How quickly can you find the T hidden in this collection of Ls? Finding it difficult? Ok, we’ll give you a clue… it’s NOT a red letter.
Still can’t find it?
Well, it’s probably because we gave you a clue: Scientists have discovered that knowing what NOT to look for can actually slow down your reaction time… at first.
However, with some practice, this changes. In a study by Johns Hopkins University, published by psychologicalscience.org, participants were given one colour to consistently ignore.
After taking part in 100 trials, they appeared to have trained their brains and were finding the target letters much faster than those who weren’t given a colour to eliminate.
So the more we practise ‘ignoring’ information, the better we get at finding what we’re actually looking for.
This is important for training professionals such as radiologists and airport baggage screeners who rely on their visual searching capabilities to do their job.
Not another useless puzzle after all!