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When action influences object perception: Evidence for rapid access to action representations during visual object recognition

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83960

Helbig,  HB
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83944

Graf,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Helbig, H., Graf, M., Sim, E.-J., & Kiefer, M. (2007). When action influences object perception: Evidence for rapid access to action representations during visual object recognition. Poster presented at Rovereto Workshop on Concepts, Actions and Objects (CAOs 2007), Rovereto, Italy.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-CE49-F
Abstract
Brain areas involved in action representation (premotor cortex, posterior parietal cortex) are activated when subjects name pictures of manipulable objects, like tools (e.g., Chao amp; Martin, 2000). Moreover, behavioral evidence indicates that manipulable objects potentiate possible actions (e.g., Tucker amp; Ellis, 1998). Here we investigated whether action representations facilitate object recognition. Subjects were sequentially presented with two pictures of artifactual manipulable objects (e.g., tools, musical instruments) and were required to name the objects. In the congruent condition both objects afford similar actions, while affordances are dissimilar in the incongruent condition. Stimulus pairs in both conditions were matched for baseline naming accuracy, word frequency, word length, and for visual and semantic similarity. Naming accuracy was significantly higher in the congruent condition. This action priming effect substantiates our hypothesis that action representations play an important role in the recognition of artifactual manipulable objects. We further conducted an event-related potentials (ERPs) experiment using the same task and stimuli to determine the temporal and spatial pattern of brain activity underlying the action priming. An effect of action congruency on ERPs started at about 100ms after the onset of the target object at fronto-central electrodes close to the motor cortex. This finding demonstrates that the action priming effect in object recognition arises from rapid access to action representations in motor areas even though subjects did not act upon the objects. Altogether, the results suggest that motor knowledge about potential interactions with objects can influence object recognition within the first 100ms of perceptual processing.