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Kazuhiko Yokosawa, Marie Shoda; Event file activation interferes allocation of visual attention during motor movement. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1346. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.1346.
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Visual attention was oriented toward the kinematic movement's direction (Deuel et al., 1998). Event coding theory (ECT; Hommel, et al., 2001) assumes the motor and perceptual systems are bilaterally linked, mediated by an integrative coding system: event file. It remains unclear whether the activation of event file affects visual attention directly during kinematic movement. This study examines whether the activation of event file affects the allocation of visual attention, while conducting kinematic movement. Specifically, the difficulty of orienting visual attention is compared for actions of treadmill walking, stepping-in-place and standing. Kinematic movement was similar between treadmill walking and stepping-in-place, though body gravity moves forwardly only during treadmill walking, therefore its kinematic movement was more salient. We conducted an experiment in the dark room to eliminate optic flow, which could stimulate locomotion. As a cognitive task, Posner paradigm was used to examine the covert allocation of visual attention, based on the exogenous visual cue, which denoted target location. Participants had to identify a target (X/O), preceded by the cue. Cue validity was 50% over three conditions: valid, horizontal invalid and vertical invalid. In the horizontal invalid condition cue and target appeared at symmetrically opposite locations about the vertical axis; in invalid vertical condition they appeared on opposite sides about the horizontal axis. Significant cuing effects emerged regardless of locomotion conditions. Relative to the standing condition, accuracy rose significantly during treadmill walking in the horizontal invalid condition. These results showed that treadmill walking made it difficult to allocate the visual attention in the horizontal direction. Therefore the activation of event file affected visual attention, without any interference in visual system. We suggest that treadmill walking enhances the vertical code of event file thereafter this enhancement asymmetrically disrupts the allocation of visual attention along horizontal axis.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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