semantic categorisation and movement

Kerry Bennett kerryb at
Sun Sep 29 19:06:48 EST 1996

(Sorry, a previous message was sent through accidentally prior to

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
Participants were required to slide two trolleys together. We
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

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