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A behavioural experiment in virtual reality to verify the role of action function in space coding

By Luciano Gamberini, Claudio Carlesso, Bruno Seraglia and Laila Craighero

Abstract

Neurophysiological data indicate that the reachable peripersonal space and the unreachable\ud extrapersonal space are represented in segregated parieto-frontal circuits and that when the\ud unreachable space becomes reachable because of tool use, it is automatically coded by the network\ud selective for peripersonal space. Here we directly tested the role of action’s consequences in space\ud coding. Thirty-eight participants bisected lines at either a reachable distance (60 cms) or\ud unreachable distance (120 cms) using either a laser pointer or laser cutter. The laser cutter but not\ud the laser pointer had an action consequence; the line broke into two pieces. The results showed that\ud distance moderated the effect of action. At an unreachable distance, the mean bisection point was\ud closer to the center when participants used the laser cutter compared to when they used the laser\ud pointer. There were no differences at a reachable distance (60 cms). This result suggests that the\ud space in which the individual may determine a physical consequence is categorized as peripersonal\ud space, independently from its actual distance from the individual’s bod

Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13506285.2013.840348
OAI identifier: oai:iris.unife.it:11392/2088213
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