semantic categorisation and movement

Kerry Bennett kerryb at
Wed Oct 2 18:21:05 EST 1996

Thank-you for this contribution

Prior to the main experiment we tested 15 other participants for 42
stimuli on three perceptual features: familiarity, visual complexity,
and visual agreement. The pictures were all obtained from a reasonably
standardised set(Snodgrass and Vanderwart, 1980). From these 42 we
selected 30 which were comparable across these three features; that is,
all (irrespective of category) were highly familiar, not very complex
and agreed with the mental representation of the object.

One contributor who contacted us privately via email has suggested to
look at 'hardness' vs 'softness', and aspects of linear composition of
the stimuli. This same contributor has also suggested using words to
tease out whether it is a semantic effect or a perceptual effect.

kenneth paul collins wrote:
> Kerry Bennett wrote:
> >
> > (Sorry, a previous message was sent through accidentally prior to
> > completion)
> >
> > Has anyone got any suggestions for the interpretation of some amazing
> > results that we have recently obtained.
> >
> > The title of our project was:
> > Does semantic categorisation influence the performance of a coordinated
> > motor action?
> > Basically, we assessed the bilateral reach to grasp action
> > kinematically.
> > Participants were required to slide two trolleys together. We
> > manipulated
> > the picture-pairs that were on the trolleys. The different living pairs
> > were Animal?Animal, Vegetable/vegetable, Fruit/Fruit, Animal/fruit etc
> >
> > The non-living pairs included tools, furniture and vehicles.
> >
> > The results showed that movements involving living pairs were fasrer and
> > organised differently to movements involving non-living pairs. For
> > example, the time of peak arm acceleration was earlier in both absolute
> > and relative terms for living pairs than for non-living pairs. Similar
> > differences were found for the times of peak velocity, peak
> > deceleration,  and parameters measured from the manipulation component
> >
> > Our basic interpretation at the moment is that different perceptuomotor
> > pathways are employed according to semantic categorisation of stimuli to
> > be acted upon, but we would welcome any further ideas!!
> >
> > Kerry Bennett and Joyce Thomas
> (I've also replied elsewhere, if it's alright with you, please respond here in
> bionet.neuroscience)
> can you tell us anything about the relative familiarity of the
> categories of the inanimate pairs vs the familiarity of categories of the
> living pairs...?
> ...cognitive map following tends toward real-time... I'd not be surprised to
> find that the degree of category familiarity is the determining factor...
> you can test this by testing folks having different professions... only
> thing is, =everyone= will be roughly equally familiar with food,
> plant, and animal catagories... so what you can look for are relative
> differences when subjects deal with pairs taken from their professions vs
> pairs taken from a profession with which they are totally naive...
> ...and your results will be extremely-generalizable with respect to all
> manner of cognitive questions... essentilly, what you will be looking at and
> quantifying will be the effects of experience upon performance... after
> building a database, you can even predict outcomes of problem-solving trials
> between experienced and naive subjects re particular tasks... from this,
> you'll also be able to predict "emotional" "states"... you can go a =long=
> way with the timing data your experimental design focuses upon... ken
> collins
> _____________________________________________________
> People hate because they fear, and they fear because
> they do not understand, and they do not understand
> because hating is less work than understanding.

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