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Selective Reaching to Grasp: Evidence for Distractor Interference Effects

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Transport and grasp kinematics were examined in a task in which subjects selectively reached to grasp a target object in the presence of non-target objects. In a variety of experiments significant interference effects were observed in temporal parameters, such as movement time, and spatial parameters, such as path. In general, the presence of non-targets slowed down the reach. Furthermore, reach paths were affected such that the hand veered away from near non-targets in reaches for far targets, even though the non-targets were not physical obstacles to the reaching hand. In contrast, the hand veered towards far non-targets in near reaches. We conclude that non-targets evoke competing responses, and the inhibitory mechanisms that resolve this competition are revealed in the reach path.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1997


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