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The congruency of visual and proprioceptive afferents influences the orientation of spatial attention

ContributorsMarti, Emilie
DirectorsPtak, Radekorcid
Master program titleMaîtrise universitaire en psychologie
Defense date2021-08-20

Converging evidence suggests that body parts and peripersonal space are represented based on multisensory constructions. Few studies have examined the distinct contributions of different sensory modalities to the construction and dynamics of peripersonal space. This study aims to investigate the influence of visual and proprioceptive afferents on spatial attention using virtual reality. We measured vocal reaction times of healthy participants reacting to spatially lateralized visual targets following non-predictive peripheral cues presented close to their hand. Half of the participants were examined with their right hand, and the other half with their left hand. The crucial manipulation was the position of the image of a virtual hand (positioned in left or right visual space) versus the position of the participants’ own hand conveyed through proprioceptive input (positioned in left or right space). Mutually exclusive hypotheses were that spatial attention (defined as the benefit of spatially valid cues) was a) only affected by visual input, b) only affected by proprioceptive input or c) affected by a combination of visual-proprioceptive inputs. Our results demonstrated attentional modulation only for the group of participants tested with the right hand compared to the group using their left hand. Specifically, participants showed significant validity effects only when both real and virtual hands had congruent positions and the target appeared on the right. Together, our results indicate that while visual-proprioceptive congruency seems the main factor affecting the construction of peripersonal space, it is significantly modulated by hemispheric differences in the deployment of attention.

  • Peripersonal space
  • Hand
  • Attention
  • Visual
  • Proprioceptive
  • Congruency
  • Virtual reality
Citation (ISO format)
MARTI, Emilie. The congruency of visual and proprioceptive afferents influences the orientation of spatial attention. 2021.
Main files (1)
Master thesis
  • PID : unige:159687

Technical informations

Creation03/21/2022 8:50:00 AM
First validation03/21/2022 8:50:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 2:54:19 AM
Status update03/16/2023 2:54:18 AM
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