Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency

Bläsing B, de Castro Campos M, Schack T, Brugger P (2012)
Experimental Brain Research 221(1): 93-105.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Mental rotation of human hands has been found to differ essentially from mental rotation of objects in such a way that reaction times and error rates of handedness judgements are influenced by the comfort and familiarity of the presented hand postures. To investigate the role of the similarity of the presented hands to the participant's own hand, we used different primates' hands as stimuli in a mental rotation task. Five out of 24 primate hands were chosen for their ratings in human-likeness and saliency of the thumb according to a questionnaire study and presented in two mental rotation experiments; in the second experiment, they were modified in such a way that all hands appeared thumbless. Results of both experiments revealed effects of species and orientation on reaction times, and an interaction between species and hand side occurred in the second experiment. In the first experiment, the thumbless Colobus hand differed from all other hands, showing the highest reaction times and error rates and failing to show the expected medial-over-lateral advantage. In the second experiment, the eccentricity of the Colobus hand was decreased and the facilitating effect of human-likeness was slightly increased. We conclude that motor strategies were applied that relied less on the asymmetry of the stimuli but rather on their similarity to the human hand. We argue that motor simulation might facilitate the processing of incomplete stimuli by mentally completing them, especially if all stimuli can be processed in a consistent manner.
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Bläsing B, de Castro Campos M, Schack T, Brugger P. Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency. Experimental Brain Research. 2012;221(1):93-105.
Bläsing, B., de Castro Campos, M., Schack, T., & Brugger, P. (2012). Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency. Experimental Brain Research, 221(1), 93-105.
Bläsing, B., de Castro Campos, M., Schack, T., and Brugger, P. (2012). Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency. Experimental Brain Research 221, 93-105.
Bläsing, B., et al., 2012. Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency. Experimental Brain Research, 221(1), p 93-105.
B. Bläsing, et al., “Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency”, Experimental Brain Research, vol. 221, 2012, pp. 93-105.
Bläsing, B., de Castro Campos, M., Schack, T., Brugger, P.: Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency. Experimental Brain Research. 221, 93-105 (2012).
Bläsing, Bettina, de Castro Campos, Marcella, Schack, Thomas, and Brugger, Peter. “Mental rotation of primate hands: human-likeness and thumb saliency”. Experimental Brain Research 221.1 (2012): 93-105.
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1 Citation in Europe PMC

Data provided by Europe PubMed Central.

Does thumb posture influence the mental rotation of hands?
Blasing B, Brugger P, Weigelt M, Schack T., Neurosci. Lett. 534(), 2013
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