Proprioception and Stimulus-Response Compatibility
Authors: Worringham, Charles J.; Kerr, Graham K.
Source: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 1 February 2000, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 69-83(15)
Abstract:Sixteen subjects pressed a left or right key in response to lateralized visual stimuli, in uncrossed (left index finger on left key, right finger on right key) and crossed conditions (left finger on right key and vice versa), with varying finger separations. Visual, tactile, or ''efference copy'' cues about relative finger positions were unavailable. Subjects had to press the key on the same side as (compatible group) or opposite side to the stimulus (incompatible group). Separate proprioceptive judgements of the relative finger positions were obtained. Findings of an overall reaction time (RT) advantage for compatible instructions and for uncrossed hands were replicated. With decreasing finger separation the RT advantage for compatible instructions decreased, and the probability of responding with either hand increased. The compatibility effect disappeared completely at the 6-cm crossed position, not at the position that was hardest to judge proprioceptively. This suggests that two forms of neural activation are summed: automatic activation of the anatomically same-side limb, and an integrated, rule-based activation. The results further demonstrate that independent proprioceptive cues from each limb, unassociated with skin contact between the limbs, can mediate the determination of relative position for response selection in stimulus-response compatibility tasks.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2000