Mental representations of layout prime reaching in 3D real world scenes
63.414, Wednesday, May 15, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Orchid Ballroom
Carmela Gottesman1; 1University of South Carolina, Salkehatchie
Previous research has shown that priming the spatial layout of a scene facilitates distance judgments in pictures. This facilitation is thought to result from the activation of mental representations that include information about the layout of the scene (the location and orientation of surfaces and objects). Supposedly such mechanisms have evolved to aid us in interacting with real world environments but the existence of such priming in real 3D scenes has not been tested. This study examines the effect of a picture prime on the speed of reaching for objects in 3D models. Six 3D models were constructed from Lego bricks. The models were encased in wooden boxes so participants couldnt see the model before each trial began. On Each trial, participants viewed either a picture of one of the models or a control (a picture of a Lego brick wall). They were asked to identify which model they were seeing then asked to go to the model and reach for the closest pink brick in the model. The pink bricks were never shown in the prime picture and they were placed in different locations on different trials. As expected, reactions times were faster when primed with a picture of the model than when primed with a control, suggesting that spatial layout representations facilitate reaching in 3D space as well as distance judgments in pictures.