Date of Submission
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
W.M. Keck Science Department
Catherine L. Reed
© 2016 Daivik B Vyas
Attention uses sensory inputs and goals to select information from our environment. Monkey electrophysiological literature demonstrates that visuo-tactile bimodal neurons (respond to visual and tactile stimuli presented on/near the hand) facilitate multisensory integration. Human behavioral studies show that hand position/function bias visual attention. Event-related potentials (ERPs) reveal the cortical dynamics coordinating visual inputs, body position, and action goals. Early, sensory ERPs (N1) indicate multisensory integration. Later, cognitive ERPs (P3) reflect task-related processing. Study 1 investigates a discrepancy between monkey and human literatures. Monkey studies demonstrate bimodal neuron responses equidistantly around the whole hand, but human studies demonstrate attentional bias for grasping space. In a visual detection paradigm, participants positioned their hand so target and non-target stimuli appeared near the palm or back of the hand; ERPs were measured. N1 components indicated no amplitude differences between Palm vs. Back conditions, but P3 components revealed greater target vs. non-target differentiation for Palm conditions. Results suggest cortical timing underlies grasping vs. whole hand bias differences: early processing does not differentiate using hand function, but cognitive processing does when stimuli are discriminated for action. Study 2 investigates whether proprioceptive inputs facilitate visual processing. In a visual detection paradigm, participants viewed stimuli presented between occluders blocking view of a hand positioned either near or far from the stimuli. N1 amplitudes were similar for near and far conditions, but P3 amplitudes for target/non-target differences were accentuated for near conditions. Proprioceptive effects emerge later in processing. ERP reveals the cortical dynamics underlying hand position effects on vision.
Vyas, Daivik B., "What a Handful! Electrophysiological Characterization of Sensory and Cognitive Biases on Spatial Attention and Visual Processing" (2016). CMC Senior Theses. 1321.
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