The Influences of Goal and Laterality of a Prepared Hand Response on a Co-Occurring Visual Search

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Abstract.Computer use generally requires manual interaction with human-computer interfaces. In this experiment, we studied the influence of manual response preparation on co-occurring shifts of attention to information on a computer screen. The participants were to carry out a visual search task on a computer screen while simultaneously preparing to reach for either a proximal or distal switch on a horizontal device, with either their right or left hand. The response properties were not predictive of the target's spatial position. The results mainly showed that the preparation of a manual response influenced visual search: (1) The visual target whose location was congruent with the goal of the prepared response was found faster; (2) the visual target whose location was congruent with the laterality of the response hand was found faster; (3) these effects have a cumulative influence on visual search performance; (4) the magnitude of the influence of the response goal on visual search is marginally negatively correlated with the rapidity of response execution. These results are discussed in the general framework of structural coupling between perception and motor planning.

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