Breaking News
May 24, 2018 - Health Tip: Why Get a Biopsy
May 24, 2018 - Metabolic Syndrome Prevalence by Race/Ethnicity and Sex in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–2012
May 24, 2018 - Motivation to move may start with being mindful
May 24, 2018 - Advanced genetics study of TB bacteria uncovers virulent ‘Beijing lineage’ strain among young adults
May 24, 2018 - Friends tend to have similar pain tolerance levels, study reveals
May 24, 2018 - Now more of us can count on more time dodging the dementia bullet
May 24, 2018 - Global healthcare access and quality improved from 2000-2016
May 24, 2018 - Virtual follow-up visits for hypertension care just as effective as in-person office visits
May 24, 2018 - New research reveals links between type 1 diabetes and mental health
May 24, 2018 - Antioxidant-enriched multivitamin may decrease respiratory illnesses in CF patients, finds study
May 24, 2018 - Antidepressant treatments increase risk of weight gain, study finds
May 24, 2018 - INSYS Therapeutics Confirms Outcome of FDA Advisory Committee Meeting on Buprenorphine Sublingual Spray
May 24, 2018 - Poor older adults with Medicaid insurance more likely to die after hospital discharge
May 24, 2018 - Early-life obesity linked to children’s lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores
May 24, 2018 - Health and diagnostics to soon be digitalized with advent of AI
May 24, 2018 - USC researchers develop new portable device for early-stage malaria detection
May 24, 2018 - Psychologists show that depression accelerates brain aging
May 24, 2018 - Novel IR imaging offers rapid and reliable analysis of cancer tissues
May 24, 2018 - Tau mutations may serve as novel risk factor for cancer
May 24, 2018 - Sun Pharma Announces FDA Approval of Yonsa (abiraterone acetate) to Treat Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
May 24, 2018 - Nurse dead in Congo as Ebola vaccination campaign starts
May 24, 2018 - Unique imaging technique identifies biomarkers of cellular damage done by diabetic retinopathy
May 24, 2018 - Study identifies key food allergy policies that parents want in schools to improve safety of kids
May 24, 2018 - Formaldehyde risk found to be higher in e-cigarettes than originally thought
May 24, 2018 - NIH commences first-in-human trial evaluating experimental treatment for Ebola
May 24, 2018 - Study finds no link between surveillance intensity and detection of recurrence or survival in CRC patients
May 24, 2018 - FDA Alert: Oral Over-the-Counter Benzocaine Products: Drug Safety Communication
May 24, 2018 - Fiber-fermenting bacteria improve health of type 2 diabetes patients
May 24, 2018 - Free e-cigarettes do not help smokers quit, money does finds study
May 24, 2018 - Higher exposure to carbon monoxide in utero increases risk of poor lung function in infants
May 24, 2018 - Neurologists identify new type of vertigo
May 24, 2018 - Scientists identify new inherited neurodevelopmental disease
May 24, 2018 - New family support program improves patient-centered care and lowers hospitalization costs
May 24, 2018 - Researchers take important step toward finding protein biomarkers during cancer surgery
May 24, 2018 - Deadly form of black lung disease found to be increasing among U.S. coal miners
May 24, 2018 - Robust Immune Responses for Herpes Zoster Subunit Vaccine
May 24, 2018 - Optical Coherence Tomography | Texas Heart Institute
May 24, 2018 - Type 2 diabetes slowly rising in Auckland kids – Pacific and Māori have highest rates
May 24, 2018 - Study explores brain chemistry of alcohol exposure in people with family history of AUD
May 24, 2018 - Study shows AVATS procedure as safe, effective alternative for patients deemed ‘inoperable’
May 24, 2018 - Comparative Analysis of a Complex Monoclonal Antibody
May 24, 2018 - Penn investigators discover source of immune molecule involved in nasal polyps, asthma
May 24, 2018 - Berries and Grapes May Keep You Breathin’ Easy
May 24, 2018 - Access and utilization of dental services for Medicaid children 2013-2015
May 23, 2018 - New research raises concern about rate of postpartum hemorrhage
May 23, 2018 - Researchers create new modeling framework that takes a zoonotic perspective on Ebola
May 23, 2018 - Study compares bacteria in humans to the laboratory
May 23, 2018 - Frequent sauna bathing reduces risk of stroke
May 23, 2018 - Landmark trial to test implantable defibrillator in diabetic patients with history of heart attack
May 23, 2018 - Vitamin C consumption may reduce harm to baby’s lungs due to smoking during pregnancy
May 23, 2018 - Researchers complete genomic map of chronic lymphocytic leukemia
May 23, 2018 - Medical students take to the streets to learn about real world problems at the root of poor health
May 23, 2018 - New efforts to curb high blood pressure in Asia
May 23, 2018 - Malaria-causing parasite seeks refuge inside the liver to replicate and survive
May 23, 2018 - Slower rates of stimulation may be more effective in brain therapy, suggests research
May 23, 2018 - Study finds connection between one partner’s BMI and other spouse’s risk of developing diabetes
May 23, 2018 - Mapping the Genes Responsible for Pluripotency
May 23, 2018 - FDA Alert: Homeopathic Teething Drops, Nausea Drops, Intestinal Colic Drops, Stomach Calm, Expectorant Cough Syrup, Silver-Zinc Throat Spray, and Argentum Elixir by MBI Distributing: Recall
May 23, 2018 - Genetic fixer-uppers may predict bladder cancer prognosis
May 23, 2018 - Investigational technology could increase donor organ supply for lung transplants
May 23, 2018 - Prediabetic patients with OSA could lower their resting heart rates by using CPAP
May 23, 2018 - Schizophrenics’ blood samples feature genetic material from more types of microorganisms
May 23, 2018 - Subtle hearing deficits can change the brains of young people
May 23, 2018 - New study shows increased rates of hospitalization for suicide among youths
May 23, 2018 - Proportion of Drug-Intoxicated Organ Donors on the Rise in U.S.
May 23, 2018 - Using virtual biopsies to improve melanoma detection
May 23, 2018 - Compassion meditation training may increase brain’s resilience to suffering of other people
May 23, 2018 - New AAD PSA uses social media imagery to highlight tanning hazards
May 23, 2018 - Frequent MRSA surveillance could contain infection in newborns, study finds
May 23, 2018 - Medicaid expansion linked to reduction in ICU utilization
May 23, 2018 - Proteins moderating nicotine dependence may help fat cells burn energy
May 23, 2018 - Researchers identify mechanisms that regulate mammary gland development
May 23, 2018 - ‘Low-Alcohol’ Booze Labels May Backfire
May 23, 2018 - Social isolation could increase risk of death, hospitalizations for heart failure patients
May 23, 2018 - New research shows that children with autism are able to create imaginary friends
May 23, 2018 - New technology could make prosthetic use more intuitive and reliable
May 23, 2018 - HU researchers explore how simulated microgravity affects gene expression, muscle cell differentiation
May 23, 2018 - Researchers develop injectable bandage to stop fatal blood loss, activate wound healing
May 23, 2018 - Exercising for 4-5 days per week is needed to keep the heart young
May 23, 2018 - Porvair Sciences offers wide range of reagent reservoirs for use with automated liquid handling systems
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