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Gaze-dependent spatial updating of tactile targets in a localization task

Mueller, Stefanie ; Fiehler, Katja

Originalveröffentlichung: (2014) Frontiers in Psychology 5:66 doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00066
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-112344

Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): movement , referenceframes , spatiallocalization , spatialupdating , tactile
Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universit√§t Gie√üen
Institut: Abteilung Allgemeine Psychologie
Fachgebiet: Psychologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Psychologie
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2014
Publikationsdatum: 15.12.2014
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: There is concurrent evidence that visual reach targets are represented with respect to gaze. For tactile reach targets, we previously showed that an effector movement leads to a shift from a gaze-independent to a gaze-dependent reference frame. Here we aimed to unravel the influence of effector movement (gaze shift) on the reference frame of tactile stimuli using a spatial localization task (yes/no paradigm). We assessed how gaze direction (fixation left/right) alters the perceived spatial location (point of subjective equality) of sequentially presented tactile standard and visual comparison stimuli while effector movement (gaze fixed/shifted) and stimulus order (vis-tac/tac-vis) were varied. In the fixed-gaze condition, subjects maintained gaze at the fixation site throughout the trial. In the shifted-gaze condition, they foveated the first stimulus, then made a saccade toward the fixation site where they held gaze while the second stimulus appeared. Only when an effector movement occurred after the encoding of the tactile stimulus (shifted-gaze, tac-vis), gaze similarly influenced the perceived location of the tactile and the visual stimulus. In contrast, when gaze was fixed or a gaze shift occurred before encoding of the tactile stimulus, gaze differentially affected the perceived spatial relation of the tactile and the visual stimulus suggesting gaze-dependent coding of only one of the two stimuli. Consistent with previous findings this implies that visual stimuli vary with gaze irrespective of whether gaze is fixed or shifted. However, a gaze-dependent representation of tactile stimuli seems to critically depend on an effector movement (gaze shift) after tactile encoding triggering spatial updating of tactile targets in a gaze-dependent reference frame. Together with our recent findings on tactile reaching, the present results imply similar underlying reference frames for tactile spatial perception and action.
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