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Effects of backward masked stimuli on pointing movements

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Praeg,  E
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Franz,  V
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Praeg, E., Heumann, M., Fahle, M., Bülthoff, H., & Franz, V. (2002). Effects of backward masked stimuli on pointing movements. Poster presented at 25th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2002), Glasgow, UK.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-DF50-B
Abstract
Stimuli which are completely masked for conscious perception can still show robust effects on motor responses. Schmidt (2002 Psychological Science 13 112 - 117) found that masked stimuli affected pointing movements. However, there was a direct compatibility between the position of the imperative stimulus and the goal of the pointing movement. Here, we eliminated this compatibility by using imperative stimuli that only symbolically coded the direction of the pointing movements. Successions of primes and imperative stimuli were shown (duration prime 31 ms, ISI 42 ms, target 83 ms). Primes and imperative stimuli were squares, oriented at 0° or 45°. Twenty-two participants (a) discriminated amongst the primes, (b) responded to the orientation of the imperative stimulus by pointing to a left or right target, and (c) responded by pushing a left or right button. Participants were not able to discriminate amongst the primes (d‘ = 0.07, p = 0.10). Nevertheless, the reaction times differed between congruent and incongruent conditions (51 ms, p < 0.001), as did the pointing trajectories. Completely masked stimuli can affect pointing movements even if there is no compatibility between the location of the imperative stimulus and the goal of the pointing movement.