The aim of the current study was to identify strategies used in recovering dynamic objects after long interruptions. The primary task in this study required participants to track a set of six target dots amongst eight distracter dots and locate them after a 30 second interruption. In one condition the dots reappeared in their displaced locations (moving condition) while in the other condition they reappeared in their original pre-interruption locations (not-moving condition). Consistent with previous research we found that the not-moving condition had significantly better accuracy than the moving condition. Above chance accuracy was found in both conditions. Reaction time data provided further insight into the strategies used to recover displaced objects. In the end, it was concluded that pre-interruption location is the most salient and easily remembered characteristic. Reaction time data did provide preliminary support for the use of on-line tracking during interruptions, although such abilities seem to be limited in capacity to approximately three targets. The results of this research have wide spread implications to domains requiring constant tracking of objects such as air traffic control. Copyright 2010 by Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Conference 54th Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting 2010, HFES 2010
Hunter, A.C. (Aren C.), & Parush, A. (2010). Where did they go? Recovering dynamic objects after interruptions. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp. 1990–1994). doi:10.1518/107118110X12829370263809