October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
A right-lateralized effect of motor experience on manipulable object representations
Author Affiliations
  • James Caracoglia
    Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University Medical Center
    Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, Boston University Medical Center
  • Ella Striem-Amit
    Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University Medical Center
    Department of Psychology, Harvard University
  • Gilles Vannuscorps
    Department of Psychology, Harvard University
    5Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Psychological Sciences Research Institute and Institute of Neurosciences
  • Alfonso Caramazza
    Department of Psychology, Harvard University
    Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 1347. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1347
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      James Caracoglia, Ella Striem-Amit, Gilles Vannuscorps, Alfonso Caramazza; A right-lateralized effect of motor experience on manipulable object representations. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1347. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1347.

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

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Object representations include knowledge of their shape, function, manipulability and use kinematics, organized in various dedicated neural networks. Here, we tested the role of motor-manipulation knowledge and experience on object perception in people born without hands (i.e., upper limb dysplasics) who, because of this deficit, cannot use certain tools for which they have intact knowledge otherwise. Recently, we have shown that these right-footed individuals have similar hand-tool association and intact action observation networks as compared to typically developed controls. Therefore, we anticipated representation of motor manipulation knowledge and experience to be evident in the left-lateralized praxis and tool-use network. Surprisingly, we found a result that is not interpretable in this classical framework. Specifically, presentation of manipulable objects with which the upper limb dysplasics had motor experience preferentially activated a widespread, right-lateralized network that included right ventral visual cortex, posterior middle temporal lobe, and middle frontal gyrus, not the left-lateralized, tool-selective network. However, object decoding based on the dysplasics’ motor knowledge highlighted classical tool and action/praxis regions bilaterally. While we are puzzled by these results, they possible suggest that praxis network lateralization is unique to hand use, such that foot use praxis does not benefit from apriori left specialization and reorganizes to the right hemisphere in the absence of hands.


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