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21-08-2018 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2020

Psychological Research 3/2020

Correspondence effect driven by salient visual asymmetries in integral object stimuli

Psychological Research > Uitgave 3/2020
Antonello Pellicano, Cristina Iani, Natale Vincenzo Maiorana, Houpand Horoufchin, Sandro Rubichi, Luisa Lugli, Roberto Nicoletti, Ferdinand Binkofski


The handle-to-hand correspondence effect consists of faster and more accurate responses when the responding hand is aligned with the handle side of an object tool, compared to when they lay on opposite sides. This effect has been attributed to the activation of affordances. Recent studies, however, claimed that it may depend on the spatial coding of the object on the basis of its visual asymmetry (location-coding account). Affordances are namely direct and meaningful relations between recognized objects and the observers’ action system. Therefore, any manipulation that disrupts the body structure of object tools could potentially affect their identification and prevent the activation of affordances. The present study investigated the nature of the handle-to-hand correspondence effects by manipulating structural asymmetry and visual salience of object tools, while preserving their integrity that is, leaving unaltered the original possibilities to activate grasping affordances. Three experiments were run. Results were consistent with the location-coding account and claim for accurate control of visual asymmetries in object stimuli during investigation of affordance effects.

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