Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 231, Issue 1, pp 97–106 | Cite as

Mice move smoothly: irrelevant object variation affects perception, but not computer mouse actions

  • Markus Janczyk
  • Roland Pfister
  • Wilfried Kunde
Research Article


Human–Computer Interactions pose special demands on the motor system, especially regarding the virtual tool transformations underlying typical mouse movements. We investigated whether such virtual tool-transformed movements are similarly resistant to irrelevant variation of a target object as skilled natural movements are. Results show that such irrelevant information deteriorates performance in perceptual tasks, whereas movement parameters remain unaffected, suggesting that the control of virtual tools draws on the same mechanisms as natural actions do. The results are discussed in terms of their practical utility and recent findings investigating unskilled and transformed movements in the framework of the action/perception model and the integration of tools into the body schema.


Mouse trajectory Garner-Interference Dorsal pathway Transformed movements Action control 


  1. Aglioti S, DeSouza JFX, Goodale MA (1995) Size-contrast illusions deceive the eye but not the hand. Curr Biol 5:679–685PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bodner RC, MacKenzie IS (1997) Using animated icons to present complex tasks. In: Proceedings of CASCON ‘97. IBM Canada Ltd, Toronto, pp 281–291Google Scholar
  3. Botvinick M, Cohen J (1998) Rubber hands ‘feel’ touch that eyes see. Nature 391:756PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Evans DS (2009) The online advertising industry: economics, evolution, and privacy. J Econ Perspect 23:37–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Farnè A, Làdavas E (2000) Dynamic size-change of hand peripersonal space following tool use. NeuroReport 11:1645–1649PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Franz VH, Gegenfurtner KR (2008) Grasping visual illusions: consistent data and no dissociation. Cogn Neuropsychol 25:920–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Freeman JB, Ambady N (2011) When two become one: temporally dynamic integration of the face and voice. J Exp Soc Psychol 47:259–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freeman JB, Ambady N, Rule NO, Johnson KL (2008) Will a category cue attract you? Motor output reveals dynamic competition across person construal. J Exp Psychol Gen 137:673–690PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freeman JB, Dale R, Farmer TA (2011) Hand in motion reveals mind in motion. Front Psychol 2:59. doi: 10.3398/fpsyg.2011.00059 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ganel T, Goodale MA (2003) Visual control of action but not perception requires analytical processing of object shape. Nature 426:664–667PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garner WR (1974) The processing of information and structure. Erlbaum, PotomacGoogle Scholar
  12. Garner WR (1978) Selective attention to attributes and to stimuli. J Exp Psychol Gen 137:287–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gonzalez CLR, Ganel T, Goodale MA (2006) Hemispheric specialization for the visual control of action is independent of handedness. J Neurophysiol 95:3496–3501Google Scholar
  14. Gonzalez CLR, Ganel T, Whitwell RL, Morrissey B, Goodale MA (2008) Practice makes perfect, but only with the right hand: sensitivity to perceptual illusions with awkward grasps decreases with practice in the right but not the left hand. Neuropsychologia 46:624–631PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goodale MA (2008) Action without perception in human vision. Cogn Neuropsychol 25:891–919PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goodale MA, Milner AD (1992) Separate visual pathways for perception and action. Trends Neurosci 15:20–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hesse C, de Grave DDJ, Franz VH, Brenner E, Smeets JBJ (2008) Planning movements well in advance. Cogn Neuropsychol 25:985–995PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Iriki A, Tanaka M, Iwamura Y (1996) Coding of modified body schema during tool use by macaque postcentral neurones. NeuroReport 7:2325–2330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Iriki A, Tanaka M, Obayash S, Iwamura Y (2001) Self-images in the video monitor coded by Monkeys intraparietal neurons. Neurosci Res 40:163–173PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Janczyk M, Kunde W (2010) Does dorsal processing require central capacity? More evidence from the PRP paradigm. Exp Brain Res 203:89–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Janczyk M, Kunde W (2012) Visual processing for action resists similarity of relevant and irrelevant object features. Psychon B Rev 19:412–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Janczyk M, Franz VH, Kunde W (2010) Grasping for parsimony: do some motor actions escape dorsal processing? Neuropsychologia 48:3405–3415PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kunde W, Landgraf F, Paelecke M, Kiesel A (2007) Dorsal and ventral processing under dual-task conditions. Psychol Sci 18:100–104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McDougall SJP, De Bruihn O, Curry MB (2000) Exploring the effects of icon characteristics on user performance: the role of item concreteness, complexity, and distinctiveness. J Exp Psychol-Appl 6:291–306PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pfister R, Janczyk M (2013) Confidence intervals for two sample means: calculation, interpretation, and a few simple rules. Adv Cog Psych 9:74–80Google Scholar
  26. Slater M, Perez-Marcos D, Ehrsson HH, Sanchez-Vives MV (2008) Toward a digital body: the virtual arm illusion. Front Human Neurosci 2:6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Slater M, Spanlang B, Sanchez-Vives MV, Blanke O (2010) First person experience of body transfer in virtual reality. PLoS ONE 5:e10565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Song J-H, Nakayama K (2009) Hidden cognitive states revealed in choice reaching tasks. Trends Cogn Sci 13:360–366PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Taylor K (2007) An analysis of computer use across 95 organisations in Europe, North America and Australasia. Wellnomics White paper Accessed 12 April 2013
  30. Vilchez JL, Tornay F (2012) Irrelevant stimuli produce a path deviation in a driving-simulation task. Cogn Syst Res 17–18:81–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Witt JK, Proffitt DR, Epstein W (2005) Tool use affects perceived distance but only when you intend to use it. J Exp Psychol Human 31:880–888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yuan Y, Steed A (2010) Is the rubber hand illusion induced by immersive virtual reality? Proc IEEE Virtual Reality Conf 2010:95–102Google Scholar
  33. Zhang P, von Dran GM (2000) Satisfiers and dissatisfiers: a two factor model for website design and evaluation. J Am Soc Inform Sci 51:1253–1268CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Janczyk
    • 1
  • Roland Pfister
    • 1
  • Wilfried Kunde
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology IIIUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

Personalised recommendations