The effect of endogenous auditory cue-target congruency on upper limb rapid reaching trajectories.

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Aina, Anthonia O.
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We are constantly faced with multiple opportunities for action requiring decision making and performance at a given moment during our daily activities. These decisions range from simple choices made without conscious deliberation or attention to the more voluntary and conscious choices. It is therefore essential that individuals assess their environments and respond in effective ways. To understand how individual’s use multisensory cues to assess their environment and respond effectively, this study assessed the effect of congruency of endogenous auditory stimuli on reaching performance to multiple targets. Twelve right-handed individuals engaged in a rapid, multi-target reaching task towards a touch screen monitor. Three endogenous auditory cue conditions (no-sound, valid and invalid) were randomised. An Optotrak 3D Investigator (NDI) was used to measure reach trajectories at a collection frame frequency of 500Hz. Participants were instructed to reach and touch the indicated target as quickly and accurately as possible. Statistical analysis was performed on the kinematic data at two movement onset thresholds (30mm/s and 15mm/s), and significance was set at p < .05. Results from the 30mm/s kinematic threshold data showed that reaction time (RT) was significantly shorter in the valid condition as opposed to the no-sound condition [F(2, 20)= 3.519, p<0.05] and participants performed similarly on movement time (MT) in all conditions [F(2, 20)= 1.527, p>0.05]. In contrast, the results from the analysis using 15mm/s threshold revealed that RT in all three conditions was statistically insignificant [F (2, 18) = 0.228, p>0.05] and movement time in the valid condition was statistically significantly longer than the No-sound condition [F (2, 18) = 5.222, p = 0.016]. In both analyses, the trajectory analysis revealed that the percentage of time to peak velocity was longer when reaching to upper targets. Movement trajectory deviations became significant between upper and lower targets at 60% of movement regardless of condition. Our results showed that endogenous auditory cues presented concurrently with the movement target location had no impact on reaction time. However, there was a negative impact on MT that was reflected in the longer movement times observed in the valid and invalid conditions as opposed to the no-sound condition.
Endogenous attention, Multiple target aiming, Goal-directed aiming, Auditory attention, Movement trajectory