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Dawn Sarno, Alyssa Hess, Joanna Lewis, Ada Mishler, Corey Bohil, Arthur Kramer, Mark Neider; Into the Woods: Characterizing and Training Detection of Camouflaged Targets in Natural Scenes. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):85. doi: 10.1167/17.10.85.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Search performance has been shown to decline as target-background similarity increases (Wolfe, Oliva, Horowitz, Butcher, & Bompas, 2002). For some tasks, such as searching for a camouflaged enemy, this decrement in performance can mean life or death. Previous research has suggested that performance on these difficult search tasks can be improved through training (Hess, Wismer, Bohil, & Neider, 2016) and, importantly, this training has been found to transfer to novel stimuli (Neider, Ang, Voss, Carbonari, & Kramer, 2013). The goal of the present study was to develop a training intervention to improve detection of camouflaged targets in natural scenes and engender transfer to untrained targets and backgrounds. The training task consisted of searching for camouflaged targets derived from distorted patches of a wooded scene. Following training, transfer to new background classes was assessed utilizing novel wooded and urban scenes; transfer to new target classes was assessed with three novel target types: blur, lens flare, and geometric. Participants were assigned to one of three training groups (adaptive, massed, or control) and trained over 14, one-hour sessions. In the adaptive group, target difficulty varied on a trial-to-trial basis depending on performance; the massed group received increasingly more difficult targets as they progressed through the training sessions. Following training, both training groups showed evidence of transfer of training to novel wooded scenes compared to the control group, with the adaptive group showing the strongest evidence of transfer (average 1.5s decrease in response times, 7% increase in accuracy). The adaptive group also demonstrated transfer of training to several novel target classes. Our findings suggest that adaptively training participants to detect camouflaged targets in natural scenes can engender transfer of training to untrained background and target types.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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