The role of spatial integration in the perception of surface orientation with active touch

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Vision research has shown that perception of line orientation, in the fovea area, improves with line length (Westheimer & Ley, 1997). This suggests that the visual system may use spatial integration to improve perception of orientation. In the present experiments, we investigated the role of spatial integration in the perception of surface orientation using kinesthetic and proprioceptive information from shoulder and elbow. With their left index fingers, participants actively explored virtual slanted surfaces of different lengths and orientations, and were asked to reproduce an orientation or discriminate between two orientations. Results showed that reproduction errors and discrimination thresholds improve with surface length. This suggests that the proprioceptive shoulder-elbow system may integrate redundant spatial information resulting from extended arm movements to improve orientation judgments.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1628-40
Number of pages13
JournalAttention, perception & psychophysics
Volume71
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009