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Do Multielement Visual Tracking and Visual Search Draw Continuously on the Same Visual Attention Resources?
 

Summary: Do Multielement Visual Tracking and Visual Search Draw Continuously
on the Same Visual Attention Resources?
George A. Alvarez
Harvard University
Todd S. Horowitz
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
Helga C. Arsenio
Massachusetts General Hospital
Jennifer S. DiMase
Yale University
Jeremy M. Wolfe
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
Multielement visual tracking and visual search are 2 tasks that are held to require visual­spatial attention.
The authors used the attentional operating characteristic (AOC) method to determine whether both tasks
draw continuously on the same attentional resource (i.e., whether the 2 tasks are mutually exclusive). The
authors found that observers can search and track within the same trial significantly better than would be
predicted if the 2 tasks were mutually exclusive. In fact, the AOC for tracking and search is similar to
that for tracking and auditory monitoring. The results of additional experiments support an attention-
switching account for this high level of dual-task performance in which a single attentional resource is
efficiently switched between the tracking and search. The results provide important constraints for

  

Source: Alvarez, George A. - Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Harvard University, Visual Attention Lab

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine