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Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications

, 1:21

First Online: 12 December 2016Received: 25 July 2016Accepted: 25 October 2016


Suppose you were monitoring a group of people in order to determine if anyone of them did something suspicious e.g., putting down a bag or if any two interacted in a suspicious manner e.g., trading bags. How large a group could you monitor successfully? This paper reports on six experiments in which observers monitor a group of entities, watching for an event. Whether the event was performed by a single entity or was an interaction between a pair, the capacity for event monitoring was two to three items. This was lower than the multiple object tracking capacity for the same stimuli approximately six items. Capacity was essentially the same whether entities were identical circles or unique cartoon animals; nor was capacity changed by an added requirement to identify the entities involved in an event. Event monitoring appears to be related to, but not identical to, multiple object tracking.

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Autor: Chia-Chien Wu - Jeremy M. Wolfe


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