Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 236, Issue 10, pp 2603–2610 | Cite as

Attention orienting near the hand following performed and imagined actions

  • John P. GarzaEmail author
  • Catherine L. Reed
  • Ralph J. RobertsJr.
Research Article


Recent studies have documented that the hand’s ability to perform actions affects the visual processing and attention for objects near the hand, suggesting that actions may have specific effects on visual orienting. However, most research on the relation between spatial attention and action focuses on actions as responses to visual attention manipulations. The current study examines visual attention immediately following an executed or imagined action. A modified spatial cuing paradigm tested whether a brief, lateralized hand-pinch performed by a visually hidden hand near the target location, facilitated or inhibited subsequent visual target detection. Conditions in which hand-pinches were fully executed (action) were compared to ones with no hand-pinch (inaction) in Experiment 1 and imagined pinches (imagine) in Experiment 2. Results from Experiment 1 indicated that performed hand pinches facilitated rather than inhibited subsequent detection responses to targets appearing near the pinch, but target detection was not affected by inaction. In Experiment 2, both action and imagined action conditions cued attention and facilitated responses, but along differing time courses. These results highlight the ongoing nature of visual attention and demonstrate how it is deployed to locations even following actions.


Hand proximity effect Visual cuing Attention Action execution Imagined actions Motor programming 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Garza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Catherine L. Reed
    • 2
  • Ralph J. RobertsJr.
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremont Graduate UniversityClaremontUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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