Multiple-target tracking: A role for working memory?

Royston Darrell Allen, Peter McGeorge, David Graham Pearson, Alan Berkeley Milne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


In order to identify the cognitive processes associated with target tracking, a dual-task experiment was carried out in which participants undertook a dynamic multiple-object tracking task first alone and then again, concurrently with one of several secondary tasks, in order to investigate the cognitive processes involved. The research suggests that after designated targets within the visual field have attracted preattentive indexes that point to their locations in space, conscious processes, vulnerable to secondary visual and spatial task interference, form deliberate strategies beneficial to the tracking task, before tracking commences. Target tracking itself is realized by central executive processes, which are sensitive to any other cognitive demands. The findings are discussed in the context of integrating dynamic spatial cognition within a working memory framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1116
Number of pages15
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. A, Human Experimental Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • measuring recognition memory
  • short-term-memory
  • spatial attention
  • apparent motion
  • object files
  • information
  • integration
  • capacity
  • task


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