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Wenyuan Yu, Ye Liu, Xiaolan Fu; The role of context and level of object processing in the activation of structure- and function-based action representation. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):474. doi: 10.1167/17.10.474.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recently research shows that activation of action representation is not always automatic, but influenced by some factors (Freeman, Itthipuripat, & Aron, 2016; Randerath, Martin, & Frey, 2013). Structure- and function-based action representations, which depend on distinct neural streams and represent different action information related to objects (Buxbaum & Kalénine, 2010), may be differently influenced by context and the level of object processing on their activation. In the present study, a behavioral experiment was conducted to explore whether structure- and function-based action representations could be activated in categorization task (low-level object processing) and naming task (high-level object processing). Participants were asked to categorize or name a photograph of an object preceded by a priming hand action video as quickly and as accurately as possible. The results showed that participants categorized the objects with congruent structure-based action faster than those with incongruent structure-based action, and this priming effect was significant only in the structure-based action priming block preceded by the function-based action priming block. Whereas, participants named the objects with congruent function-based action faster than those with incongruent function-based action. The findings suggested that the activation of structure-based action representation depended on the function-based action context，which may draw attention to the action information related to objects. The findings also suggested that low-level object processing in function-based action context was enough for the activation of structure-based action representation, and function-based action representation was only activated after high-level object processing. And the absence of structure-based action priming effect in naming task might be caused by the quick decay of structure-based action representation (Jax & Buxbaum, 2010). The present study provided further evidence for the activation condition of two action representations, and the distinction between the two action systems: "Grasp" and "Use" systems.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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