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Neuroreport. 2007 Jun 11;18(9):941-4.

Attentional orienting to graspable objects: what triggers the response?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada.


We used event-related potentials to determine whether attentional orienting to graspable objects depends on the type of motor representation they implicitly activate - object and/or hand specific. Our paradigm was based on varying the visual hemifield location (left vs. right) of a task-irrelevant 'tool'. As our left-handed participants had object and hand-specific motor representations lateralized to their left and right cerebral hemispheres, respectively, the motor representation activated on each trial thus varied with the tool's hemifield. In question was whether attentional orienting would also vary with the tool's hemifield. Our ERP data, however, indicated that attention was drawn to the tool's location regardless of hemifield, suggesting that graspable objects can trigger attentional orienting via either an object or hand-specific motor representation.

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