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ERIC Number: EJ796536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 25
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Attentional Costs in Multiple-Object Tracking
Tombu, Michael; Seiffert, Adriane E.
Cognition, v108 n1 p1-25 Jul 2008
Attentional demands of multiple-object tracking were demonstrated using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were asked to make speeded responses based on the pitch of a tone, while at the same time tracking four of eight identical dots. Tracking difficulty was manipulated either concurrent with or after the tone task. If increasing tracking difficulty increases attentional demands, its effect should be larger when it occurs concurrent with the tone. In Experiment 1, tracking difficulty was manipulated by having all dots briefly attract one another on some trials, causing a transient increase in dot proximity and speed. Results showed that increasing proximity and speed had a significantly larger effect when it occurred at the same time as the tone task. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that manipulating either proximity or speed independently was sufficient to produce this pattern of results. Experiment 4 manipulated object contrast, which affected tracking performance equally whether it occurred concurrent with or after the tone task. Overall, results support the view that the moment-to-moment tracking of multiple objects demands attention. Understanding what factors increase the attentional demands of tracking may help to explain why tracking is sometimes successful and at other times fails. (Contains 7 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A