Whiteley L, Kennett S, Taylor-Clarke M, Haggard P, 2004, "Facilitated processing of visual stimuli associated with the body" Perception 33(3) 307 – 314
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Facilitated processing of visual stimuli associated with the body
Louise Whiteley, Steffan Kennett, Marisa Taylor-Clarke, Patrick Haggard
Received 17 February 2003, in revised form 15 December 2003
Abstract. Recent work on tactile perception has revealed enhanced tactile acuity and speeded spatial-choice reaction times (RTs) when viewing the stimulated body site as opposed to viewing a neutral object. Here we examine whether this body-view enhancement effect extends to visual targets. Participants performed a speeded spatial discrimination between two lights attached either to their own left index finger or to a wooden finger-shaped object, making a simple distal - proximal decision. We filmed either the finger-mounted or the object-mounted lights in separate experimental blocks and the live scene was projected onto a screen in front of the participants. Thus, participants responded to identical visual targets varying only in their context: on the body or not. Results revealed a large performance advantage for the finger-mounted stimuli: reaction times were substantially reduced, while discrimination accuracy was unaffected. With this finding we address concerns associated with previous work on the processing of stimuli attributed to the self and extend the finding of a performance advantage for such stimuli to vision.
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