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It is said that emotionally arousing violent or erotic images can cause momentary periods of blindness. It has been shown that there are limits to how much information people can hold in their visual short-term memory.

It can also happen that we miss something what we are searching for if we are shown an unexpected image that impacts us emotionally, by a mechanism called "emotion-induced blindness".
An experiment was done in which hundreds of pictures that included a mix of disturbing images along with landscape of architectural photos were shown to subjects and then they were asked to search for a particular target image. The results showed that emotionally arousing images impact attention in similar ways whether they are perceived as positive or negative.


Hey there

This is very interesting research you have shared with us. I am wondering can this be applied for regular situations in our life. For example how come I can’t find my keys when I am late for work? Does that have something to do with the fact that I don’t like my work and that the images which are going through my head are related with my work place.

Or sometimes when I need to go on a blind date it seems that I always lose necessary things. It would be nice to know that our subconscious knows exactly what we need and what we don’t want even when we have is interesting idea anyway.