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Department of Cognitive Science

Multiple object tracking

In daily life, our visual system is bombarded with information - some of which must be ignored in order for us to achieve the task at hand. Furthermore, to navigate in a dynamic world, we must often track multiple objects moving simultaneously about the environment. This research examines the types of events that cause the most distraction when we are performing tasks involving motion. Specifically, we are interested in understanding how distracting events affect one’s ability to track moving objects. Using the multiple object tracking (MOT) paradigm (Pylyshyn and Storm 1988), we are building on classical experiments that have used stationary displays, to examine attention capture in a more real-world scenario.

At the beginning of this first demo you see 13 circles on the screen. Four of them appear blue, indicating which "target" circles are to be tracked. All circles will then move randomly for 8 seconds.The subject's task is to keep track of the target circles. At the end of the trial subject's are typically asked to indicate whether the stationary blue circle is part of the target set or not. Surprisingly, most people have no trouble doing this task if the number of targets does not exceed 5.

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In the second demo we introduce a typically an abrupt salient distractor to examine its effect on tracking performance.

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Email : cogsci@mq.edu.au
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