Last week I presented my research project at Neuroscience 2012 in New Orleans.
Yes, I know it is way to small to read. What did I learn?
Inaccuracy in upper body goal directed movement to a remembered location in the dark, such as reaching or pointing, cannot be fully attributed to gravity. We know from many previous studies that when people point to a remembered target location in the dark, they always point lower than the remembered target location. To test this, we suspended young healthy subjects upside down and completed the same task. This time we found that the exact opposite happened in the dark (now they pointed above the remembered target location). The one consistent finding is that subjects performed less absolute movement from their starting position to final pointing position in the dark condition which would make us think the results may actually be due to inaccurate muscle activation in the triphasic motor pattern of simple movements. We have started a pilot test to rule out the effect of the starting arm position and were given many ideas of future things to test from other researcher at the conference.
Now you know how I spend my free time, I hang kids upside down and make them point at things.