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|Title:||The Cortical Effects of Object Affordances on Motor Action Priming Used in Rapid Balance Recovery Actions|
|Keywords:||Reaching, Balance, Action Priming, Premotor, Perturbation, Sensorimotor, Affordances, Physical Property Affordances, fNIRS, Functional near-infrared spectroscopy, Hand orientation|
|Abstract:||There is considerable evidence to suggest that object affordances (see Gibson, 1966) can serve to moderate volitional responses by “priming” the visuomotor system toward certain actions (e.g., Tucker & Ellis, 1998). Typically, these studies assume that shorter voluntary reaction time latencies reflect more efficient movement planning. Questions remain however, as to whether object affordances offer the same motor priming benefits in situations where the temporal window to initiate motor action precludes volitional movements (e.g., during an unexpected balance perturbation). The efficiency of balance reactions to a perturbation is dependent upon the ability for the motor system to generate short latency actions at the onset of instability. Due to the rapid nature of these actions, they are suggested to be regulated by information received prior to the perturbation. In this study, participants sat in a custom-built chair that delivered posterior perturbations and, on each trial, were presented with two of three types of stimuli within their reach (two graspable poles that varied in orientation and a flat non-graspable control). They were instructed to reach and grasp one of the poles at the moment of perturbation so as to mitigate the tilt. To assess cortical activity that may be indicative of motor planning in response to the perception of object affordances, changes in oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) in the right and left premotor cortices were measured using a continuous wave fNIRS system. Results revealed a significant increase (F= 4.62, p= .043) in oxy-Hb in the right and left hemisphere (M = .023 µM) in response to objects that afford an optimal form of grasping action (mitigating excessive supination or pronation of the hand), compared to when no grasping opportunity was present (M = -.051 µM). These results suggest that affordances may be used to prime the system in the event of a balance threat.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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