Categorization and action: What about object consistence?

Filomena Anelli, Roberto Nicoletti, Anna M. Borghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Categorization studies have focused on the importance of a variety of perceptual properties (shape, size, weight). The present study explored whether the softness or hardness of an object might influence the way we categorize and consider category members. Of additional interest was whether information on consistence is automatically activated and whether it is modulated by the kind of task and of response modality. Three experiments demonstrated that information on consistence is automatically activated, and it helps us to distinguish between artefacts and natural objects. Interestingly, the results are in agreement with the simulation hypothesis; namely, when we consider artefacts, we simulate using them and information on their consistence is activated; this simulation is modulated by the task. The way we differently process artefacts and natural objects across the experiments confirms the simulation hypothesis and our sensitivity to the response modality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Action
  • Categorization
  • Embodied cognition
  • Motor simulation
  • Object consistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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