NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ934346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Attentional Signatures of Perception: Multiple Object Tracking Reveals the Automaticity of Contour Interpolation
Keane, Brian P.; Mettler, Everett; Tsoi, Vicky; Kellman, Philip J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n3 p685-698 Jun 2011
Multiple object tracking (MOT) is an attentional task wherein observers attempt to track multiple targets among moving distractors. Contour interpolation is a perceptual process that fills-in nonvisible edges on the basis of how surrounding edges (inducers) are spatiotemporally related. In five experiments, we explored the automaticity of interpolation through its influences on tracking. We found that (1) when the edges of targets and distractors jointly formed dynamic illusory or occluded contours, tracking accuracy worsened; (2) when interpolation bound all four targets together, performance improved; (3) when interpolation strength was weakened (by altering the size or relative orientation of inducing edges), tracking effects disappeared; and (4) real and interpolated contours influenced tracking comparably, except that real contours could more effectively shift attention toward distractors. These results suggest that interpolation's characteristics--and, in particular, its automaticity--can be revealed through its attentional influences or "signatures" within tracking. Our results also imply that relatively detailed object representations are formed in parallel, and that such representations can affect tracking when they become relevant to scene segmentation. (Contains 10 figures and 7 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California