Influence of Visual Feedback on Passive Tactile Perception of Speed and Spacing of Rotating Gratings
We studied the influence of visual feedback on the tactual perception of both speed and spatial period of a rotating texture. Participants were placed in a situation of perceptual conflict concerning the rotation speed of a cylindrical texture. Participants touched a cylindrical texture of gratings rotating around its axis at a constant speed, while they watched a cylinder without gratings rotating at a different speed on a computer screen. Participants were asked to estimate the speed of the gratings texture under the finger and the spacing (or spatial period) of the gratings. We observed that the tactual estimations of both speed and spacing co-varied with the speed of the visual stimulus, although the cylinder perceived tactually rotated at a constant speed. The first effect (speed effect) could correspond to the resolution of the perceptual conflict in favor of vision. The second effect (spacing effect) is apparently surprising, since no varying information about spacing was provided by vision. However, the physical relation between spacing and speed is well established according to every day experience. Thus, the parameter extraneous to the conflict could be influenced according to previous experience. Such cross-modal effects could be used by designers of virtual reality systems and haptic devices to improve the haptic sensations they can generate using simple (constant) tactile stimulations combined with visual feedback.
KeywordsTouch Texture Perception Illusion Speed effect Spacing effect
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