Grasping objects by their handles: A necessary interaction between cognition and action

Sarah H. Creem, Dennis R. Proffitt
2001 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance  
Research has illustrated dissociations between "cognitive" and "action" systems, suggesting that different representations may underlie phenomenal experience and visuomotor behavior. However, these systems also interact. The present studies show a necessary interaction when semantic processing of an object is required for an appropriate action. Experiment 1 demonstrated that a semantic task interfered with grasping objects appropriately by their handles, but a visuospatial task did not.
more » ... nt 2 assessed performance on a visuomotor task that had no semantic component and showed a reversal of the effects of the concurrent tasks. In Experiment 3, variations on concurrent word tasks suggested that retrieval of semantic information was necessary for appropriate grasping. In all, without semantic processing, the visuomotor system can direct the effective grasp of an object, but not in a manner that is appropriate for its use.
doi:10.1037/0096-1523.27.1.218 fatcat:fazt2gqsxbhjdghm32g55dxg3i