December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Multiple-object tracking (MOT) and visually guided touch: Distractor inhibition or target excitation?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mallory E. Terry
    University of Guelph
  • Lana M. Trick
    The Center for Visual Science
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 4193. doi:
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      Mallory E. Terry, Lana M. Trick; Multiple-object tracking (MOT) and visually guided touch: Distractor inhibition or target excitation?. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):4193.

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

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Multiple-object tracking (MOT) involves tracking the positions of several targets as they move among identical distractors for a period of time. When we consider situations in everyday life that require MOT such as team sports or driving, they often require performing coordinated actions towards specific items in these dynamic environments (e.g. pointing, touching). Further, MOT is thought to employ cognitive mechanisms that may also be necessary for performing coordinated actions towards some of the tracked items (Pylyshyn, 2001). In support of this, visually guided touch was found to interfere with the MOT task, especially when the touched item was a distractor in MOT as compared to a target (Terry & Trick, 2021). Here we sought out to investigate the role of distractor inhibition or target excitation in this effect using a modified MOT task where participants performed two tasks at once: 1) track targets in MOT and 2) touch any item that changes colour. Participants tracked 4 targets in MOT among 4 moving distractors and 4 identical stationary items for a total of 12 items. Baseline conditions were also included to assess single task performance for both tasks (e.g. tracking targets in MOT without touch and touching items that changed colour without tracking). Touching targets in MOT resulted in significantly higher tracking accuracy as compared to touching moving distractors or stationary items, however, tracking accuracy when touching moving distractors or stationary items was not appreciably different. Taken together, these results provide support for target excitation as a mechanism that facilitates MOT and visually guided touch.


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