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Integration of egocentric and allocentric information during memory-guided reaching to images of a natural environment

Fiehler, Katja ; Wolf, Christian ; Klinghammer, Mathias ; Blohm, Gunnar

Originalveröffentlichung: (2014) Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:636 doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00636
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-116314

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Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): reference frame , reaching , natural scene , allocentric information , egocentric information
Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Institut: Department of Experimental Psychology
Fachgebiet: Psychologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Psychologie
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2014
Publikationsdatum: 07.08.2015
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: When interacting with our environment we generally make use of egocentric and allocentric object information by coding object positions relative to the observer or relative to the environment, respectively. Bayesian theories suggest that the brain integrates both sources of information optimally for perception and action. However, experimental evidence for egocentric and allocentric integration is sparse and has only been studied using abstract stimuli lacking ecological relevance. Here, we investigated the use of egocentric and allocentric information during memory-guided reaching to images of naturalistic scenes. Participants encoded a breakfast scene containing six objects on a table (local objects) and three objects in the environment (global objects). After a 2 s delay, a visual test scene reappeared for 1 s in which 1 local object was missing (= target) and of the remaining, 1, 3 or 5 local objects or one of the global objects were shifted to the left or to the right. The offset of the test scene prompted participants to reach to the target as precisely as possible. Only local objects served as potential reach targets and thus were task-relevant. When shifting objects we predicted accurate reaching if participants only used egocentric coding of object position and systematic shifts of reach endpoints if allocentric information were used for movement planning. We found that reaching movements were largely affected by allocentric shifts showing an increase in endpoint errors in the direction of object shifts with the number of local objects shifted. No effect occurred when one local or one global object was shifted. Our findings suggest that allocentric cues are indeed used by the brain for memory-guided reaching towards targets in naturalistic visual scenes. Moreover, the integration of egocentric and allocentric object information seems to depend on the extent of changes in the scene.
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