Prototypical actions with objects are more easily imagined than atypical actions

Madan, Christopher R., Ng, Adrian and Singhal, Anthony (2018) Prototypical actions with objects are more easily imagined than atypical actions. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 30 (3). pp. 314-320. ISSN 2044-592X

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Tool use is an important facet of everyday life, though sometimes it is necessary to use tools in ways that do not fit within their typical functions. Here we asked participants to imagine characters using objects based on instructions that fit the prototypical actions for the object or were atypical in a novel object-action imagery task. Atypical action instructions either described sensible, substitute uses of the object, or actions that were bizarre but possible. Participants were better able to imagine the prototypical than atypical actions, but no effect of bizarreness was found. We additionally assessed inter-individual differences in movement imagery ability using two objective tests. Performance in the object-action imagery task correlated with the movement imagery tests, providing a link between motor simulations and mental imagery ability.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in on Journal of Cognitive Psychology 29/01/2018, available online:
Keywords: Mental imagery; Motor imagery; Tool use; Motor simulations; Praxic knowledge
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Madan, Christopher
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 09:00
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:28

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