After Anne Strieber’s stroke, she found she had trouble recognizing faces and finding her way around, a problem that eventually went away. Researches think both talents are based in our genes. This is one of the subjects she discusses with Russell Targ on this week’s Dreamland. Come talk to Anne in person in June!

New studies show that people are much better at recognizing faces of their own racial group than those of different races EXCEPT when they’ve been drinking alcohol (which may explain all those integrated beer commercials on TV). When given enough alcohol to be mildly intoxicated people lost the ability to recognize faces from their own race better.In, Bob Beale quotes researcher Kirin Hilliar as saying, “Alcohol has a negative effect on people’s memory for information. Our results thus raise potential concerns for eyewitness accuracy in some conditions (such as eyewitness testimony in court), and they shed light on the mechanisms underlying the own-race bias.”Here’s something else that can temporarily blind you: jealousy. One study found that women who were made to feel jealous were so distracted by unpleasant emotional images they became unable to spot targets they were trying to find.

psychologists Steven Most and Jean-Philippe Laurenceau tested heterosexual romantic couples in a lab experiment. The partners sat near each other at separate computers. The woman was asked to detect targets (pictures of landscapes) amid rapid streams of images, while trying to ignore occasional emotionally unpleasant (gruesome or graphic) images.

The man was asked to rate the attractiveness of landscapes that appeared on his screen. Partway through the experiment, the experimenter announced the male partner would now rate the attractiveness of other single women. At the end, the females were asked how uneasy they felt about their partner rating other women

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