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Action influences spatial perception: Neuropsychological evidence

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We present neuropsychological evidence indicating that action influences spatial perception. First, we review evidence indicating that actions using a tool can modulate unilateral visual neglect and extinction, where patients are unaware of stimuli presented on one side of space. We show that, at least for some patients, modulation comes about through a combination of visual and motor cueing of attention to the affected side (Experiment 1). Subsequently, we review evidence that action-relations between stimuli reduce visual extinction; there is less extinction when stimuli fall in the correct colocations for action relative to when they fall in the incorrect relations for action and relative to when stimuli are just associatively related. Finally, we demonstrate that action relations between stimuli can also influence the binding of objects to space, in a patient with Balint's syndrome (Experiment 2). These neuropsychological data indicate that perception-action couplings can be crucial to our conscious representation of space.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Behavioural Brain Sciences, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK

Publication date: 2004-02-01

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