Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Catherine L. Reed, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ralph Roberts

Third Advisor

Kelly Snyder

Fourth Advisor

John Kinnamon


Embodied psychology, Event related potentials, Hands, Selective attention, Visual perception


Recent behavioral studies have investigated the importance of hand and arm position in visual attentional processes. Reed et al. (2006) found facilitated (faster) detection for targets that appear in the space near the hand, relative to targets appearing on the opposite side of a monitor display. The current study aimed to explore the potential bottom-up and top-down neural sources underlying this hand-bias effect on attention with ERP. Using a standard, non-predictive visual cuing paradigm, we examined early (N1, P1) and later (P3) ERP components in response target presentations in three conditions: with the non-responding hand resting on the table (Resting), with the hand held up near the screen and target location (Up), and with the hand held up but away from the screen (Away). An effect of hand-position was found for the P3 in a central electrode group, in which validity effects that were present in the Resting and Away conditions, were not present in the Up condition. This result suggests that top-down sources of attentional bias from positioning a hand near the screen can alter the occurrence of validity effects in this ERP component. However, significant effects were not found in the earlier P1 and N1 components, nor did the behavioral results completely replicate the original findings of Reed et al. (2006). The limited findings from these other aspects of the study may be explained by a number of limitations discussed in the paper.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

John Philip Garza


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

85 p.


Cognitive psychology