Manual asymmetries in visually primed grasping

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that the task irrelevant size of familiar objects facilitates compatible precision and power grip responses. The present study examined whether the task irrelevant size of novel objects produces the same compatibility effect. However, the main objective of the study was to investigate whether visually primed precision and power grips are manually asymmetric. Experiment 1 showed that the size of a novel prime object does facilitate compatible precision and power grips, even when both the object itself and the grasp type are irrelevant to the current task. However, this effect was only found when the precision grip was made with the right hand (RH) and the power grip was made with the left hand (LH). When these grips were made with the opposite hands, the effect was absent. Experiment 2 replicated the LH bias for large objects and the RH bias for small objects when power and precision grip responses were replaced with simple LH and RH button-press responses. It appears that the two hemispheres are specialised with regard to precision and power compatible objects.

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