Saturday, July 9, 2011


I found the chapter on perceiving motion to be quite interesting especially when referring to animal survival in the wild. Survival in nature relies mostly on the survival of the fittest and survival of the most cunning. When one can not outsmart the opponent might as well try to freeze in motion, like some animals may act dead in hopes of their predator becoming disinterested, which in many cases works. In my house we have a dog, who likes to chase after our two cats, who love to chase after our hamster. I mention this because it is a cycle of nonstop stalking underneath chairs which eventually leads to a chase in my house but there are never any injuries might I add.

So as I said, I have two cats who love to ‘stalk’ and prey on anything they find and I am sure many other of my classmates have seen animals do the same. My cats will get real still, motionless, and totally in the zone when they see a rabbit move from one spot to another. Then they get real low to the ground, and simply watch their prey. What is interesting is as soon as the prey realizes there is a predator around; the prey will do the same; absolutely motionless, the rabbit will not even move a whisker. Both prey and predator remain motionless because of a thing called ATTENTIONAL CAPTURE which is the basic idea that motion attracts attention and that without moving perhaps they will not be noticed or will be forgotten. This is key for many in the wild because it actually is an eat or be eaten world for animals.

-> For anyone who does not know what I am talking about with cats (specifically) and stalking, here’s a YouTube video of what I see all the time, a cat preying on a bunny, but the bunny always getting away.


  1. I see this happen on a regular basis within my own house. We recently got a new puppy who, while very playful and cute, always runs up to one of my house cats. Whenever the puppy runs up to one of these cats they always freeze in place and stop moving immediately, as though hoping to avoid attentional capture, and eventually hiss when the puppy doesn't immediately go away. Clearly, the isn't quite a predator and prey relationship but I think it is still an apt description of their relationship. Sometimes, actually, it does work and the puppy will simply leave the cat alone.

  2. Really interesting! This is definitely true for almost every animal. We have a dog in my house, and whenever I take him for a walk and he sees a squirrel, he completely stops in his tracks. I agree with you that cats especially do a good job with it. Great post!

  3. Thanks! I think it is SO funny when you see this amongst animals, but to them that is their natural instinct to survive!