Virtual Limbs and Body Space: Critical Features for the Distinction between Body Space and Near-Body Space
JEPHPP Volume 35, Number 4, ISSN 0096-1523
Hari and Jousmaki (1996) found that motor activity is initiated more efficiently in response to stimuli located on the responding limb as opposed to near the limb. Our research investigated the basis for this difference in spatial coding. We conducted 8 experiments using virtual reality to manipulate the visual feedback resulting from limb movement (spatial location, limb appearance, and nature of response consequences). Our findings replicated the Hari and Jousmaki (1996) effect to reveal that visual appearance and correspondence between the visual and felt position of the limbs was inconsequential. However, it was crucial that visual feedback was a predictable consequence of movement. When this predictability was present, the distinction between the space on the limb (predictable surface) and off the limb (rest of the environment) emerged. We suggest that there may be a functional distinction in coding of space that is and is not predictably controlled by the individual. (Contains 1 footnote, 3 tables and 3 figures.)
Short, F. & Ward, R. (2009). Virtual Limbs and Body Space: Critical Features for the Distinction between Body Space and Near-Body Space. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35(4), 1092-1103.