How you able to type?
A Vanderbilt University research squad has illustrated what the Victorians and Mary Whitehouse knew all along: that smut sends you blind, albeit temporarily. The same apparently applies to blood and guts images, although of course eyeballing snaps of carnage does not carry the same penalty of eternal damnation as ogling smut.
Vanderbilt Uni psychologist David Zald and his team exposed guinea pigs to a barrage of "disturbing" images interspersed with landscape or architectural snaps, telling them to scan the images for a certain target image. The press release explains: "An irrelevant, emotionally negative or neutral picture preceded the target by two to eight items. The closer the negative pictures were to the target image, the more frequently the subject failed to spot the target. In a subsequent study, which has not yet been published, the researchers substituted erotic for negative images and found the same basic effect."
The bottom line is, says Zald: "We observed that people fail to detect visual images that appeared one-fifth of a second after emotional images, whereas they can detect those images with little problem after neutral images."
So, what's it all about? Well, the boffins reckon it's related to the "rubbernecking" concept - the process whereby you try and drive by an accident without having a shufti but "our emotions of concern, fear and curiosity cause us to stare out the window at the accident and slow to a crawl as we drive by".
We suppose that the same process is at work when you attempt to motor past an attractive member of the opposite/same sex (according to taste) and not cop an eyeful, fail dismally and pile into the back of the police car sitting at a zebra crossing.
The Full Story: The Register
Poor Conan... he must've been blind at the age of 3.