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Domenico Tullo, Chiara Perico, Jocelyn Faubert, Armando Bertone; Multiple object-tracking isolates feedback-specific load in attention and learning. Journal of Vision 2020;20(5):9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.5.9.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Feedback is beneficial for learning. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether (i) feedback draws attentional resources when integrated and (ii) the benefits of feedback for learning can be demonstrated using an attention-based task. We therefore (i) isolated feedback-specific load from task-specific load via individual differences in attention resource capacity and (ii) examined the effect of trial-by-trial feedback (i.e., present vs. absent) on learning a multiple object-tracking (MOT) paradigm. We chose MOT because it is a robust measure of attention resource capacity. In Study 1 participants tracked one (i.e., lowest attentional load condition) through four target items (i.e., highest load condition) among eight total items. One group (n = 32) received trial-by-trial feedback whereas the other group (n = 32) did not. The absence of feedback resulted in better MOT performance compared with the presence of feedback. Moreover, the difference in MOT capability between groups increased as the task-specific attentional load increased. These findings suggest that feedback integration requires attentional resources. Study 2 examined whether the absence (n = 19) or presence (n = 19) of feedback affects learning on the same MOT task across four testing days. When holding task-specific load constant, improvement in MOT was greater with feedback than without. Although this study is the first to isolate feedback-specific load in attention with MOT, more evidence is needed to demonstrate how the benefits of feedback translate to improvement on an attention-based task. These findings encourage future research to further explore the interaction between feedback, attention and learning.
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