When two become one: The extension of peripersonal space through the use of tools

Amanda Bentley (2010). When two become one: The extension of peripersonal space through the use of tools Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Amanda Bentley
Thesis Title When two become one: The extension of peripersonal space through the use of tools
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Ada Kritikos
Total pages 42
Abstract/Summary Our senses are assailed with a multitude of information every second of every day. To navigate our way through this hectic world, multisensory integration aids us in interpreting sensory information that enters our near (peripersonal) space. Peripersonal space extends when we actively use a tool (e.g. Holmes, Calvert, & Spence, 2007). However, unpublished data (Armanasco, 2009) suggest there are long term effects of tool training on peripersonal space. This study had two aims. The first was to investigate under what conditions multisensory integration occurs when using a tool, thus incorporating the tool into our peripersonal space. The second aim was to determine whether training in the tool produces long term changes to peripersonal space. I measured saccadic reaction time of participants (N=27) responding to a visual (red LED) and vibrotactile stimulus, while they were holding hands with and without a tool in different positions. A within subjects design consisted of three sessions, conducted over a three to four week period: Session one pre-tool training; session two tool training; and session three post-tool training. From the results we infer that tool training extend near (peripersonal) space into far (extrapersonal) space. Furthermore, tool training appears to consolidate over a two to three week period. Theoretical and practical implications of this research are discussed as well as future research opportunities.

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Created: Mon, 04 Apr 2011, 16:11:41 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology