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Blind to movie continuity bloopers? There's a good reason

"Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix"
Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix

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Movie trivia buffs love to point out movie continuity errors, like when Julia Roberts croissant spontaneously transforms into a pancake in one scene in "Pretty Woman" or Harry Potter's shirt collar changes from a crew neck to a henley in "Order of the Phoenix."

But these subtle changes are rarely detected by the average film-watcher, and according to a new study out of UC Berkeley, that's a good thing.

By filtering out small changes in visual information, the human brain is able to keep a stable and fluid picture of the things going on around us. So we aren't thrown off by small changes like shadows cast on faces or rain drops falling in our field of vision.

MIT postdoctoral fellow Jason Fischer, who authored the report, joins us to explain.