Schedule of Events | Search Abstracts | Symposia | Invited Symposia | Poster Sessions | Data Blitz Sessions

Poster C47

Are objects oriented towards your dominant hand easier to recognize?

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Lauren A. Miller1 (, Nathan Lautz1,2, Wesley Leong1,2, Eiling Yee1,2; 1University of Connecticut, 2The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Previous research demonstrated that conceptual knowledge of manipulable objects is partially grounded in the motor system. For instance, explicitly retrieving knowledge about how a manipulable object is interacted with (e.g., pinched or clenched?) is easier for right handed people if the object is oriented so that it more easily affords grasping with the right hand (Chrysikou et al., 2017). We tested if motor experience through handedness also influences participants’ abilities to name objects that are commonly grasped with their dominant hand. Participants were asked to name images of graspable objects whose handles were oriented toward either their left or right hand. In a preliminary study, right handers (n=27) were faster to name images of graspable objects oriented toward their dominant hand, whereas the orientation of non-graspable control images (animals) did not influence naming latency. While only two left handers were tested, they showed a (n.s.) complementary pattern. This shows that motor experiences and/or action tendencies influence object identification for manipulable objects, suggesting not only that conceptual knowledge of graspable objects includes activation of motor features, but also that this activation contributes to their recognition. This supports grounded models of semantic memory. Ongoing work will attempt to replicate this relationship between orientation and handedness for right handers while also examining left handers and exploring whether individual differences in motor imagery may modulate the effects.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Semantic


CNS Account Login


April 13–16  |  2024