Vrins S, Koning A, Atsma J, Van Lier R, 2011, "Moving in the same direction: Allocation of attention to occluded targets" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 108
Moving in the same direction: Allocation of attention to occluded targets
S Vrins, A Koning, J Atsma, R Van Lier
In two experiments, we investigated the allocation of attention on and around objects in a multiple object tracking (MOT) task (3 targets, 3 distractors) by using an additional probe-detection task. During tracking, a target could occasionally share its movement direction with a nearby distractor (Experiment 1), while the target was occluded or not occluded (Experiment 2). Although tracking performance was high across experiments and conditions, probe-detection rates revealed diverging results. Experiment 1 showed that when a target and a nearby distractor temporarily shared movement direction, probes presented between them were detected better than probes presented between a target and a nearby distractor that did not share movement direction. Experiment 2 revealed similar results when a stationary transparent object was added to the MOT display, behind which an object could move while remaining visible. However, when the same stationary object was opaque, the spread of attention around the occluded target increased such that all probes on and around the occluded target were detected equally well. It appears that the attentional highbeam on occluded targets (Flombaum et al, 2008 Cognition 107 904–931) exceeds the occluded area, that is involving the adjacent open space, and even overrules effects of grouping by common motion.
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