Visual object permanence for multiple moving objects - a tale of two representational accounts

Keeping track of multiple visually identical and independently moving objects is a remarkable feature of the human visual system. Theoretical accounts to date for this mechanism focus solely on resource-based models that describe parametric decreases of performance with increasing demands during the task (i.e. more relevant items, closer distances, higher speed). Our recent work argues in favor of two separate and parallel tracking mechanisms during standard object-tracking tasks that allow for the maintenance of the relevant information in a location-based and object-based manner. The later not being investigated so far by other groups. Behavioral, electrophysiological and functional imaging data to support this notion are being presented. We argue for the process of constructing an abstract configuration out of relevant, independently moving visual objects to be crucial in explaining intriguing properties of the tracking task like hemispheric independence and poor identity tracking.

Christian Merkel