Cover: An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Target Motion on Visual  Detection

An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Target Motion on Visual Detection

Published 1971

by Doris J. Dugas, H. E. Petersen


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Reports an experiment comparing the detection probabilities for moving targets against complex backgrounds; compares the results to the Bailey model for detection of static targets in random search (see RM-6158/1); and extends that model to cover moving targets by modifying Bailey's glimpse-aperture factor to reflect the fact that a moving target is 2 to 8 times as easily found as a static one. For an aerial-photograph background, the improvement was about 4 times. In the experiment, seven subjects viewed a television display of an artificial, electronically generated target at two speeds against an aerial photo of wooded terrain, against felt, and against a grid. Results suggest — but do not prove — that it is not the motion itself that improves detection performance, but the contrast changes that occur as the target moves over a complex background.

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