NORMA eResearch @NCI Library

The affordance-matching hypothesis: how objects guide action understanding and prediction

Bach, Patric, Nicholson, Toby and Hudson, Matthew (2014) The affordance-matching hypothesis: how objects guide action understanding and prediction. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8. p. 254. ISSN 1662-5161

[thumbnail of The affordance matching hypothesis article.pdf]
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (676kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Action understanding lies at the heart of social interaction. Prior research has often conceptualized this capacity in terms of a motoric matching of observed actions to an action in one’s motor repertoire, but has ignored the role of object information. In this manuscript, we set out an alternative conception of intention understanding, which places the role of objects as central to our observation and comprehension of the actions of others. We outline the current understanding of the interconnectedness of action and object knowledge, demonstrating how both rely heavily on the other. We then propose a novel framework, the affordance-matching hypothesis, which incorporates these findings into a simple model of action understanding, in which object knowledge—what an object is for and how it is used—can inform and constrain both action interpretation and prediction. We will review recent empirical evidence that supports such an object-based view of action understanding and we relate the affordance matching hypothesis to recent proposals that have re-conceptualized the role of mirror neurons in action understanding.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2018 08:27
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2018 08:27

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item