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Gender Differences In Visual And Tactile Line Bisection

2372 words - 9 pages

Gender Differences in Visual and Tactile Line Bisection

Running Head: ATTENTIONAL BIAS IN NORMAL SUBJECTS

Gender Differences in Visual and Tactile Line Bisection: Attentional Bias
in Normal Subjects

Abstract
Attentional bias in line bisections may be influenced by the position of the stimulus, the type of stimulus, and the gender of the bisector. Past research has found that below eye level bisection stimuli is biased away from the body in the visual mode, and towards the body in the tactile mode. Above eye level bisections have not been significantly biased in either direction due to a cancellation of the object centered bias by the body centered bias. Research has also concluded that no gender differences are statistically significant in attentional bias studies, using line bisection tasks. This report suggests that gender differences are statistically significant in favor of male subjects, when using above eye level stimuli, and when using tactile stimuli. Overall, however, these differences become statistically insignificant, when combined with below eye level tasks and visual tasks. Current findings also point to a trend towards supporting past research findings which state that in below eye level bisections both males and females are biased away from the body in the visual mode, and towards the body in the tactile mode.

Gender Differences in Visual and Tactile Line Bisections: Attentional Bias
in Normal Subjects
The act of survival requires humans to pay attention to their surroundings. In order to pay attention to surroundings, one must allocate resources of attention to the space around one's body. Taking a common sense approach, the sense of vision and the sense of touch would be the candidates for "most important senses in terms of survival". For example, imagine a primitive hunter trying to catch prey, using only his sense of smell; or imagine someone trying to build a hut, without the use of sensitive fingers to wield tools. Vision is generally used as a means to detect and interpret objects at a distance, whereas, touch is used to detect and interpret objects which are relatively close to the body. Historically, visual and tactile attention have been studied along a left-right horizontal axis (Shelton, Bowers, & Heilman, 1990 as cited in Geldmacher & Heilman, 1994); however, there has been a recent expansion of this research, into the vertical and radial axes. The current study will attempt to confirm the findings of Geldmacher and Heilman (1994), Jeerakathil and Kirk (1994), and Drain and Reuter-Lorenz (1996) that below eye level bisection stimuli will be biased away from the body (far peripersonal space) in the visual mode, and towards the body (near peripersonal space) in the tactile mode. Above eye level bisections should not be significantly biased, however, due to a cancellation of biases --i.e., the object centered bias nullifies body centered...

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