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A large toothbrush is sometimes harder to recognize than a small one.Credit: Eckstein et al, Figure 1

If an object isn't to scale with its surroundings, it's easier to overlook, according to a study published last week in the journal Current Biology. Participants were asked to search an image for a particular object. Sometimes the object was missing, sometimes it was normal-sized, and sometimes it was four times larger than normal. Participants were 13% more likely to miss the object when it was larger than expected.

Why it matters: It's part of a larger body of work showing expectations can influence how we perceive the world around us. Similar phenomena explain why sometimes objects we were looking for were in front of us the whole time, just out-of-context.

Go Deeper: The New York Times features examples of this illusion, and others, at work.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
32 mins ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.