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Dynamics of target selection in Multiple Object Tracking (MOT)

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

In four experiments we address the question whether several visual objects can be selected voluntarily (exogenously) and then tracked in a Multiple Object Tracking paradigm and, if so, whether the selection involves a different process. Experiment 1 showed that items can indeed be selected based on their labels. Experiment 2 showed that to select the complement set to a set that is automatically (exogenously) selected — e.g. to select all objects not flashed — observers require additional time and that given 1080 ms they were able to select and track them as well as those selected automatically.

Experiment 3 showed that the additional time needed in the previous experiment cannot be attributed solely to time required to disengage attention from the initially automatic selections.

Experiment 4 showed that the added time provides a monotonically greater benefit when there are more targets, suggesting a serial process. These results are discussed in relation to the Visual Index (FINST) theory which assumes that visual indexes are captured by a data-driven process. It is suggested that voluntarily allocated attention can be used to facilitate the automatic attention capture by objects of interest.


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