Publication details for Professor Amanda EllisonBall, K., Smith, D., Ellison, A. & Schenk, T. (2010). A body-centred frame of reference drives spatial priming in visual search. Experimental Brain Research 204(4): 585-594.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0014-4819, 1432-1106
- DOI: 10.1007/s00221-010-2327-y
- Keywords: Egocentric, Frames of reference, Spatial memory, Conjunction search, Priming.
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Spatial priming in visual search is a well-documented phenomenon. If the target of a visual search is presented at the same location in subsequent trials, the time taken to find the target at this repeated target location is significantly reduced. Previous studies did not determine which spatial reference frame is used to code the location. At least two reference frames can be distinguished: an observer-related frame of reference (egocentric) or a scene-based frame of reference (allocentric). While past studies suggest that an allocentric reference frame is more effective, we found that an egocentric reference frame is at least as effective as an allocentric one (Ball et al. Neuropsychologia 47(6):1585–1591, 2009). Our previous study did not identify which specific egocentric reference frame was used for the priming: participants could have used a retinotopic or a body-centred frame of reference. Here, we disentangled the retinotopic and body-centred reference frames. In the retinotopic condition, the position of the target stimulus, when repeated, changed with the fixation position, whereas in the body-centred condition, the position of the target stimulus remained the same relative to the display, and thus to the body-midline, but was different relative to the fixation position. We used a conjunction search task to assess the generality of our previous findings. We found that participants relied on body-centred information and not retinotopic cues. Thus, we provide further evidence that egocentric information, and specifically body-centred information, can persist for several seconds, and that these effects are not specific to either a feature or a conjunction search paradigm.