Repetition blindness reveals differences between the representations of manipulable and nonmanipulable objects

Irina M. HARRIS*, Alexandra M. MURRAY, William G. HAYWARD, Claire O'CALLAGHAN, Sally ANDREWS

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We used repetition blindness to investigate the nature of the representations underlying identification of manipulable objects. Observers named objects presented in rapid serial visual presentation streams containing either manipulable or nonmanipulable objects. In half the streams, 1 object was repeated. Overall accuracy was lower when streams contained 2 different manipulable objects than when they contained only nonmanipulable objects or a single manipulable object. In addition, nonmanipulable objects induced repetition blindness, whereas manipulable objects were associated with a repetition advantage. These findings suggest that motor information plays a direct role in object identification. Manipulable objects are vulnerable to interference from other objects associated with conflicting motor programs, but they show better individuation of repeated objects associated with the same action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1241
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by Australian Research Council Grant DP0879206 awarded to Irina M. Harris, Sally Andrews, and William G. Hayward. Irina M. Harris was supported in part by a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship and in part by a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.


  • Action
  • Manipulable objects
  • Object recognition
  • Repetition blindness


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