Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 453–460 | Cite as

Comparing eye movements during position tracking and identity tracking: No evidence for separate systems

  • Chia-Chien Wu
  • Jeremy M. Wolfe


There is an ongoing debate as to whether people track multiple moving objects in a serial fashion or with a parallel mechanism. One recent study compared eye movements when observers tracked identical objects (Multiple Object Tracking—MOT task) versus when they tracked the identities of different objects (Multiple Identity Tracking—MIT task). Distinct eye-movement patterns were found and attributed to two separate tracking systems. However, the same results could be caused by differences in the stimuli viewed during tracking. In the present study, object identities in the MIT task were invisible during tracking, so observers performed MOT and MIT tasks with identical stimuli. Observer were able to track either position and identity depending on the task. There was no difference in eye movements between position tracking and identity tracking. This result suggests that, while observers can use different eye-movement strategies in MOT and MIT, it is not necessary.


Eye movements and visual attention Attention: object-based 



This research was supported by Army Research Office, No. R00000000000588.


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Visual Attention Lab, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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