The Marvel Of Perceptual Vigilance

October 23, 2009

Squelettes se disputant un hareng saur

Squelettes se disputant un hareng saur

BurgerBoy and BurgerGal, nestled together in the corner of some dark cafe somewhere in Paris, perhaps amidst a rising cloud of blue-tinted Gauloises smoke, sent a snapshot via email from across the pond this fine Friday morning. 

Evocative of the classic Van Gogh painting ‘skull with cigarette’ (the most distinguished of his paintings from the Antwerp period), this painting here portrays two skeletons locked in mortal combat over–yes, you guessed-it–a herring!

It’s amazing that BurgerBoy noticed this element.  Herring aren’t exactly on your average Joe’s radar, but it’s interesting how once a person becomes sensitized to something (eg: herring), their mind changes the way it filters impressions, and suddenly, that thing you’ve recently been made aware of seems to appear all the time in different places.   Advertisers love this, of course.

Psychologists call this phenomenon ‘perceptual vigilance’, and it’s something we can all pretty much relate to.  That said, I encourage readers to send in any picture or mention of a herring they find in their travels.  I’d be happy to post them!

We salute your perceptual vigilance BurgerBoy.  Vive le France!!!!!


2 Responses to “The Marvel Of Perceptual Vigilance”

  1. Da Haring Koning said

    I love it when my muse bites my tongue. The tongue is much tastier than the ear!

  2. […] a little musée d’Orsay action.  Saw the James Ensor show, which was great.  Also caught this little gem, to the delight of uberchef.  After a bit more of the sightseeing and a picnic in the Champ de […]

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