Join our investing community

Spotlighting the comings and goings of human perception

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Billv, 11th Sep, 2008.

  1. Billv

    Billv Getting there

    Joined:
    15th Jul, 2007
    Posts:
    1,796
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    ON A DARK night you suddenly catch a glimpse of a human figure. You think you can make out its gender from the way it moves.

    What happens next - or appears to happen next - could depend on the conclusion you reach, research shows.

    If it is a male figure, he will appear to be coming towards you. If it is female, she will probably seem to be moving away.

    This strange phenomenon of human perception has been identified by researchers in NSW.

    Rick van der Zwan, an associate professor of psychology at Southern Cross University, said it may have its origins deep in our evolutionary past.

    It would be an advantage, for example, for both men and women to perceive male figures as approaching them, if they were uncertain, so they could better prepare for a flight-or-fight response.

    But a woman departing is more of a worry than one approaching, particularly for a child, because it could signal a risk of being left alone, Professor van der Zwan said.

    He said humans were adept at identifying characteristics about people just from the way they moved. "It's a very important social skill. If someone is walking up to you with their hands up, it's important to know if they are going to give you a hug or hit you."

    Even when the only information is lights attached to a person's joints, people can distinguish whether an invisible figure is male or female, young or old, and how they are feeling.

    For the study, published in the journal Current Biology, an international team led by Professor van der Zwan filmed 100 male and female actors walking on the spot with lights attached to them and then produced composite videos of two extremes - a girly girl and a hulking male - as well as a third, gender neutral walker.

    Both male and female observers had the same reaction: they always perceived the obviously male figure as walking towards them, but the obviously female one was walking away in most cases.


    MORE HERE
    Spotlighting the comings and goings of human perception - National - smh.com.au
     
  2. Redwing

    Redwing Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9th Jun, 2006
    Posts:
    476
    Location:
    PERTH..WA
    Have noticed that figures that appear to be walking towards me, get larger as time passes and the opposite happens for figures that walk away, this happens in both daylight and dusk scenarios :confused: when all lights are out I'm in the dark as to what is actually occurring
     
  3. Billv

    Billv Getting there

    Joined:
    15th Jul, 2007
    Posts:
    1,796
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Redwing

    That's interesting so if they are male or female does it make any difference?

    Cheers