, Volume 64, Issue 7, pp 1083-1094

Visuo-tactile links in covert exogenous spatial attention remap across changes in unseen hand posture

Abstract

We investigated the effect of unseen hand posture on cross-modal, visuo-tactile links in covert spatial attention. In Experiment 1, a spatially nonpredictive visual cue was presented to the left or right hemifield shortly before a tactile target on either hand. To examine the spatial coordinates of any crossmodal cuing, the unseen hands were either uncrossed or crossed so that the left hand lay to the right and vice versa. Tactile up/down (i.e., index finger/thumb) judgments were better on the same side of external space as the visual cue, for both crossed and uncrossed postures. Thus, which hand was advantaged by a visual cue in a particular hemifield reversed across the different unseen postures. In Experiment 2, nonpredictive tactile cues now preceded visual targets. Up/down judgments for the latter were better on the same side of external space as the tactile cue, again for both postures. These results demonstrate cross-modal links between vision and touch in exogenous covert spatial attention that remap across changes in unseen hand posture, suggesting a modulatory role for proprioception.

This work was funded by the Medical Research Council (U.K.), via a program grant to J.D. and a studentship to S.K., and by a Junior Research Fellowship from St. John’s College, Cambridge, to C.S. J.D. holds a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award.