Multiple-object tracking across various fields of view
63.312, Wednesday, May 15, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Royal Ballroom 6-8
James Reed-Jones1, Lana Trick2; 1Department of Kinesiology, College of Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, 2Department of Psychology, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph
Multiple-object tracking involves monitoring the locations of a number of targets as they move among identical distractors. Previous work on multiple-object tracking was restricted to smaller fields of view (∼20°). This study explored the effects of increasing the size of the field of view on multiple-object tracking. Twenty participants were required to track 1, 3, or 5 targets among 10 identical items across three fields of view (20°, 80°, and 120°) for an 8 second tracking interval. Field of view was blocked, though the number of targets varied randomly from trial to trial. As is usually seen in multiple-object tracking studies, tracking accuracy dropped with increases in the number of targets (p <.001) but it increased with the size of the visual field (p <.001). This result suggests that the visual indexing mechanism may be more attuned to tracking in fields of view more akin to what might be the case in daily life and not artificially small (and dense). With dense displays, it may be easier to confuse targets and distractors, and that may explain the differences seen. Differences between attentional mechanisms as used for making fine discriminations and attentional mechanisms as used for visual-motor coordination in tasks such as driving and team sports are discussed.