The Effects of Temporal Delay and Orientation on Haptic Object Recognition


We examined the effects of interstimulus interval (ISI) and orientation changes on the haptic recognition of novel objects, using a sequential shape-matching task. The stimuli consisted of 36 wedge-shaped plastic objects that varied along two shape dimensions (hole/bump and dip/ridge). Two objects were presented at either the same orientation or a different orientation, separated by either a short (3-sec) ISI or a long (15-sec) ISI. In separate conditions, ISI was blocked or randomly intermixed. Participants ignored orientation changes and matched on shape alone. Although performance was better in the mixed condition, there were no other differences between conditions. There was no decline in performance at the long ISI. There were similar, marginally significant benefits to same-orientation matching for short and long ISIs. The results suggest that the perceptual object representations activated from haptic inputs are both stable, being maintained for at least 15 sec, and orientation sensitive.

Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics
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