Perceptual-attentional and motor-intentional bias in near and far space

John P. Garza, Paul J. Eslinger, Anna M. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Spatial bias demonstrated in tasks such as line-bisection may stem from perceptual-attentional (PA) "where" and motor-intentional (MI) "aiming" influences. We tested normal participants' line bisection performance in the presence of an asymmetric visual distracter with a video apparatus designed to dissociate PA from MI bias. An experimenter stood as a distractor to the left or right of a video monitor positioned in either near or far space, where participants viewed lines and a laser point they directed under (1) natural and (2) mirror-reversed conditions. Each trial started with the pointer positioned at either the top left or top right corner of the screen, and alternated thereafter. Data analysis indicated that participants made primarily PA leftward errors in near space, but not in far space. Furthermore, PA, but not MI, bias increased bilaterally in the direction of distraction. In contrast, MI, but not PA, bias was shifted bilaterally in the direction of startside. Results support the conclusion that a primarily PA left sided bias in near space is consistent with right hemisphere spatial attentional dominance. A bottom-up visual distractor specifically affected PA "where" spatial bias while top-down motor cuing influenced MI "aiming" bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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