Most men know that bewildering feeling of standing in front of an open fridge and painstakingly searching for one simple item, all, of course, to no avail. Then, after a few minutes of searching all of the refrigerator's drawers, a female companion invariably shows up and finds said item in a few seconds. Men are left stumped. Women are yet again annoyed.
Well, believe it or not, men's inability to find anything in the refrigerator may actually be the result of more than sheer laziness. Neuroscientists have just invented a term to describe this male phenomenon: "fridge blindness."
Norman Doidge, a major Canadian psychoanalyst focusing on neuroplasticity, recently wrote that women's brains are far better at object recognition than men are. Male brains, on the other hand, are generally better at visual spatial rotation.
Evolutionarily speaking, this makes perfect sense. While men needed visual rotation skills for successful hunting, women honed in on their object recognition skills as they were tending to household chores and the young. This is why women tend to be better able to differentiate between different detailed objects with great speed.
Fortunately for men, the more a man works in the kitchen, the more he can overcome fridge blindness. Many stay-at-home dads recognize a marked improvement in their fridge blindness symptoms only after a few months of daily work tending to the kitchen. Of course, it will be more difficult for men to pick up these skills, but they are not impossible to learn.
Since both men and women nowadays are trading off domestic responsibilities, Doidge believes this is a great time for men to strengthen their object recognition skills. As more fathers stay at home, there'll be far less reason to ask females where everything is in the pantry everyday.
Another interesting observation about fridge blindness is how others respond to men who have overcome all fear about operating in the kitchen. Most men experience a huge boost in confidence when they feel in control of cooking in a domestic setting. Indeed, women are on average extremely impressed by a man who can locate anything and everything in his fridge.
However, men don't seem to give women as much credit for their cooking skills on average. Doidge and others hope that by overcoming kitchen blindness, men will come to a greater appreciation of how powerful the female mind truly is.
Besides appreciating women's contribution to domestic life, overcoming fridge blindness has numerous benefits for men. The main benefit, of course, is that men will be able to find exactly what they need when they need it.
So, fridge blindness does exist. If men can exercise a bit of patience, it's far better for their brains to find the item for themselves to overcome fridge blindness for good.