Graspable objects grab attention when the potential for action is recognized

Todd C Handy, Scott T Grafton, Neha M Shroff, Sarah Ketay, Michael S Gazzaniga
Nature Neuroscience 2003, 6 (4): 421-7
Visually guided grasping movements require a rapid transformation of visual representations into object-specific motor programs. Here we report that graspable objects may facilitate these visuomotor transformations by automatically grabbing visual spatial attention. Human subjects viewed two task-irrelevant objects--one was a 'tool', the other a 'non-tool'--while waiting for a target to be presented in one of the two object locations. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we found that spatial attention was systematically drawn to tools in the right and lower visual fields, the hemifields that are dominant for visuomotor processing. Using event-related fMRI, we confirmed that tools grabbed spatial attention only when they also activated dorsal regions of premotor and prefrontal cortices, regions associated with visually guided actions and their planning. Although it is widely accepted that visual sensory gain aids perception, our results suggest that it may also have consequences for object-directed actions.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"