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Title: Mechanisms of action-modulated vision : behavioural and EEG investigations of motor-visual priming
Author: Job, Xavier Emmanuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 2798
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Perception and action have classically been understood as independent and isolated processes. More recent theories propose that action preparation may play a role in shaping the selection of perceptual information by prioritising action-relevant sensory information, suggesting a tight coupling between the two domains. However, the precise mechanisms underlying effects of action on perception are poorly understood, particularly regarding perception of non-spatial visual features. The experiments reported in this thesis investigate how the preparation of simple grasping actions influences the perception of stimulus properties including orientation, size and the hierarchical structure of objects (local/global processing), the latter of which is previously unstudied in the context of action preparation. Across the experiments, the typical behavioural effect emerged such that target stimuli were responded to faster if they contained a visual feature relevant to the upcoming action. Additionally, early brain responses (N1 event-related potential component) elicited by stimuli varying in their relative size were modulated by action preparation, suggesting action preparation affects already early sensory processing of a non-spatial feature. However, behavioural reaction time effects were not always found to reflect changes in early sensory processing. Instead, reaction time effects were reflected by changes in beta band (13-30Hz) synchronisation over sensorimotor brain regions, indicative of improved response preparation. Together, these findings show effects of action on perception may operate on early selection mechanisms under certain task conditions, but likely also operate on higher order decision and/or response processes. The results are discussed in terms of the wider theory regarding mechanisms of action-modulated visual processing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral