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    Shared contributions of the head and torso to spatial reference frames across spatial judgments

    Longo, Matthew R. and Rajapakse, S.S. and Alsmith, A.J.T. and Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella (2020) Shared contributions of the head and torso to spatial reference frames across spatial judgments. Cognition 204 (104349), ISSN 0010-0277.

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    Egocentric frames of reference take the body as the point of origin of a spatial coordinate system. Bodies, however, are not points, but extended objects, with distinct parts that can move independently of one another. We recently developed a novel paradigm to probe the use of different body parts in simple spatial judgments, what we called the misalignment paradigm. In this study, we applied the misalignment paradigm in a perspective-taking task to investigate whether the weightings given to different body parts are shared across different spatial judgments involving different spatial axes. Participants saw birds-eye images of a person with their head rotated 45° relative to the torso. On each trial, a ball appeared and participants made judgments either of whether the ball was to the person’s left or right, or whether the ball was in front of the person or behind them. By analysing the pattern of responses with respect to both head and torso, we quantified the contribution of each body part to the reference frames underlying each judgment. For both judgment types we found clear contributions of both head and torso, with more weight being given on average to the torso. Individual differences in the use of the two body parts were correlated across judgment types indicating the use of a shared set of weightings used across spatial axes and judgments. Moreover, retesting of participants several months later showed high stability of these weightings, suggesting that they are stable characteristics of people.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Reference frames, Egocentric, Spatial representation, Perspective taking
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 17:42
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:00


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