The Influence of the Body and Action on Spatial Attention

  • Catherine L. Reed
  • John P. Garza
  • Ralph J. RobertsJr.
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4840)


Research on spatial attention traditionally focuses on how it is influenced by the location of objects within the visual environment. However, a primary function of spatial attention is to plan physical actions. When events occur in the world, visual information needs to be integrated with current body position to help prepare effective responses to these events. Further, current actions can subsequently influence further deployments of attention. Thus, spatial attention must be considered within the context of the body. Here we present research demonstrating that one’s own body and the actions of others can influence spatial attention mechanisms, influencing the prioritization of functional space near the body and the direction of attention. This work emphasizes a need for an embodied theory of spatial attention and a more dynamic neural model of attention that adjusts to meet the demands of the current environment and the perceiver’s goals.


spatial attention embodiment covert orienting human body 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine L. Reed
    • 1
    • 2
  • John P. Garza
    • 1
  • Ralph J. RobertsJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.UNIVERSITY OF DENVER, Department of Psychology, 2155 S. Race St., Denver CO 80210USA
  2. 2.CLAREMONT MCKENNA COLLEGE, Department of Psychology, 850 Columbia Ave., Claremont CA 91711USA

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