Observations and results
Did seeking the same target as a specialist get easier over time compared with seeking new targets in each puzzle?
In this activity, your visual search was very similar to that used by a hunting hawk as it soars high above the ground. As you probably noticed, trying to identify your target in such a cluttered landscape was not easy. Yet, you may have also found that by searching for the same target repeatedly, you became more adept at looking for that particular kind of prey. This is a common result and something that scientists have discovered in birds of prey. Biologists call this trick developing a "search image," because it allows the animal to have a very specific visual image in mind when scanning a landscape. Changing your target every time, however, is more taxing on your brain and makes a long search even longer.
More to explore
Optimal Foraging Game from the University of Toronto
Optimal Foraging Theory—an avian perspective from The Wild Classroom
Where's Waldo? puzzles online from WheresWaldo.com
The Brains behind Where's Waldo? from Science Buddies
Online Search Games from PlayWithYourMind.com