Conflicting cues from vision and touch can impair spatial task performance: speculations on the role of spatial ability in reconciling frames of reference

Madeleine Keehner

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    In "hand assisted" minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon inserts one hand into the operative site. Despite anecdotal claims that seeing their own hand via the laparoscopic camera enhances spatial understanding, a previous study using a maze-drawing task in indirect viewing conditions found that seeing one's own hand sometimes helped and sometimes hurt performance (Keehner et al., 2004). Here I present a new analysis exploring the mismatch between kinesthetic cues (knowing where the hand is) and visual cues (seeing the hand in an orientation that is incongruent with this). Seeing one's left hand as if from the right side of egocentric space (palm view) impaired performance, and this depended on spatial ability (r=-.54). Conversely, there was no relationship with spatial ability when viewing the left hand from the left side of egocentric space (back view). The view-specific nature of the confusion raises a possible role for spatial abilities in reconciling spatial frames of reference.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSpatial Cognition VI. Learning, Reasoning, and Talking about Space
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Conference Spatial Cognition 2008, Freiburg, Germany, September 15-19, 2008. Proceedings
    EditorsChristian Freksa, Nora S. Newcombe, Peter Gardenfors, Stefan Wolfl
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9783540876007
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event6th International Conference on Spatial Cognition - Schloss Reinach, Freiburg, Germany
    Duration: 15 Sep 200819 Sep 2008

    Publication series

    NameLecture notes in computer science


    Conference6th International Conference on Spatial Cognition
    Abbreviated titleSC'08
    Internet address

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