The structure of frontoparallel haptic space is task dependent

Frouke Hermens, Astrid M L Kappers, Stan C A M Gielen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In three experiments, we investigated the structure of frontoparallel haptic space. In the first experiment, we asked blindfolded participants to rotate a matching bar so that it felt parallel to the reference bar; the bars could be at various positions in the frontoparallel plane. Large systematic errors were observed, in which orientations that were perceived to be parallel were not physically parallel. In two subsequent experiments, we investigated the origin of these errors. In Experiment 2, we asked participants to verbally report the orientation of haptically presented bars. In this task, participants made errors that were considerably smaller than those made in Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, we asked participants to set bars in a verbally instructed orientation, and they also made errors significantly smaller than those observed in Experiment 1. The data suggest that the errors in the matching task originate from the transfer of the reference orientation to the matching-bar position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-75
Number of pages14
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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