Breaking News
December 14, 2018 - New model could cure the potential to underestimate how quickly diseases spread
December 14, 2018 - Exercise-induced hormone activates cells critical for bone remodeling in mice
December 14, 2018 - Researchers discover new mechanism behind spread of malignant pleural mesothelioma
December 14, 2018 - Health Tip: Celebrate a Healthier Holiday
December 14, 2018 - Scalpel-free surgery enhances quality of life for Parkinson’s patients, study finds
December 14, 2018 - Early physical therapy can reduce risk, amount of long-term opioid use | News Center
December 14, 2018 - Genetic marker, predictor of early relapse in common childhood cancer discovered
December 14, 2018 - Study could lead to a potential new way of treating sepsis
December 14, 2018 - New protein complex helps embryonic stem cells to maintain their indefinite potential
December 14, 2018 - Salk professor receives $1.8 million from NOMIS Foundation for research on mechanisms to promote health
December 14, 2018 - New discovery will improve the safety and predictability of CRISPR
December 14, 2018 - Geneticists discover how sex-linked disorders arise
December 14, 2018 - New method to visualize small-molecule interactions inside cells
December 14, 2018 - Study describes mechanism that makes people more vulnerable to hunger-causing stimuli
December 14, 2018 - Chronic opioid therapy associated with increased healthcare spending and hospital stays
December 14, 2018 - Blood Types
December 14, 2018 - Obesity linked to increased risk of early-onset colorectal cancer
December 14, 2018 - Blood test helps identify distinct molecular signatures in children with cystic fibrosis
December 14, 2018 - Scientists use water to track electrical activity of nerve cells
December 14, 2018 - Recurrence of urinary tract infection may depend on bacterial strain, study shows
December 14, 2018 - GBT Announces U.S. FDA Agrees with its Proposal Relating to Accelerated Approval Pathway for Voxelotor for the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease and GBT Plans to Submit New Drug Application (NDA)
December 14, 2018 - Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
December 14, 2018 - Common tactics for health promotion at work may be detrimental to employees with obesity
December 14, 2018 - Myths about migration and health not supported by available evidence
December 14, 2018 - Recent findings on rare genetic disorder may help develop new treatment options
December 14, 2018 - New drug shows promise in treating sarcomas
December 14, 2018 - Scientists perform lung lavage as new approach for tuberculosis diagnosis in rhinoceros
December 14, 2018 - Recent winners of the Nobel Medicine Prize
December 14, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Insurance enrollment is lagging — and there are lots of reasons why
December 14, 2018 - Study assesses safety and efficacy of new treatment for pancreatic cancer
December 14, 2018 - Study finds drug targets for Ebola, Dengue, and Zika viruses
December 14, 2018 - Shining new light on neuron firing
December 14, 2018 - Study highlights need for personalized approach to treat ICU acquired delirium
December 14, 2018 - Soot particles from road traffic significantly contribute to air pollution
December 14, 2018 - Massage helps relieve pain, improve mobility in patients with knee osteoarthritis
December 14, 2018 - Researchers explore home healthcare nurses’ knowledge attitudes toward infection control
December 14, 2018 - Average outpatient visit in the U.S. costs nearly $500, shows new study
December 14, 2018 - Reference Infliximab, Biosimilar Equivalent for Crohn’s Disease
December 14, 2018 - New contact lens to treat eye injuries
December 14, 2018 - Acne could have a genetic basis find researchers promising new cure
December 14, 2018 - Higher physical activity associated with improved mood
December 14, 2018 - New UGA study points to optimal hypertension treatment for stroke patients
December 14, 2018 - Study highlights factors that can reduce food cravings
December 14, 2018 - Researchers discover Ebola-fighting protein in human cells
December 14, 2018 - Fentanyl surpasses heroin in cause of U.S. drug overdose deaths
December 14, 2018 - When Heart Attack Strikes, Women Often Hesitate to Call for Help
December 14, 2018 - A warning about costume contacts
December 14, 2018 - Study examines link between peripheral artery disease and heart attack
December 14, 2018 - Researchers develop biotechnological tool to produce antifungal proteins in plants
December 14, 2018 - 3D-printed adaptive aids can benefit patients with arthritis
December 14, 2018 - Chronic bullying during adolescence impacts mental health
December 14, 2018 - Integral Molecular and Merus collaborate to develop bispecific antibody therapeutics
December 13, 2018 - Importance of cell cycle and cellular senescence in the placenta discovered
December 13, 2018 - Gold “nanoprisms” open new window into vessels and single cells
December 13, 2018 - Research findings could lead to new targets for cancer-fighting therapeutics
December 13, 2018 - Butantan Institute signs collaboration agreement with MSD to develop dengue vaccines
December 13, 2018 - Study explores how patients want to discuss symptoms with doctors
December 13, 2018 - RUDN medics first to gather scattered data on hepatitis morbidity in Somalia
December 13, 2018 - Age and gender disparities found in use of bed nets to prevent malaria in sub-Saharan Africa
December 13, 2018 - Caffeine therapy benefits developing brains of premature babies
December 13, 2018 - New review focuses on electrospinning techniques used in musculoskeletal tissue engineering
December 13, 2018 - A new division focused on human immune system
December 13, 2018 - Zogenix Announces Positive Phase 3 Trial Results on the Efficacy and Safety of Fintepla (ZX008) in Dravet Syndrome
December 13, 2018 - BCR ABL Genetic Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
December 13, 2018 - Caffeinated beverages during pregnancy linked to lower birth weight babies
December 13, 2018 - Stanford Medicine Health Trends Report examines opportunity to democratize health care
December 13, 2018 - Obsessive-compulsive disorder may protect individuals from obesity
December 13, 2018 - Scientists investigate how a painful event is processed in the brain
December 13, 2018 - Genetic study reveals new insights into underlying causes of moderate-to-severe asthma
December 13, 2018 - Study uncovers new genetic clues to frontotemporal dementia
December 13, 2018 - Vitamin C supplementation for pregnant smokers may reduce harm to infants’ lungs
December 13, 2018 - New study reveals yin-yang personality of dopamine
December 13, 2018 - Research identifies nerve-signaling pathway behind sustained pain after injury
December 13, 2018 - Children with high levels of callous traits show widespread differences in brain structure
December 13, 2018 - Long-term Benefit of Steroid Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis Challenged
December 13, 2018 - Adding new channels to the brain remote control
December 13, 2018 - In the Spotlight: A different side of neuroscience
December 13, 2018 - Medical Marvels: Using immunotherapy for melanoma that spread to the brain
December 13, 2018 - Puzzles do not keep dementia away finds study
December 13, 2018 - New mouse model shows potential for rapid identification of promising muscular dystrophy therapies
Study finds graspable objects grab attention more than images of objects do

Study finds graspable objects grab attention more than images of objects do

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
The research findings of Jacqueline Snow (left) and Michael Gomez, a graduate student in her lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, show that real, graspable objects hold more interest for humans than images of objects. Credit: Anne McMillin, APR

Does having the potential to act upon an object have a unique influence on behavior and brain responses to the object? That is the question Jacqueline Snow, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, has set out to answer.

Her lab examines how and why real tangible objects are processed and represented differently in the human brain compared to representations of objects, such as two-dimensional (2-D) computerized images, three-dimensional (3-D) stereo images, and immersive ‘virtual’ reality displays. Her work investigates real-world cognition using convergent experimental approaches that include behavioral psychophysics, neuropsychology, fMRI, EEG, eye-tracking and augmented reality (AR).

Snow, with the University’s College of Liberal Arts, and her graduate students, Michael Gomez and Rafal Skiba, recently submitted a paper on the findings of their research study, “Graspable objects grab attention more than images do” which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a top-tier psychology journal.

Their study looked at whether having the potential to act upon objects influences how humans allocate attention to different objects in a scene. They examined whether real objects compete more strongly for attention and manual responses compared to matched computerized 2-D and 3-D images of the same objects.

To answer this question, the authors used a ‘flanker’ paradigm, in which healthy human observers were asked to make quick responses to a central target stimulus, while ignoring irrelevant objects that flanked the target from above and below. We typically take longer to respond to a central target (e.g., a spoon with a rightward-oriented handle) when it is flanked by distractors that would elicit a different manual response to that of the target (e.g., spoons with leftward-oriented handles). Slower reaction times to the target reflect the extent to which the irrelevant flankers have captured attention.

The authors hypothesized that because real objects afford genuine actions (i.e., grasping) they should be more powerful competitors for attention than 2-D or 3-D images of the same objects (which do not allow grasping). In line with this idea, the study found the irrelevant real object flankers slowed response times to the central target more than the 2-D or 3D image flankers. Critically, however, this effect disappeared when the stimuli were placed out of reach of the observer, as well as when the stimuli were presented within reach, but behind a large transparent barrier that prevented the opportunity for manual interaction with the stimuli.

Together, the results demonstrate, for the first time, that real objects exert a more powerful influence on attention and manual responses than do computerized images of objects, because images are not relevant for action.

“These results challenge the long-held notion that images are appropriate proxies for real objects in the study of human brain function,” Snow said. “These findings suggest a number of exciting avenues for future research, such as whether similar effects are found when observers look at more immersive 3-D stimuli presented using augmented reality (AR) displays. AR stimuli are particularly interesting to us because the observer can grasp and move the (virtual) objects.”

Other findings from the Snow lab include discovering that the human brain responds differently to real objects versus 2-D photos of objects and that real objects are more memorable than 2-D images. Snow, together with her students Carissa Romero and Michael Compton, have also discovered recently that snack foods presented as real objects are valued more than snacks presented as 2-D images – a study soon to be published in the journal Cortex.

Snow went on to explain that the study raises important questions in the field of psychology.

“These findings are important because much of what we know about the human brain and cognition is based on studies that have relied on relatively impoverished 2D images presented on a computer screen,” Snow explained. “In my lab, we are investigating how, and why, the brain processes real, tangible objects differently to images. Humans appear to be very sensitive to whether or not they are looking at an image, or a real object, and whether the object itself is within reach.”

Snow’s research on this project was funded by an R01 grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Explore further:
Calorie-rich foods are more distracting than less energy-dense or non-food objects, study shows

Journal reference:
Psychological Science

Provided by:
University of Nevada, Reno

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles