Wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole! Action affordances and tool-use action schemas extend peripersonal space during tool-use.

Hayley Colman (2010). Wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole! Action affordances and tool-use action schemas extend peripersonal space during tool-use. Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hayley Colman
Thesis Title Wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole! Action affordances and tool-use action schemas extend peripersonal space during tool-use.
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Ada Kritikos
Total pages 81
Abstract/Summary Expert tool-use results in the extension of peripersonal space to encompass the effective space of the tool-tip. This is dependent on the interactive properties of the tool (action affordances) and how we use the tool to interact with the environment (tool-use action schemas). We used saccadic reaction times (SRTs) to congruent and incongruent visual (LEDs) and tactile stimuli (vibrations to the index finger of each hand) as an indication of peripersonal space. Participants were trained to hold straight stick tools and press switches with their tips. In Experiment 1 participants used tools with proximal and distal ends delineated by colour i.e. there were no structural differences between ends. SRTs to tool-tips presented adjacent to visual stimuli were attained with tools in the same then in reversed orientation to training (the tool-tip became the end held by the participant). Despite training with a specific tip, reversing the straight tool was not associated with retraction of peripersonal space. These results suggest that tool-use action schemas generalized from the trained orientation to the non-trained orientation. In Experiment 2 participants were trained and tested with straight (uncoloured) tools. Participants then held a re-aligned tool that disambiguated the hemi-space of action (proximal end) from the hemi-space of effect (distal end) by presenting them on different sides of space. In the other hand they held one of the trained tools. SRTs suggested that peripersonal space extension occurred to the hemi-space of expected effect despite no tool-tip in this hemi-space. This indicates that grasping the tool may activate a tool-use action schema that enhances multisensory integration in the same side of space as the grasp.

 
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