Many everyday tasks, like walking down a street, require us to dual task to also avoid collisions of our swinging arms with other pedestrians. The collision avoidance is possible with ease because humans attend to all our (embodied) limbs. But how does the level of embodiment affect attention distribution, and consequently task performance in dual tasks? Here we examined this question with a dual task that required participants to perform a cued button-press (main task) with their right hand, while reacting to possible collisions by a moving object with a left ‘robot’ hand (secondary task). We observed that participants consistently improve main task performance when they perceived the robot hand to be embodied, compared to when they don’t. The secondary task performance could be maintained in both cases. Our results suggest that embodiment of a limb modifies attention allotment for the benefit of dual motor task performance using limbs.
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