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William Bush, Shaun Vecera; Hand position increases visual processing for task irrelevant flankers.. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1041. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1041.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous research has indicated that hand position impacts visual processing in a manner similar to, and perhaps mediated by, spatial attention. These near hand effects include preferential processing in detection tasks, changes in spatial and temporal sensitivity, and increased attentional dwell time (Reed, Grubb, & Steele, 2006; Gozli, West, & Pratt, 2012; Abrams, Davoli, Du, Knapp, & Paull, 2008). In the current study we wish to determine whether preferential processing in the graspable space of the hand occurs automatically for stimuli that are not critical to performing the task. To demonstrate this we used a flanker paradigm with a central discrimination task. Two peripheral flanking items were included. One flanker item appeared in the graspable space of a raised hand and the other flanker item on the opposite side of the screen from the hand. Each trial included one neutral flanker and one critical flanker. The critical flanker could be either congruent or incongruent with the central target. When the critical flanker was in near-hand space, we found an effect of congruency such that response times (RTs) were faster when the flanker was congruent compared to incongruent, F(1,29) = 12.6, p = .001. When the critical flanker was on the opposite side of the screen from the hand, we found no effect of congruency on RTs, F(1,29) = .0004, p = .984. This supports previous findings that there is preferential processing of stimuli in near hand space, likely mediated by spatial attention. Further, as there was no motivation to attend to the peripheral flanker locations in order to perform the task, this suggests that the near hand space is automatically attended when there are sufficient attentional resources available.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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