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Motion dazzle and the effects of target patterning on capture success.

Hughes, Anna E and Troscianko, Jolyon and Stevens, Martin (2014) 'Motion dazzle and the effects of target patterning on capture success.' BMC Evolutionary Biology, 14 (1). 201-. ISSN 1471-2148

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Background Stripes and other high contrast patterns found on animals have been hypothesised to cause "motion dazzle", a type of defensive coloration that operates when in motion, causing predators to misjudge the speed and direction of object movement. Several recent studies have found some support for this idea, but little is currently understood about the mechanisms underlying this effect. Using humans as model 'predators' in a touch screen experiment we investigated further the effectiveness of striped targets in preventing capture, and considered how stripes compare to other types of patterning in order to understand what aspects of target patterning are important in making a target difficult to capture. Results We find that striped targets are among the most difficult to capture, but that other patterning types are also highly effective at preventing capture in this task. Several target types, including background sampled targets and targets with a 'spot' on were significantly easier to capture than striped targets. We also show differences in capture attempt rates between different target types, but we find no differences in learning rates between target types. Conclusions We conclude that striped targets are effective in preventing capture, but are not uniquely difficult to catch, with luminance matched grey targets also showing a similar capture rate. We show that key factors in making capture easier are a lack of average background luminance matching and having trackable 'features' on the target body. We also find that striped patterns are attempted relatively quickly, despite being difficult to catch. We discuss these findings in relation to the motion dazzle hypothesis and how capture rates may be affected more generally by pattern type.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals; Humans; Predatory Behavior; Learning; Visual Perception; Motion; Color; Models, Biological; Computer Simulation
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 09:08
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 10:29

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