Influence of the body on crossmodal interference effects between tactile and two-dimensional visual stimuli
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We investigated how tactile discrimination performance was interfered with by irrelevant two-dimensional visual stimuli using the crossmodal interference task. Participants made speeded discrimination responses to the location of vibrotactile targets presented to either tip or base of their forefinger, while trying to ignore simultaneously presented visual distractors presented to either side of the central fixation on a front display. The array of visual distractors was presented at four different angles, and the participants rested their stimulated hand on a desk in either a forward-pointing or inward-pointing posture. Although there was apparently no specific spatial relationship between the tactile and two-dimensional visual stimuli arrays and the spatial response requirement was controlled, visuotactile interference effects occurred between them. Moreover, we found that the spatial relationships between the arrays depended on the potential range of movement and the current posture of the vibrotactile-stimulated hand and possibly the stored orientation of our hand representation, even without any explicit cue referring to hands. Our results suggest that the visuotactile spatial interactions involve multiple mechanisms regarding our bodily perception and our internal body representation.
KeywordsVisuotactile interactions Crossmodal interference effects Proprioception Hand Body representation
We thank Prof Charles Spence and Yota Kimura for their helpful comments regarding this study. Y.I. was supported by a JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists. Part of this study was conducted while Y.I. was visiting NTT Communication Science Laboratories. S.I. was supported by Grants in Aid for Scientific Research, Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture, Japan (No. 18530564).
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