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Acta Psychol (Amst). 2004 Jun;116(2):185-203.

Action priming by briefly presented objects.

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School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK.


Three experiments investigated how visual objects prime the actions they afford. The principal concern was whether such visuomotor priming depends upon a concurrent visual input--as would be expected if it is mediated by on-line dorsal system processes. Experiment 1 showed there to be essentially identical advantages for making afforded over non-afforded responses when these were made to objects still in view and following brief (30 or 50 ms) object exposures that were backward masked. Experiment 2 showed that affordance effects were also unaffected by stimulus degradation. Finally, Experiment 3 showed there to be statistically equal effects from images of objects and their names. The results suggest that an active object representation is sufficient to generate affordance compatibility effects based on associated actions, whether or not the object is concurrently visible.

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