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We assessed the factors influencing the planning of actions required to manipulate one of two everyday objects with matching dimensions but openings at opposite ends: a cup and a vase. We found that, for cups, measures of movement preparation to reach and grasp the object were influenced by whether the grasp was made to the functional part of the object (wide opening) and whether the action would end in a supinated as opposed to a pronated grasp. These factors interacted such that effects of hand posture were found only when a less familiar grasp was made to the non-functional part of the cup (the base). These effects were not found with the vase, which has a less familiar location for grasping. We interpret the results in terms of a parallel model of action selection, modulated by both the familiarity of the grasp to a part of the object, likely to reflect object 'affordances' and the end state comfort of the action.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Brain Res

Publication Date





1281 - 1296


Affordances, End state comfort, Motor preparation, Reaction times, Adaptation, Physiological, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Biomechanical Phenomena, Female, Hand Strength, Humans, Male, Movement, Posture, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Young Adult