The Multiple Object Avoidance (MOA) task measures attention for action: evidence from driving and sport

Mackenzie, A.K. ORCID: 0000-0002-6818-2838, Vernon, M.L., Cox, P.R., Crundall, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-6030-3631, Daly, R.C., Guest, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-4514-9186, Muhl-Richardson, A. and Howard, C.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-8755-1109, 2022. The Multiple Object Avoidance (MOA) task measures attention for action: evidence from driving and sport. Behavior Research Methods, 54 (3), pp. 1508-1529. ISSN 1554-351X

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Performance in everyday tasks, such as driving and sport, requires allocation of attention to task-relevant information and the ability to inhibit task-irrelevant information. Yet there are individual differences in this attentional function ability. This research investigates a novel task for measuring attention for action, called the Multiple Object Avoidance task (MOA), in its relation to the everyday tasks of driving and sport. The aim in Study 1 was to explore the efficacy of the MOA task to predict simulated driving behaviour and hazard perception. Whilst also investigating its test-retest reliability and how it correlates to self-report driving measures. We found that superior performance in the MOA task predicted simulated driving performance in complex environments and was superior at predicting performance compared to the Useful Field of View task. We found a moderate test-retest reliability and a correlation between the attentional lapses subscale of the Driving Behaviour Questionnaire. Study 2 investigated the discriminative power of the MOA in sport by exploring performance differences in those that do and do not play sports. We also investigated if the MOA shared attentional elements with other measures of visual attention commonly attributed to sporting expertise: Multiple Object Tracking (MOT) and cognitive processing speed. We found that those that played sports exhibited superior MOA performance and found a positive relationship between MOA performance and Multiple Object Tracking performance and cognitive processing speed. Collectively this research highlights the utility of the MOA when investigating visual attention in everyday contexts.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Behavior Research Methods
Creators: Mackenzie, A.K., Vernon, M.L., Cox, P.R., Crundall, D., Daly, R.C., Guest, D., Muhl-Richardson, A. and Howard, C.J.
Publisher: Springer
Date: June 2022
Volume: 54
Number: 3
ISSN: 1554-351X
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 18 Aug 2021 08:46
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2022 03:00

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