Independent effects of eye gaze and spatial attention on the processing of tactile events: Evidence from event-related potentials

Gherri, E. & Forster, B. (2015). Independent effects of eye gaze and spatial attention on the processing of tactile events: Evidence from event-related potentials. Biological Psychology, 109, pp. 239-247. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.05.008

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Abstract

Directing one's gaze at a body part reduces detection speed and enhances the processing of tactile stimuli presented at the gazed location. Given the close links between spatial attention and the oculomotor system it is possible that these gaze-dependent modulations of touch are mediated by attentional mechanisms. To investigate this possibility, gaze direction and sustained tactile attention were orthogonally manipulated in the present study. Participants covertly attended to one hand to perform a tactile target-nontarget discrimination while they gazed at the same or opposite hand. Spatial attention resulted in enhancements of the somatosensory P100 and Nd components. In contrast, gaze resulted in modulations of the N140 component with more positive ERPs for gazed than non gazed stimuli. This dissociation in the pattern and timing of the effects of gaze and attention on somatosensory processing reveals that gaze and attention have independent effects on touch.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Spatial attention; Eye gaze; Somatosensory processing; Event-related brain potentials
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/12225

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