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Both hand position and movement direction modulate visual attention

Frontiers in Psychology
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00657
  • Psychology
  • Original Research Article


The current study explored effects of continuous hand motion on the allocation of visual attention. A concurrent paradigm was used to combine visually concealed continuous hand movements with an attentionally demanding letter discrimination task. The letter probe appeared contingent upon the moving right hand passing through one of six positions. Discrimination responses were then collected via a keyboard press with the static left hand. Both the right hand's position and its movement direction systematically contributed to participants' visual sensitivity. Discrimination performance increased substantially when the right hand was distant from, but moving toward the visual probe location (replicating the far-hand effect, Festman et al., 2013). However, this effect disappeared when the probe appeared close to the static left hand, supporting the view that static and dynamic features of both hands combine in modulating pragmatic maps of attention.

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