Tracking multiple objects across abrupt viewpoint changes
The reported experiment tested the effect of abrupt and unpredictable viewpoint changes on the attentional tracking of multiple objects in dynamic 3-D scenes. Observers tracked targets that moved independently among identically looking distractors on a rectangular floor plane. The tracking interval was 11 s. Abrupt rotational viewpoint changes of 10°, 20°, or 30° occurred after 8 s. Accuracy of tracking targets across a 10° viewpoint change was comparable to accuracy in a continuous control condition, whereas viewpoint changes of 20° and 30° impaired tracking performance considerably. This result suggests that tracking is mainly dependant on a low-level process whose performance is saved against small disturbances by the visual system's ability to compensate for small changes of retinocentric coordinates. Tracking across large viewpoint changes succeeds only if allocentric coordinates are remembered to relocate targets after displacements.
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