Presentation Title

The Role of Peri-Hand Space in the Development of Visually-Guided Hand Movements

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Presenter Information

Nikola R. KlassenFollow

Abstract

In young children, reach and grasp movements are guided by touch, but they gradually come under visual guidance later in development. How and when this transition occurs is still unclear. We propose that a phenomenon known as peri-hand space may facilitate this transition. Peri-hand space is the space surrounding the hand and is characterized by increased visual attention and perception of stimuli within that space. Interestingly, the visual inputs to the neural substrates that enable peri-hand space appear to be more prominent in early development than in adulthood. This suggests that peri-hand space effects should be more prominent in children compared to adults and may play an important role in the development of visually-guided hand movements. To test this, we recruited 17 adults and 12 children between 5 and 8 years of age. Each participant completed a visual search task where they identified a single target object within an array containing eleven additional distractor objects while wearing eye-tracking glasses. Each participant completed the task under two conditions: hand close to the visual array and hand far from the visual array. We expect to find that visual processing of the target object, as measured by accuracy, visual search time, and target recognition time will be enhanced in the hands-close condition to a greater extent in children compared to adults. If the results confirm our predictions, this would suggest that peri-hand space is more prominent in children and could facilitate the transition to visual control of skilled reach and grasp movements.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Jenni Karl

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The Role of Peri-Hand Space in the Development of Visually-Guided Hand Movements

In young children, reach and grasp movements are guided by touch, but they gradually come under visual guidance later in development. How and when this transition occurs is still unclear. We propose that a phenomenon known as peri-hand space may facilitate this transition. Peri-hand space is the space surrounding the hand and is characterized by increased visual attention and perception of stimuli within that space. Interestingly, the visual inputs to the neural substrates that enable peri-hand space appear to be more prominent in early development than in adulthood. This suggests that peri-hand space effects should be more prominent in children compared to adults and may play an important role in the development of visually-guided hand movements. To test this, we recruited 17 adults and 12 children between 5 and 8 years of age. Each participant completed a visual search task where they identified a single target object within an array containing eleven additional distractor objects while wearing eye-tracking glasses. Each participant completed the task under two conditions: hand close to the visual array and hand far from the visual array. We expect to find that visual processing of the target object, as measured by accuracy, visual search time, and target recognition time will be enhanced in the hands-close condition to a greater extent in children compared to adults. If the results confirm our predictions, this would suggest that peri-hand space is more prominent in children and could facilitate the transition to visual control of skilled reach and grasp movements.