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Camouflage, detection and identification of moving targets

20 March 2013

A group based in Experimental Psychology have been working on a project investigating the effects of camouflage patterns on moving objects, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

A group based in Experimental Psychology have been working on a project investigating the effects of camouflage patterns on moving objects, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Most research on camouflage has concentrated on stationary objects; however, animals also need to move. Human participants performing a computer based task showed that while cryptic camouflage patterns are effective for stationary targets, they cannot prevent detection or capture of moving targets. However, these cryptic patterns can affect the identification of a moving target when similarly patterned objects are present. So, if one has to move, it is best to be surrounded by similar targets (e.g. other animals in a herd) to reduce the chance of being identified. Despite previous assumptions, motion does not entirely ‘break’ camouflage.

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