Context Effects on the Processing of Action-Relevant Object Features

Giovanna Girardi*, Oliver Lindemann, Harold Bekkering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


In 4 experiments, we investigated the effects of object affordance in reach-to-grasp actions. Participants indicated whether a depicted small or large object was natural or manmade by means of different object-grasping responses (i.e., with a power or a precision grip). We observed that the size of the depicted object affected the grasping kinematics (grip aperture) and the reach-onset times of compatible and incompatible actions. Additional experiments showed that the effect of perceived object size on motor response was modulated by contextual action information and the observation of others' actions with the object. Thus, beyond the observation of object affordance effects in natural grasping actions, this study suggests that the coupling between object perception and action is not static and obligatory. Behavioral effects of action-relevant object features seem rather to depend on contextual action information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-340
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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