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Melanie Wulff, Alexandra Stainton, Pia Rotshtein; Effects of Object Affordance in a Visual Search Task. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):760. doi: 10.1167/15.12.760.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Objects are perceived not only in terms of their visual properties, but also in terms of the potential actions which they can be used for, known as their ‘affordances’. A remaining question is whether this action information is processed separately to object identification. The present study aimed to disentangle the coupling between affordance perception and object identification by means of a visual search task. Right-handed participants had to search for either two objects that can form an action pair (e.g., knife and fork) or two colour targets within a search array, whilst the semantic relation of the distracters and the congruency of the target pairs were manipulated. Accuracy was increased when the distracters were semantically related to the target pair and RTs were faster when the targets matched in colour. Surprisingly, participants were more accurate when the active object (i.e., the tool) was on the left side than when it was on the right side (normally the incongruent hand position for right-handed participants). In the action task and to a lesser extent in the colour task, participants chose the active object before the passive object suggesting that the active relative to the passive object has a higher attentional weight. Our data show that effects of object affordance also occur in a multiple search task. The effects of semantic relatedness and side of active object indicate that action retrieval is processed by two separate but interacting routes to action. We propose that functional relations between objects may have strengthened the effects of affordance. Our data further confirm the dual route account from vision-to-action.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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