the people, the forest they're in, perhaps the house in the background — and fail to zero in on less important features like the number of shrubs in the forest or the house's finer details. That's because if we spotted everything, we'd be unable to focus our attention. So, our brain fails to log details it deems ­unimportant. When we flip back and forth trying to find them, we can't because we never noticed them in the first place. However, once we do see the disparity, it gets stored as one of the obvious elements, and then we can't seem to unsee it. Scientists say they’re not surprised we don’t encode everything we see — what surprises them is that we think we do. You can’t be aware of things your brain never sees.