We review all published eye-tracking studies to date that have used eye movements to examine multiple object (MOT) or multiple identity tracking (MIT). In both tasks, observers dynamically track multiple moving objects. In MOT the objects are identical, whereas in MIT they have distinct identities. In MOT, observers prefer to fixate on blank space, which is often the center of gravity formed by the moving targets (centroid). In contrast, in MIT observers have a strong preference for the target-switching strategy, presumably to refresh and maintain identity-location bindings for the targets. To account for the qualitative differences between MOT and MIT, two mechanisms have been posited, a position tracking (MOT) and an identity tracking (MOT & MIT) mechanism. Eye-tracking studies of MOT have also demonstrated that observers execute rescue saccades toward targets in danger of becoming occluded or are about to change direction after a collision. Crowding attracts the eyes close to it in order to increase visual acuity for the crowded objects to prevent target loss. It is suggested that future studies should concentrate more on MIT, as MIT more closely resembles tracking in the real world.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited