Jun 12, 2016

Task demands affect spatial reference frame weighting during tactile localization in sighted and congenitally blind adults

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jonathan T. W. SchubertTobias Heed

Abstract

Task demands modulate tactile localization in sighted humans, presumably through weight adjustments in the spatial integration of anatomical, skin-based, and external, posture-based information. In contrast, previous studies suggested that congenitally blind humans, by default, localize touch based on skin-based information and refrain from automatic spatial integration. Accordingly, task context should not affect blind participants' tactile localization performance in tasks that do not require external coding. Here, sighted and congenitally blind participants localized tactile targets on the palm or back of one hand, while ignoring simultaneous tactile distractors at congruent or incongruent locations on the other hand. Hand posture was varied either blockwise or trial-by-trial, to probe the interplay of anatomical and external location codes for spatial congruency effects: either both palms faced down, or one faced down and one up. In the latter posture, externally congruent target and distractor locations were anatomically incongruent. Target locations had to be reported either anatomically ("palm" or "back" of the hand), or externally ("up" or "down" in space). Under anatomical instructions, performance was better for anato...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Spatial Memory
Establishment and Maintenance of Localization
Study
Tactile Epilepsy
Anatomic Structures
Spatial Distribution
Vision
Weighing Patient
Anatomical Space Structure
Participant

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