Haptic orientation perception: Sex differences and lateralization of functions

Sander Zuidhoek, Astrid M L Kappers, Albert Postma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study examined sex differences in haptic orientation representation using three tasks: a bimanual parallel-setting task comprising haptic orientation perception and motor matching action, and two unimanual tasks focusing on the perception and action elements separately. A verbal judgment task focused on haptic orientation perception: participants were to assign a number of minutes to a felt orientation. An orientation production task required the rotation of a bar to match a verbally presented number of minutes. Although both male and female performance was systematically biased we found that males are more accurate in parallel-setting and verbal judgment of orientation, suggesting differences in haptic orientation perception, in particular. Increasing allocentric reference frame involvement by delaying the action in the parallel-setting task did not affect the sex difference found. In addition to a male advantage over tasks, performance on both unimanual tasks suggests sex differences in lateralization of haptic orientation processing; a dependence on hand orientation was found only for right hand performance in males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-341
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Active touch
  • Gender
  • Space
  • Spatial representation


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