Perception and Action: Behavioural, neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies.

Warman, Annie Georgina (2024) Perception and Action: Behavioural, neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Traditional models of vision highlight the existence of two neural pathways: the dorsal pathway, subserving vision for action, and the ventral stream for vision for perception. While these streams are responsible for separate outputs, it is argued that they are not entirely independent. This thesis aimed to further explore the link between perception and action using behavioural (Chapter 2), neuroimaging (Chapter 3) and neuropsychological investigations (Chapter 4). The first experiment was a registered report using an influential stimulus-response compatibility paradigm with images of handled objects to investigate affordances. We failed to replicate a common finding that reaction times are faster when objects’ handles are oriented to the same side as the hand used to respond to an irrelevant task. However, we did observe this handle compatibility effect when objects were presented in the lower, but not upper, visual field, suggesting affordances may be dependent on the suitability for action. In our second experiment, we used MVPA to examine what properties ventral and dorsal visual stream regions represent. Specifically, whether they code how to use a tool (rotate or squeeze), and if this representation is task or modality specific. Here we found that regions in the ventral and dorsal stream represent tool use actions both when viewing and pantomiming. Thirdly, we investigated how visuomotor performance is affected by Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. Participants in the clinical group were slower initiating and executing reaches, and correcting their movements in response to a jump in target position, a task thought to be mediated by the dorsal visual stream. Allocentric reaching, thought to be mediated by the ventral visual stream, was associated with cognitive decline. Put together, this thesis highlights a tight link between perception and action which subserves our ability to carry out skilled movements with objects such as tools.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: James Tweddle
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2024 16:23
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 16:23


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