Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is an important cognitive function that acts as a temporary storage for visual information. Previous studies have shown that VSTM capacity can be modulated by the location of one’s hands, where hand proximity enhances neural processing and memory of nearby visual stimuli. The present study used traditional event-related potentials (ERP) along with multiscale entropy (MSE) analysis to shed light on the neural mechanism(s) behind such near-hand effect. Participants’ electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded as they performed a VSTM task with their hands either proximal or distal to the display. ERP analysis showed altered memory processing in the 400–700 ms time window during memory retrieval period. Importantly, MSE analysis also showed significant EEG difference between hand proximal and distal conditions between scales 10 to 20, and such difference is clustered around the right parietal cortex – a region that is involved in VSTM processing and bimodal hand-eye integration. The implications of higher MSE time scale in the parietal cortex are discussed in the context of signal complexity and its possible relation to cognitive processing. To our knowledge, this study provides the first investigation using MSE to characterize the temporal characteristics and signal complexity behind the effect of hand proximity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number562132
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Oct 8 2020


  • action
  • complexity
  • EEG
  • entropy
  • multiscale entropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Altered EEG Signal Complexity Induced by Hand Proximity: A Multiscale Entropy Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this