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Goldsmiths - University of London

Grasp preparation modulates early visual processing of size and detection of local/global stimulus features

Job, Xavier; Van Velzen, Jose L. and De Fockert, J. W.. 2017. Grasp preparation modulates early visual processing of size and detection of local/global stimulus features. Cortex, 96, pp. 46-58. ISSN 0010-9452 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Preparing to grasp objects facilitates visual processing of object location, orientation and size, compared to preparing actions such as pointing. This influence of action on perception reflects mechanisms of selection in visual perception tuned to current action goals, such that action relevant sensory information is prioritized relative to less relevant information. In three experiments, rather than varying movement type (grasp vs. point), the magnitude of a prepared movement (power vs. precision grasps) was manipulated while visual processing of object size, as well as local/global target detection was measured. Early event-related potentials elicited by task-irrelevant visual probes were enhanced for larger probes during power grasp preparation and smaller probes during precision grasp preparation. Local targets were detected faster following precision, relative to power grasp cues. The results demonstrate a direct influence of grasp preparation on sensory processing of size and suggest that the hierarchical dimension of objects may be a relevant perceptual feature for grasp programming. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that preparing different magnitudes of the same basic action has systematic effects on visual processing.

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This work was supported by a doctoral studentship awarded to XEJ by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


Action, Perception, Local, Global, Size

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29 August 2017Accepted
9 September 2017Published Online
1 November 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2017 10:10

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:35

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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