A pantomiming priming study on the grasp and functional use actions of tools
Experimental Brain Research
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© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. It has previously been demonstrated that tool recognition is facilitated by the repeated visual presentation of object features affording actions, such as those related to grasping and their functional use. It is unclear, however, if this can also facilitate pantomiming. Participants were presented with an image of a prime followed by a target tool and were required to pantomime the appropriate action for each one. The grasp and functional use attributes of the target tool were either the same or different to the prime. Contrary to expectations, participants were slower at pantomiming the target tool relative to the prime regardless of whether the grasp and function of the tool were the same or different—except when the prime and target tools consisted of identical images of the same exemplar. We also found a decrease in accuracy of performing functional use actions for the target tool relative to the prime when the two differed in functional use but not grasp. We reconcile differences between our findings and those that have performed priming studies on tool recognition with differences in task demands and known differences in how the brain recognises tools and performs actions to make use of them.