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Spatial code interference on directional responses

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

The interference from an irrelevant position cue was compared in a reaction-time paradigm using voice and manual responses. The subjects were required to say 'left' or 'right' or to press left or right keys in response to arrow directions, and the arrows were presented at left or right side display positions irrelevant to the task. Display position significantly increased latency when it did not match the response to the relevant direction cue for both spatial (key-press) and non-spatial (voice) responses (73 and 59 ms, respectively). When presented alone, the position cue was processed faster than the direction cue for both manual and verbal responses. Results are discussed in terms of a common abstract mediator for left-right responses between modes and the processing speed difference between the relevant and irrelevant cue. The irrelevant left-right position code may occupy some limited-capacity channel ahead of the left-right code derived from processing the relevant direction cue.

Affiliations: 1: Schepens Eye Research Institute, 20 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA


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