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Masahiro Hirai, Daniel R. Saunders, Nikolaus F. Troje; Allocation of attention to biological motion: Local motion dominates global shape. Journal of Vision 2011;11(3):4. doi: 10.1167/11.3.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Directional information can be retrieved from a point-light walker (PLW) in two different ways: either from recovering the global shape of the articulated body or from signals in the local motion of individual dots. Here, we introduce a voluntary eye movement task to assess how the direction of a centrally presented, task-irrelevant PLW affects the onset latency and accuracy of saccades to peripheral targets. We then use this paradigm to design experiments to study which aspects of biological motion—the global form mediated by the motion of the walker or the local movements of critical features—drive the observed attentional effects. Putting the two cues into conflict, we show that saccade latency and accuracy were affected by the local motion of the dots representing the walker's feet—but only if they retain their familiar, predictable location within the display.
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