Haptic processing of the location of a known property: does knowing what you've touched tell you where it is?

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Abstract or Description

The relationship between knowing where a haptic property is located and knowing what it is was investigated using a haptic-search paradigm. Across trials, from one to six stimuli were presented simultaneously to varying combinations of the middle three fingertips of both hands. Participants reported the presence/absence of a target or its location for four perceptual dimensions: rough/smooth, edge/no edge, relative position (right/left), and relative orientation (right/left). Reaction time data were plotted as a function of set size. The slope data indicated no difference in processing load for location as compared to identity processing. However, the intercept data did reveal a cost associated with processing location information. Location information was not obtained for "free" when identity was processed. The data also supported a critical distinction between material and edge dimensions versus geometric dimensions, as the size of the cost associated with processing location was larger for spatial than for intensive stimuli.




Published In

Canadian journal of experimental psychology, 58, 1, 32-45.