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Michael Gomez, Jacqueline Snow; Real objects elicit stronger affordance compatibility effects than images . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):692. doi: 10.1167/16.12.692.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
The term action affordance refers to the potential for manual interaction conveyed by the physical properties of an object; for example, the handle of a cup affords grasping. Using planar images of graspable objects as stimuli, studies have shown that responses are facilitated when the grasp response evoked by the image is compatible with a current action, and slowed when incompatible – a pattern classically referred to as 'affordance compatibility effects'. Here, we examined whether real-world objects that afford genuine motor interaction elicit stronger affordance compatibility effects than two-dimensional images, which are not inherently graspable. Participants searched a horizontal character array for one of two target letters, while ignoring an irrelevant distractor (cup) that appeared above or below the array. The handle of the cup was oriented so that it was either compatible, or incompatible, with the manual response in the search task. Critically, the distractor was either a real cup, or a two-dimensional high-resolution colored photograph of the cup. The image distractors were closely matched to their real-world counterparts for size, viewpoint, and illumination. We found that real cups elicited stronger response compatibility effects than the matched image distractors. Compared with image displays, therefore, real objects serve as more effective triggers for motor actions, possibly because of the potential they offer for genuine physical interaction.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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