BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Tactile localization biases are modulated by gaze direction

    Medina, S. and Tamè, Luigi and Longo, Matthew R. (2018) Tactile localization biases are modulated by gaze direction. Experimental Brain Research 236 (1), pp. 31-42. ISSN 0014-4819.

    19895.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (980kB) | Preview


    Identifying the spatial location of touch on the skin surface is a fundamental function of our somatosensory system. Despite the fact that stimulation of even single mechanoreceptive afferent fibres is sufficient to produce clearly localised percepts, tactile localisation can be modulated also by higher-level processes such as body posture. This suggests that tactile events are coded using multiple representations using different coordinate systems. Recent reports provide evidence for systematic biases on tactile localisation task, which are thought to result from a supramodal representation of the skin surface. While the influence of non-informative vision of the body and gaze direction on tactile discrimination tasks has been extensively studied, their effects on tactile localisation tasks remain largely unexplored. To address this question, participants performed a tactile localization task on their left hand under different visual conditions by means of a mirror box; in the mirror condition a single stimulus was delivered on participants’ hand while the reflexion of the right hand was seen through the mirror; in the object condition participants looked at a box through the mirror, and in the right hand condition participants looked directly at their right hand. Participants reported the location of the tactile stimuli using a silhouette of a hand. Results showed a shift in the localization of the touches towards the tip of the fingers (distal bias) and the thumb (radial biases) across conditions. Critically, distal biases were reduced when participants looked towards the mirror compared to when they looked at their right hand suggesting that gaze direction reduces the typical proximo-distal biases in tactile localization. Moreover, vision of the hand modulates the internal configuration of points’ locations, by elongating it, in the radio-ulnar axis.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2018 10:21
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:35


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item