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Birch, Jim Jim.Birch at dhhs.tas.gov.au
Tue Mar 29 10:42:27 AEDT 2011

Fred Pilcher wrote:

> Like those infuriating scrolling messages that some TV stations use?

I guess we are generally heading towards news coming through web pages
because it offers more scope for user selection.  What we need is an
expectation that scrollers and continuously updating page gadgets can be
"squelched" (to use the old radio term.) 

As an interesting aside, it has been recommended that that infants under
two are not left in front of TV.  Our attention is automatically
directed to movement and change by circuits that we have weak ability to
control.  This would be highly adaptive in a natural environment where
change often signals risk and opportunity, but it is a biological
mechanism that can be exploited in the constructed media environment
where accumulated viewer attention drives profit.  Apart from the
relentless shot jumps in TV, fully static shot are now very rare; even
title frames and logo shots are now made with enough movement to suck
attention.  In infants, the ability to control attention is virtually
non-existent so they are forced to relentlessly follow screen changes.
Apart from the experience of being trapped in a Hell of undifferentiated
valueless images, this is thought to have potentially serious
developmental consequences as the infant doesn't have the time examine
and model the visual field at an appropriate pace for developing visual

Infants enjoy much simpler environments:

Older kids will typically have vastly improved ability to process images
plus at least a modicum of capacity withhold attention.  As we age,
cognitive processing throughput becomes a scarcer resource, and the
desire to not attend to crap increases.  Well, mostly.  :)

- Jim   



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