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The multi-item localization (MILO) task: Measuring the spatiotemporal context of vision for action


Thornton,  IM
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Thornton, I. (2004). The multi-item localization (MILO) task: Measuring the spatiotemporal context of vision for action. Perception and Psychophysics, 66(1), 38-50. doi:10.3758/BF03194859.

We describe a new multi-item localization task that can be used to probe the temporal and spatial contexts of search-like behaviors. A sequence of four target letters (e.g., E, F,G, and H) was presented among four distractor letters. Observers located the targets in order. Both retrospective and prospective components of performance were examined. The retrospective component was assessed by having target items either vanish or remain once they had been located. This manipulation had little effect on search performance, suggesting that old target items can be efficiently ignored. The prospective component was assessed by shuffling future target and distractor locations after each response. This manipulation revealed that observers typically plan ahead at least one target into the future. However, even when observers cannot plan ahead, they are still able to ignore old targets. These findings suggest that both "what you did" and "what you intend to do" can influence the localization and selection of targets.