Judging hand laterality from my or your point of view: Interactions between motor imagery and visual perspective

Massimiliano Conson, Elisabetta Mazzarella, Carmela Donnarumma, Luigi Trojano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Motor imagery tasks (hand laterality judgment) are usually performed with respect to a self-body (egocentric) representation, but manipulations of stimulus features (hand orientation) can induce a shift to other's body (allocentric) reference frame. Visual perspective taking tasks are also performed in self-body perspective but a shift to an allocentric frame can be triggered by manipulations of context features (e.g., another person present in the to-be-judged scene). Combining hand laterality task and visual perspective taking, we demonstrated that both stimulus and context features can modulate motor imagery performance. In Experiment 1, participants judged laterality of a hand embedded in a human or non-human silhouette. Results showed that observing a human silhouette interfered with judgments on " egocentric hand stimuli" (right hand, fingers up). In Experiment 2, participants were explicitly required to judge laterality of a hand embedded in a human silhouette from their own (egocentric group) or from the silhouette's perspective (allocentric group). Consistent with previous results, the egocentric group was significantly faster than the allocentric group in judging fingers-up right hand stimuli. These findings showed that concurrent activation of egocentric and allocentric frames during mental transformation of body parts impairs participants' performance due to a conflict between motor and visual mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume530
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 14 2012

Keywords

  • Egocentric/allocentric processing
  • Hand laterality
  • Motor imagery
  • Visual perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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