Effects of visual information regarding allocentric processing in haptic parallelity matching

H.I. van Mier*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Research has revealed that haptic perception of parallelity deviates from physical reality. Large and systematic deviations have been found in haptic parallelity matching most likely due to the influence of the hand-centered egocentric reference frame. Providing information that increases the influence of allocentric processing has been shown to improve performance on haptic matching. In this study allocentric processing was stimulated by providing informative vision in haptic matching tasks that were performed using hand- and arm-centered reference frames. Twenty blindfolded participants (ten men, ten women) explored the orientation of a reference bar with the non-dominant hand and subsequently matched (task HP) or mirrored (task HM) its orientation on a test bar with the dominant hand. Visual information was provided by means of informative vision with participants having full view of the test bar, while the reference bar was blocked from their view (task VHP). To decrease the egocentric bias of the hands, participants also performed a visual haptic parallelity drawing task (task VHPD) using an arm-centered reference frame, by drawing the orientation of the reference bar. In all tasks, the distance between and orientation of the bars were manipulated. A significant effect of task was found; performance improved from task HP, to VHP to VHPD, and HM. Significant effects of distance were found in the first three tasks, whereas orientation and gender effects were only significant in tasks HP and VHP. The results showed that stimulating allocentric processing by means of informative vision and reducing the egocentric bias by using an arm-centered reference frame led to most accurate performance on parallelity matching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-360
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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