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    The plasticity of near space: evidence for contraction

    Lourenco, S.F. and Longo, Matthew R. (2009) The plasticity of near space: evidence for contraction. Cognition 112 (3), pp. 451-456. ISSN 0010-0277.

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    The distinction between near space and the space farther away has been well established, as has the relation of this distinction to arm length. Recent studies provide evidence for the plasticity of near space, showing that it is possible to expand its extent ("size") through tool-use. In the present study, we examine the converse effect, whether contraction of near space results from increasing the effort involved on a line bisection task. Adult participants bisected lines at different distances, while, in some cases, wearing weights. In Experiment 1, the arms, specifically, were weighted (wrist weights), and in Experiment 2, more general body weights were used (heavy backpack). As in previous studies, unencumbered participants showed leftward bias when bisecting lines at the closest distances and a rightward shift in bias with increasingly farther distances. With wrist weights, but not a heavy backpack, participants showed more rightward bias at the closest distances, and a more gradual rightward shift with increasing distance, as if the nearest locations were represented as being farther away. These results suggest that increased effort, when specifically related to the arm, can serve to reduce the size of near space, providing support for the generally symmetrical plasticity of near space representations.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2013 15:15
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:59


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