M-24. Cultural vs biomechanical influences on a graphic production task
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Sixteen right-handed normal readers of Arabic performed a speeded dot production task with each hand under right-to-left vs. left-to-right movement conditions. Cultural influences (i.e., writing direction) were expected to result in a right-to-left movement advantage on this task; biomechanical factors (i.e., faster execution of movements directed away from vs. towards the body) were expected to result in a hand by direction crossover interaction. The results support a joint influence of cultural and motoric factors inasmuch as a right to left directional advantage was indeed obtained, especially under left hand performance conditions; right hand performance showed no directional advantage. The results suggest that movements directed away from the body are executed faster than those directed toward the body, except when such movement patterns conflict with normal writing direction.
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