Effects of motion in the far peripheral visual field on cognitive test performance and cognitive load
Cognitive load theory posits that limited attention is in actuality a limitation in working memory resources. The load theory of selective attention and cognitive control sees the interplay between attention and awareness as separate modifying functions that act on working memory. Reconciling the theoretical differences in these two theories has important implications for learning. Thirty-nine adult participants performed a cognitively demanding test, with and without movement in the far peripheral field. Although the results for movement effects on cognitive load in this experiment were not statistically significant, men spent less time on the cognitive test in the peripheral movement condition than in the conditions without peripheral movement. No such difference was found for women. The implications of these results and recommendations for future research that extends the present study are presented.