Minute hands of clocks indicating the same time are not perceived as haptically parallel

Astrid M.L. Kappers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Many studies have already shown that a large idiosyncratic orientation di erence is needed to perceive
two bars that are far apart as haptically parallel. There exist also strong indications that if such bars are imagined to be minute hands of clocks, errors made in clock time estimates and clock time settings are much smaller. The current study investigated this seemingly discrepancy. Participants partook in three experiments: parallel setting, clock time estimate and clock time setting, in this order. As the individual parallel settings were used in the subsequent clock time estimate experiment, and the estimated clock times in the clock time setting experiment, the deviations could be compared directly. In all three experiments, the deviations were systematic and idiosyncratic, and consistent with a biasing in uence of an egocentric reference frame. However, the deviations in the two clock time experiments were indeed much smaller than in the parallel setting experiment. Task instruction and strengthened focus on an allocentric reference frame are the most likely explanations. These ndings provide fundamental insights in the processing of spatial information. Taking these ndings into account when designing haptic devices may make these more intuitive.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3001
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2018


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