Exploring the role of disgust in hands and feet laterality judgement tasks

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The hand laterality task (HLT) and the foot laterality task (FLT) are used to explore motor imagery, the ability to imagine an action without executing it. With our limbs, we interact with our body, with others, and with the environment. These contacts might cause negative feelings, such as disgust. Disgust is elicited by different drivers. For instance, body products and body envelope violations provoke disgust to avoid contaminations and to avoid damaging our bodies. However, not much is known about how disgust changes our motor imagery processes. In this study, we examined whether there is any difference in the ability to imagine hands and feet when these are emotionally-charged with reminders of disgust. Thirty-six participants completed an online version of a classic (neutral) HLT and FLT and two emotionally-charged (disgust) versions. Our findings show that when body parts are modified so that they elicit emotional processing, disgust is salient overall, rather than being salient specifically for actions. This is true for both our hands and our feet.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Early online date6 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2023


  • Body representation
  • disgust
  • foot laterality task
  • hand laterality task
  • motor imagery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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