Human mind might be preventing us from finding extraterrestrial life

The human brain could be preventing us from finding artificial intelligence.
By Tyler MacDonald | Apr 11, 2018
A new study suggests that our own neurophysiology, psychology, and consciousness could be holding us back from finding extraterrestrial life, according to the Information and Scientific New Services (SINC).

The data stems from an experiment that examined 137 people who had to distinguish aerial photographs with artificial structures from natural elements, such as mountains and rivers. In one image, a tiny character disguised as a gorilla was inserted to determine if participants noticed.

It makes more sense when you look at the experiment it was based on back in the 90s, two researchers sought to determine inattention blindness in humans. They had a boy in a gorilla costume walk in front of a scene gesticulating while observers were busy with something else.

The results found that more than half didn't notice.

"It is very striking, but very significant and representative at the same time, how our brain works," saidGabriel de la Torre, first author on the study. "In addition, our surprise was greater, since before doing the test to see the inattentional blindness we assessed the participants with a series of questions to determine their cognitive style (if they were more intuitive or rational), and it turned out that the intuitive individuals identified the gorilla of our photo more times than those more rational and methodical."

"If we transfer this to the problem of searching for other non-terrestrial intelligences, the question arises about whether our current strategy may result in us not perceiving the gorilla," he said. "Our traditional conception of space is limited by our brain, and we may have the signs above and be unable to see them. Maybe we're not looking in the right direction".

The findings were published inActa Astronautica.


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