Lateralized pointing does not cause a cognitive bias
Lateralized pointing has been shown to cause not only a shift in visuo-motor midline, but also a shift in non-lateralized spatial attention. Non-lateralized cognitive consequences of lateralized pointing have been reported for local and global visuospatial processing. Here, we evaluate these findings and examine this effect for categorical and coordinate spatial relation processing, for which the attentional processes are thought to be highly similar to local and global visuospatial processing, respectively. Participants performed a commonly used working memory task to assess categorical and coordinate spatial relation processing. Lateralized pointing with either the left or the right hand, to either the left or the right side was introduced as a manipulation, as well as a new control condition without any pointing. Performance on the spatial relation task was measured before and after pointing. The results suggest that non-lateralized consequences of lateralized pointing cannot be generalized to other cognitive tasks relying on attentional processing. Further examination of lateralized pointing is recommended before drawing further conclusions concerning its impact on non-lateralized cognition.
KeywordsLateralized pointing Attention Spatial relations Visuospatial perception
The authors wish to thank Daniëlle Juffermans for her help in collecting the data. CD was supported by a VICI grant by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO, Grant No. 453.10.003). IH was supported by a VENI grant by NWO (Grant No. 451.12.004).
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