The effect of visual distinctiveness on multiple object tracking performance
AuthorHowe, PDL; Holcombe, AO
Source TitleFRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
University of Melbourne Author/sHowe, Piers
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHowe, P. D. L. & Holcombe, A. O. (2012). The effect of visual distinctiveness on multiple object tracking performance. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 3 (AUG), https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00307.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427910
Observers often need to attentively track moving objects. In everyday life, such objects are often visually distinctive. Previous studies have shown that tracking accuracy is increased when the targets contain a visual feature (e.g., a color) not possessed by the distractors. Conversely, a gain in tracking accuracy was not observed when the targets differed from the distractors by only a conjunction of features (Makovski and Jiang, 2009a). In this study we confirm that some conjunction targets have relatively little effect on tracking accuracy, but show that other conjunction targets can significantly aid tracking. For example, tracking accuracy is relatively high when the targets are small red squares and half the distractors are large red squares while the remaining distractors are small green squares. This seems to occur because the targets have a set of features (small and red) not shared by any one distractor. Attending to these features directs attention more to the targets than the distractors, thereby making the targets easier to track. Existing theories of attentive tracking cannot explain these results.
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