Skip to main content

An Attentional Mechanism for Selecting Appropriate Actions Afforded by Graspable Objects

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


An object may afford a number of different actions. In this article, we show that an attentional mechanism inhibits competing motor programs that could elicit erroneous actions. Participants made a speeded key press to categorize the second of two successively presented door handles that were rotated at varying orientations relative to one another. Their responding hand was compatible or incompatible with the graspable part of the door handles (rightward or leftward facing). Compatible responses were faster than incompatible responses if the two handles shared an identical orientation, but they were slower if the two handles were aligned at slightly dissimilar orientations. Such suppressive surround effects are hallmarks of attentional processing in the visual domain, but they have never been observed behaviorally in the motor domain. This finding delineates a common mechanism involved in two of the most important functions of the brain: processing sensory data and preparing actions based on that information.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, and 2: Centre for Vision Research, York University

Publication date: 01 December 2008

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more