July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Handedness and the weighting of visual- proprioceptive information in position estimation: the effect of illusory visual position information.
Author Affiliations
  • Harriet Dempsey-Jones
    The School of Psychology, The University of Queensland
  • Ada Kritikos
    The School of Psychology, The University of Queensland
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 877. doi:10.1167/13.9.877
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      Harriet Dempsey-Jones, Ada Kritikos; Handedness and the weighting of visual- proprioceptive information in position estimation: the effect of illusory visual position information.. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):877. doi: 10.1167/13.9.877.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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In body position estimation, visual information is weighted more heavily than other sensory systems. When no visual input is available, there are predictable errors in proprioceptive judgements of body location. Are certain individuals better able to locate their limbs when no visual information is present? Strongly right-handed individuals ‘over-represent’ the right side of extrapersonal and body-space resulting in less accurate implicit body representation compared with strongly left-handed or ambidextrous individuals (termed "pseudoneglect"). We investigated whether a) differences in body representation exist for static perceptual judgements of limb position, and b) how false visual information about body location influences static perceptual judgements across hand dominance groups. First, we compared proprioceptive acuity in the absence of visual position information across hand used and handedness at varying spatial locations with respect to the body midline. Second, we reintroduced visual information to investigate modulation of proprioceptive position resulting from this false visual information (using the Rubber Hand Illusion paradigm). We predicted that left-handed individuals would display greater "blind" position acuity overall and that the RHI would be less effective in shifting their position sense compared with right-handed and ambidextrous individuals. Contrary to predictions, evidence for proprioceptive accuracy differences and leftward spatial biases in right handed individuals was equivocal. Interestingly, the ability to shift felt position of the limb using false information was again, similar between right- and left-handers. Rather, regardless of handedness the RHI was most effective for the dominant compared to the non-dominant hand. This indicates proprioceptive information about location is weighted more evenly with vision for the dominant hand compared with the non-dominant hand. We believe this is due to greater representation of this hand in the somatosensory cortex. Results will be discussed in the context of the role of handedness and laterality of brain function in the representation of body space.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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