Kai-Ling Kao

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Bimodal visuotactile neurons respond to both visual and tactile stimuli presented near the hands, arms, and face. The recruitment of bimodal cells centred on the hand may account for findings of enhanced visual processing of stimuli presented on or near thehand. Thisstudyinvestigatedwhetherornotthisfacilitatoryeffectdiffersbetween the two sides of the hand with respect to speeded detection of visual stimuli and whether ornotdetectiononnon-bodypartsisimprovedwithtraining. Participantsperformeda speeded visual detection task to targets presented on either side of their own hand, a fake hand and a tool. Also, they were trained to use either the fake hand or the tool. The

results showed that participants initially responded faster to stimuli projected onto their real hand than to stimuli presented on the fake hand or the tool, but they did not show differential response to two sides of the hand. After training, participants responded faster to the visual targets presented on the trained object than on the un-trained object when being held by them. Moreover, they responded faster to the targets presented on the upper side, which was viewed by them during training, than the other side of the fake hand or the tool. These findings demonstrate that an enhanced visual detection can be induced in tools and other inanimate objects with training, suggesting that these objects have been incorporated into the body schema.



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