August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Hide and Seek: The Ultimate Mind Game
Author Affiliations
  • Giles Anderson
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Eleni Nasiopoulos
    Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Tom Foulsham
    Department of Psychology, University of Essex, UK
  • Craig Chapman
    Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Alan Kingstone
    Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 733. doi:
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      Giles Anderson, Eleni Nasiopoulos, Tom Foulsham, Craig Chapman, Alan Kingstone; Hide and Seek: The Ultimate Mind Game. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):733. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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While a large body of research has focussed on how people visually search for objects, few studies have investigated how people hide objects when given the choice of multiple possible hiding places, an aspect particularly pertinent for security services. We therefore presented an array of items on a touch-sensitive screen and participants indicated under which item they would hide an unspecified target for a 'colleague'. Displays were four by four grids of colored bars which were either homogeneous or included a unique color or orientation item. On each trial, the colleague was identified as either a 'friend' or a 'foe', so that the target was hidden either where it was easy or hard to find. This allowed us to consider two issues. First, whether participants hiding items would be sensitive to the pop-out targets which, as shown by decades of visual search experiments, are most readily selected by people looking for items in the visual field. Second, whether the concepts from embodied cognition might influence the pattern of item choice in the absence of clear visual cues as to where to hide the target. The data suggest both were relevant. When hiding for a friend, more targets were placed behind the unique item or behind items either horizontally or vertically adjacent to this singleton. On homogeneous displays, a selection bias was evident towards items closest to the participant. Targets hidden for a foe, however, were placed away from the singleton, and, in the absence of this unique item, were positioned further from the participant. The corresponding 'find' version, in which participants look for hidden targets, is currently underway. Comparing performance will offer insights in the conceptual differences between hiding and finding, as well as providing an objective and flexible paradigm to test perspective taking and Theory of Mind.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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