Comparing the Effect of Colour and Shape Features on Multiple Object Tracking and Multiple Identity Tracking
There is debate whether multiple object tracking (MOT) and multiple identity tracking (MIT) involve the exact same cognitive mechanisms. MOT is the ability to keep track of the positions of identical moving targets among equally identical distractors. This requires distinguishing targets from distractors. MIT is a related task that requires the ability to keep track of the positions and properties of unique targets among unique distractors. This task requires the ability to distinguish targets from distractors as well as targets from other targets. To determine the relationship between MOT and MIT, the effect of target feature similarity on target-distractor distinctions and target-target distinctions was examined. When targets shared a colour or shape that distinguished them from distractors, target-distractor distinctions were improved compared to when targets and distractors had overlapping features. However, target-target distinctions did not see the same advantage, suggesting that there are separate mechanisms involved in MOT and MIT.