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Ashley K. Black, Zenon Pylyshyn; Developmental Differences in Multiple Object Tracking. Journal of Vision 2004;4(8):371. doi: 10.1167/4.8.371.
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Pylyshyn (2001) has theorized that people assign visual indexes to a small number of items in their visual field, which allows them to keep track of the items as they move. The present study asks whether this ability to index and track items develops with age. The task was a modification of the original M.O.T. paradigm. Children had to keep track of two to four targets that were flashed. At the beginning of the trial children were grouped into one of three age groups: five and six year olds, seven and eight year olds, and nine and ten year olds. The results confirmed that there is an increase in the ability to track multiple items with increasing age and that the older children are as good as adults at this task. There was a significant difference between age groups on several scoring methods, but no significant interaction between age and the different scores, which suggests that the children of different ages may differ in their attentional capacity but not in the strategies they use to deal with increasing numbers of targets in this task.
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