July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Motion Factors other than spacing may affect MOT performance
Author Affiliations
  • Allan Kugel
    Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 1289. doi:10.1167/13.9.1289
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      Allan Kugel; Motion Factors other than spacing may affect MOT performance. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1289. doi: 10.1167/13.9.1289.

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

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Recent research[1][2] suggests that in the Multiple Object Tracking [MOT] task, object spacing may be the one primary factor affecting relative tracking performance.

In this experiment, we examined this claim by presenting a simple MOT task within a rotating circular scene on a computer display. By rotating this scene at different speeds, we changed the speed and motion complexity of the moving objects without altering the average spacing between the objects. We used counterclockwise rotational speeds of 0, 8, 16, and 24 revolutions per minute, and used subjects' tracking accuracy in tracking four targets with eight distractors as a measure of relative difficulty.

We found that tracking moving objects in a rotating scene is more difficult than in a non-rotating scene, and that tracking difficulty increases with rotation speed. In particular, subjects' performance dropped from an average of 3.5 targets successfully tracked for the no-rotation case to around an average of 2 targets tracked for the 24rpm rotation case.

Since the average pairwise distances are the same across conditions, this suggests that at least some other factor besides spacing remains important to performance on the MOT task.


[1] Franconeri, S., Jonathan, S. J., & Scimeca, J. M. (2010). Tracking Multiple Objects Is Limited Only by Object Spacing, Not by Speed, Time, or Capacity. Psychological Science, 21(920-925).

[2] Franconeri, S., Lin, J., Pylyshyn, Z., Fisher, B., & Enns, J. (2008). Evidence against a speed limit in multiple-object tracking. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15(4), 802-808.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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