Does hand proximity enhance letter identification?

Giordana Grossi, Annie J. Olmstead, Danielle Lukaszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adam et al. (2012) found that letters were identified more accurately when presented near, compared to away from, the hands. Participants performed the task in two conditions: with their hands held stationary and with their hands moving towards and away from the target letters. The near-hands effect included the contribution of both static and dynamic trials. Further studies showed that accuracy in letter discrimination was higher when hands were away from a target (a far-hands effect) and moving toward it, suggesting an interaction between hand position and movement direction. The present study aimed to test whether hand proximity affects letter identification when the hands are stationary, as it remains unclear if this effect can be reliably observed. Participants viewed strings of three consonants, briefly presented and masked, and had to verbally report their identity. Stimuli were presented under two different hand conditions: proximal and distal. The predicted effects of letter position and stimulus duration were all statistically significant and robust; however, we did not observe a hand proximity effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0280991
JournalPloS one
Issue number1 January
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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