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J Neurophysiol. 2010 Aug;104(2):972-83. doi: 10.1152/jn.01079.2009. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

Neural and temporal dynamics underlying visual selection for action.

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Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The present study investigated the selection for action hypothesis, according to which a subject's action intention to perform a movement influences the way in which visual information is being processed. Subjects were instructed in separate blocks either to grasp or to point to a three-dimensional target-object and event-related potentials were recorded relative to stimulus onset. It was found that grasping compared with pointing resulted in a stronger N1 component and a subsequent selection negativity, which were localized to the lateral occipital complex. These effects suggest that the intention to grasp influences the processing of action-relevant features in ventral stream areas already at an early stage (e.g., enhanced processing of object orientation for grasping). These findings provide new insight in the neural and temporal dynamics underlying perception-action coupling and provide neural evidence for a selection for action principle in early human visual processing.

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