Guidance of visual reaching with the aid of a TV monitor: the effects of monitor position and of left/right and up/down reversals of the image in relation to age

Brechmann, M. , Ettlinger, G. and Skreczek, W. (1989) Guidance of visual reaching with the aid of a TV monitor: the effects of monitor position and of left/right and up/down reversals of the image in relation to age. Neuropsychologia, 27(11-12), pp. 1383-1397. (doi:10.1016/0028-3932(89)90132-2)

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Abstract

Children, aged 2–9 years, were seated alongside a wall containing an opening through which they could reach with their preferred hand. Targets (“ink blots”), which could not be felt, were attached to the other (rear) side of the wall, around the opening. The child could see directly neither the target nor its hand beyond the front side of the wall; but both were visible on a TV monitor. The image on the screen of the monitor originated from a camera viewing the rear (target) side of the wall at the level of the central opening. The monitor screen was either (a) parallel to the wall, but rotated 180° with respect to the axis of the camera, i.e. facing the camera; or (b) at 90° to the wall; or (c) in a position similar to (a) but visible in a mirror attached to the front side of the wall and therefore in effect “aligned” with the axis of the camera. The image the child saw was either (1) electronically unswitched, i.e. when the target was towards the east on the wall it was to the west on the monitor in monitor position (a), or to the north in position (b), or to the “east” in position (c); or (2) left/right reversed relative to (1); or (3) up/down reversed relative to (1); or (4) both left/right and up/down reversed. The dependent variable was the time taken for the child to place the palm of the hand over the target (time was measured to 0.1 sec on video-recorder with a superimposed time display).<p></p> Position of the monitor, comparing conditions (a)-(c), gave only minor, perhaps age-related, effects. Left/right reversals were easier than up/down reversals under monitor positions (a) and (b), but not under (c); but both reversals could be achieved by age 3 or older; hardest was condition (4). However, with monitor positions (a) and (b) children, at all ages we tested, found condition (1) (“east gives west/north”) easier than (2) (“east gives east/south”), whereas for adults these conditions were equally easy, or they found (2) easier than (1); but with monitor position (c) condition (1), now “east gives east”, was easiest. Moreover, the claim that chimpanzees but not monkeys can achieve accurate reaching under the conditions varied in this study seems premature: the chimpanzees may have made use of strategies based on uncontrolled cues.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Harvey, Dr Monika
Authors: Brechmann, M., Ettlinger, G., and Skreczek, W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Neuropsychologia
Publisher:Pergamon
ISSN:0028-3932
ISSN (Online):1873-3514

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