Semantic activation in action planning

Oliver Lindemann*, Prisca Stenneken, Hein T. Van Schie, Harold Bekkering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Four experiments investigated activation of semantic information in action preparation. Participants either prepared to grasp and use an object (e.g., to drink from a cup) or to lift a finger in association with the object's position following a go/no-go lexical-decision task. Word stimuli were consistent to the action goals of the object use (Experiment 1) or to the finger lifting (Experiment 2). Movement onset times yielded a double dissociation of consistency effects between action preparation and word processing. This effect was also present for semantic categorizations (Experiment 3), but disappeared when introducing a letter identification task (Experiment 4). In sum, our findings indicate that action semantics are activated selectively in accordance with the specific action intention of an actor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-643
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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