The Effect of Hand Positioning on Response Time in the Peripersonal Space
Leeuw, R. de
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The effects of limb positioning on representations of the peripersonal space (PPS) have been well studied over time. However, most research relies on older experimental designs in which static images and older methods of data analysis are applied. In this master thesis new experimental designs and dynamic paradigms are applied. This study will test what changes in peripersonal space representation when hand positioning changes in the trajectory of a dynamically approaching visual stimulus. This study was able to determine the critical spatial limit at which visual stimuli significantly start enhancing tactile processing compared to unimodal (i.e. tactile) stimuli, by correcting data to baseline response times (unimodal) and submitting it to a repeated measures ANOVA and one-sample t tests. By applying this new baseline-corrected method, this study was able to determine the critical spatial limit (62cm from our hands), but was unable to show any differential effects of hand positioning on tactile processing and peripersonal space representation. Therefore, future studies should implement other methods of data analysis to further investigate the effects of hand positioning on peripersonal space representation and tactile processing.