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S–R correspondence effects of irrelevant visual affordance: Time course and specificity of response activation

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It has been suggested that representations for action, elicited by an object's visual affordance, serve to potentiate motor components (such as a specific hand) to respond to the most afforded action. In three experiments, participants performed speeded left-right button press responses to an imperative target superimposed onto a prime image of an object suggesting a visual affordance oriented to left or right visual space. The time course of response activation was measured by varying the onset time between the prime and target. Long-lasting and gradually developing correspondence effects were found between the suggested affordance of the prime and the side of response, with little effect of response modality (hands uncrossed, hands crossed, or foot response). We conclude that visual affordances can evoke an abstract spatial response code, potentiating a wide variety of lateralized responses corresponding with the affordance.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-05-01

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