The present study explored the manner in which hand position may affect visual processing. We studied three classic visual attention tasks (visual search, inhibition of return, and attentional blink) during which the participants held their hands either near the stimulus display, or far from the display. Remarkably, the hands altered visual processing: people shifted their attention between items more slowly when their hands were near the display. The same results were observed for both visible and invisible hands. This enhancement in vision for objects near the hands reveals a mechanism that could facilitate the detailed evaluation of objects for potential manipulation, or the assessment of potentially dangerous objects for a defensive response.
|State||Published - 2008|