Vision and haptics : how sensorimotor interactions influence grasping

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Stone, Kayla D.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the sensory contributions to hand preference for grasping. While numerous studies have investigated this preference for visually-guided grasping (a left-hemisphere specialization), very few have documented it during haptically-guided actions (a right-hemisphere specialization). In a series of four studies, participants (healthy adults, congenitally blind, and children) were asked to replicate 3D-block models from a tabletop of blocks while the hand used for grasping was recorded. Overall the results showed a right-hand preference for grasping independent of age and visual experience (but not sensory modality). Haptics played a modest, yet significant, role in modulating hand preference, as there was a significant reduction in right-hand use in the absence of vision (i.e. during haptically-guided grasping). Because the left hand was never used more than 50% of the time, these findings support the theory of a default right-hand/left-hemisphere specialization for grasping that is modulated by haptics.
Hand preference , Sensory , Vision , Touch , Proprioception , Development , Congenitally blind , Sensory deprivation , Handedness , Grasping