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Hand action preparation influences the responses to hand pictures

Authors
Journal
Neuropsychologia
0028-3932
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
40
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0028-3932(01)00134-8
Keywords
  • Motor Preparation
  • Mirror System
  • Visual Discrimination
  • Humans
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Abstract The relations between stimuli triggering a hand grasping movement and the subsequent action were studied in normal human participants. Participants were instructed to prepare to grasp a bar, oriented either clockwise or counterclockwise, and to grasp it as fast as possible on presentation of a visual stimulus with their right hand. The visual stimuli were pictures of the right hand as seen in a mirror. In Experiment 1, they represented the mirror image of the hand final posture as achieved in grasping the bar oriented either clockwise or counterclockwise. In Experiment 2, in addition to the pictures of Experiment 1, another two pictures, obtained rotating the hands represented in the previous ones of 90°, were also used. Both experiments showed that the reaction times were faster when there was a similarity between hand position as depicted in the triggering visual stimulus and the grasping hand final position, the fastest responses being those where this similarity was the closest. In addition, Experiment 2 showed that reaction times to not rotated stimuli were faster than reaction times to the rotated stimuli, thus excluding a simple stimulus–response compatibility explanation of the findings. The data are interpreted as behavioral evidence that there is a close link between specific visual stimuli and specific motor actions. A neurophysiological model for this visuo-motor link is presented.

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