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Yaïr Pinto, Piers D. L. Howe, Michael A. Cohen, Todd S. Horowitz; The more often you see an object, the easier it becomes to track it. Journal of Vision 2010;10(10):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/10.10.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Is it easier to track objects that you have seen repeatedly? We compared repeated blocks, where identities were the same from trial to trial, to unrepeated blocks, where identities varied. People were better in tracking objects that they saw repeatedly. We tested four hypotheses to explain this repetition benefit. First, perhaps the repeated condition benefits from consistent mapping of identities to target and distractor roles. However, the repetition benefit persisted even when both the repeated and the unrepeated conditions used consistent mapping. Second, repetition might improve the ability to recover targets that have been lost, or swapped with distractors. However, we observed a larger repetition benefit for color–color conjunctions, which do not benefit from such error recovery processes, than for unique features, which do. Furthermore, a repetition benefit was observed even in the absence of distractors. Third, perhaps repetition frees up resources by reducing memory load. However, increasing memory load by masking identities during the motion phase reduced the repetition benefit. The fourth hypothesis is that repetition facilitates identity tracking, which in turn improves location tracking. This hypothesis is consistent with all our results. Thus, our data suggest that identity and location tracking share a common resource.
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