Presentation Title

Effect of Sports Training on Visual Processing in Peri-hand Space

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Abstract

The area immediately surrounding the hand has been shown to give rise to alterations in visual perception. This area is referred to as peri-hand space. When viewing objects in this area, studies have shown that people are slower to look away from objects and faster to detect new objects compared to objects that are not in peri-hand space. Studies have shown that practice with visuomotor skills enables the brain to become more plastic and strengthens the brain areas used, such as: the optic nerve, motor cortex, parietal cortex, superior frontal gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex, and the postcentral gyrus. As such, we hypothesize that athletes will have greater visual processing alterations when viewing objects in peri-hand space compared to non-athletes, due to the refinement of the previously mentioned brain areas that results from extended practice.

We will test this by having a group of athletes and a group of non-athletes perform a visual search task where they have to identify a target image amongst an array of distractor images while wearing an eyetracker. We expect that athletes will be quicker to react to objects presented in their peri-hand space, that they will take longer overall to complete the task, and that they will be more accurate than the control group. If we find significant results, this will provide insight into how visuomotor experience might alter visual processing near the hand.

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Advisor

Jenni Karl

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Effect of Sports Training on Visual Processing in Peri-hand Space

The area immediately surrounding the hand has been shown to give rise to alterations in visual perception. This area is referred to as peri-hand space. When viewing objects in this area, studies have shown that people are slower to look away from objects and faster to detect new objects compared to objects that are not in peri-hand space. Studies have shown that practice with visuomotor skills enables the brain to become more plastic and strengthens the brain areas used, such as: the optic nerve, motor cortex, parietal cortex, superior frontal gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex, and the postcentral gyrus. As such, we hypothesize that athletes will have greater visual processing alterations when viewing objects in peri-hand space compared to non-athletes, due to the refinement of the previously mentioned brain areas that results from extended practice.

We will test this by having a group of athletes and a group of non-athletes perform a visual search task where they have to identify a target image amongst an array of distractor images while wearing an eyetracker. We expect that athletes will be quicker to react to objects presented in their peri-hand space, that they will take longer overall to complete the task, and that they will be more accurate than the control group. If we find significant results, this will provide insight into how visuomotor experience might alter visual processing near the hand.