July 2019
Volume 19, Issue 8
Open Access
OSA Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Is the stronger EEG signature of motor preparation for real objects versus images modulated by graspability?
Author Affiliations
  • Grant Fairchild
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Francesco Marini
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Katy Breeding
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Jacqueline Snow
    University of Nevada, Reno
Journal of Vision July 2019, Vol.19, 109. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/19.8.109
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      Grant Fairchild, Francesco Marini, Katy Breeding, Jacqueline Snow; Is the stronger EEG signature of motor preparation for real objects versus images modulated by graspability?. Journal of Vision 2019;19(8):109. https://doi.org/10.1167/19.8.109.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Ultimately, we aim to generalize and translate scientific knowledge to the real world, yet current understanding of human visual perception is based almost exclusively on studies of two-dimensional images. However, recent studies have shown differences in behavioral and neural responses to real objects vs. images. One possible explanation for these findings is that because real objects (but not images) offer the potential for action, they trigger stronger or more prolonged activation in neural populations involved in visuo-motor action planning. We recently explored this idea by probing cortical brain dynamics with electroencephalography (EEG) while observers viewed real-world objects or closely matched two-dimensional images of the same items. Compared to images, viewing real objects triggered stronger event-related desynchronization in the μ frequency band (8–13 Hz) –a neural signature of automatic motor preparation. Stronger μ desynchronization for real objects vs. images was apparent throughout the 800 ms window of stimulus presentation, and extended ~700 ms post stimulus offset. In the current study, we extended this work by examining whether similar patterns of μ desynchronization were apparent when the same stimuli were presented behind a clear Perspex barrier that prevented the potential for manual interaction with the objects. Under these conditions, we again observed stronger μ desynchronization for real objects (vs. images), but the effect only extended ~200 ms post stimulus offset. These preliminary findings suggest that the distinct motor-related cortical responses that are triggered by real objects rely, at least in part, on the potential for in-the-moment interaction with the object.


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