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J Vis. 2010 Apr 28;10(4):18.1-13. doi: 10.1167/10.4.18.

Conflicting motion information impairs multiple object tracking.

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Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, 111 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37240, USA.


People can keep track of target objects as they move among identical distractors using only spatiotemporal information. We investigated whether or not participants use motion information during the moment-to-moment tracking of objects by adding motion to the texture of moving objects. The texture either remained static or moved relative to the object's direction of motion, either in the same direction, the opposite direction, or orthogonal to each object's trajectory. Results showed that, compared to the static texture condition, tracking performance was worse when the texture moved in the opposite direction of the object and better when the texture moved in the same direction as the object. Our results support the conclusion that motion information is used during the moment-to-moment tracking of objects. Motion information may either affect a representation of position or be used to periodically predict the future location of targets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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