Eye-tracking methodology was used to investigate lapses in the appropriate treatment of ward patients due to not noticing critical cues of deterioration. Forty nursing participants with different levels of experience participated in an interactive screen-based simulation of hypovolemic shock. The results show that 65% of the participants exhibited at least one episode of non-fixation on clinically relevant, fully visible cues that were in plain sight. Thirty-five percent of participants dwelt for sufficient time (>200 ms) on important cues for perception to take place, but no action followed, indicating they had pattern-matching failure. When participants fail to notice what, they should notice in patient status until it is too late, this can have serious consequences. Much work needs to be done, since these human perceptual limitations can affect patient safety in general wards.
In four experiments, blindfolded participants were presented with pairs of stimuli simultaneously, one to each index finger. Participants moved one index finger, which was presented with cutaneous and/or kinesthetic stimuli, and this movement caused a raised line to move underneath the other, stationary index finger in a yoked manner. The stimuli were 180 masculine rotations of each other (e.g., < and >), and thus when a < was traced with the moving finger, it caused a > to be felt at the stationary finger. When asked to report the experience, participants predominantly reported the cutaneous stimulus, seemingly being ignorant of the kinesthetic stimulus. This appears to be an intrahaptic capture phenomenon, which is of interest because it suggests that conflict between intrahaptic sensory stimuli can go unnoticed; sometimes we are unaware of how we moved, and sometimes we do not know what we touched. The results are interpreted in light of optimal integration, perceptual suppression, reafference suppression, and inattentional blindness.