Visual object affordances: object orientation

Acta Psychol (Amst). 2007 Feb;124(2):238-55. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2006.03.005. Epub 2006 Jun 15.


Five experiments systematically investigated whether orientation is a visual object property that affords action. The primary aim was to establish the existence of a pure physical affordance (PPA) of object orientation, independent of any semantic object-action associations or visually salient areas towards which visual attention might be biased. Taken together, the data from these experiments suggest that firstly PPAs of object orientation do exist, and secondly, the behavioural effects that reveal them are larger and more robust when the object appears to be graspable, and is oriented in depth (rather than just frontally) such that its leading edge appears to point outwards in space towards a particular hand of the viewer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Female
  • Form Perception / physiology
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology
  • Male
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Semantics
  • Visual Perception / physiology*