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Source: Jerry Frieman, 785-532-6850, frieman@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Megan Wilson, 785-532-6415, media@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009

K-STATE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT SPONSORING EXPERT ON VISUAL AWARENESS

MANHATTAN -- Daniel J. Simons, a noted expert on visual awareness, will present a lecture on the topic at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at Kansas State University.

The lecture, sponsored by the K-State department of psychology, will be in the K-State Student Union's Little Theater. It is free and open to the public.

Simons, a professor in the Visual Cognition and Human Performance Division at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will include numerous demonstrations in his lecture on visual awareness, which encompasses visual cognition, perception, attention and memory. He will address such things as why it is bad to drive while talking on a cell phone, how much of the world around them people really see, why movies have so many editing mistakes and why you may not be able to remember which person was your waiter.

Simons' research has focused on change blindness -- the failure to notice large changes in objects, photographs and motion pictures from one instant to the next. Another focus of his research has been inattentional blindness, or the failure to notice unusual and salient events in the visual world when attention is otherwise engaged and the events are unexpected. He also researches scene perception, object recognition, visual memory, visual fading, attention, and driving and distraction.

Simons is the recipient of an American Psychological Association Young Researcher Award. He has published more than 60 scholarly works, and his work has been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Newsweek and Scientific American. He has appeared on "Dateline NBC" and the "The CBS Early Show," and his research also has been the subject of multiple science programs on the Discovery Channel and the BBC.