To use or to move: goal-set modulates priming when grasping real tools

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How we interact with objects depends on what we intend to do with them. In the current work, we show that priming and the kinematics of grasping depend on the goals of grasping, as well as the context in which tasks are presented. We asked participants to grasp familiar kitchen tools in order to either move them, grasp-to-move (GTM), or to demonstrate their common use, grasp-to-use (GTU). When tasks were blocked separately (Experiment 1), we found that priming was only evident for the GTU task. However, when tasks were presented in the same block of trials (Experiment 2), we observed priming for both tasks. Independent of priming, differences in kinematics and reaction times according to task were evident for both Experiments. Longer reaction times for the GTU task indicate more extensive planning, and differences in grasping reflect the characteristics of subsequent actions. Priming of real grasping is determined by task goals as well as task setting, both of which are likely to modulate how object features (affordances) are perceived and influence the planning of future actions.


  • Hand Strength, Humans, Photic Stimulation, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Visual Perception, Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-42
Number of pages18
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
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