Mapping of Extracorporeal Space by Vibrotactile Reaction Times: A Far-Left-Side Disadvantage Academic Article uri icon


  • Vibrotactile reaction times in normal dextrals were measured for the two hands separately when either hand was located at each of seven possible positions: 90 degrees, 45 degrees, and 15 degrees to the left and right of the chest midline, and at the midline itself (0 degrees). Reaction times for the two hands did not differ and there was no Hand by Position interaction. At 90 degrees left, reaction times were significantly slower than at any other position except 45 degrees right. However, none of the other positions, including 45 degrees right, differed from each other. Performance in this task, therefore, was relatively uniform from 90 degrees right to 45 degrees left, but markedly slower at 90 degrees left. This far-left-side disadvantage may reflect a difficulty (for dextrals) in focussing covert attention in the far-left part of space for a block of trials. Since vibrotactile reaction times are sensitive to attentional factors in normal subjects, the paradigm should allow quantification of the clinical symptoms of the hemineglect syndrome; some preliminary observations of this syndrome with another vibrotactile design are reported.

publication date

  • June 1987