Loomis J M, Klatzky R L, Lederman S J, 1991, "Similarity of tactual and visual picture recognition with limited field of view" Perception 20(2) 167 – 177
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Similarity of tactual and visual picture recognition with limited field of view
Jack M Loomis, Roberta L Klatzky, Susan J Lederman
Received 5 January 1990, in revised form 1 November 1990
Abstract. Subjects attempted to recognize simple line drawings of common objects using either touch or vision. In the touch condition, subjects explored raised line drawings using the distal pad of the index finger or the distal pads both of the index and of the middle fingers. In the visual condition, a computer-driven display was used to simulate tactual exploration. By moving an electronic pen over a digitizing tablet, the subject could explore a line drawing stored in memory; on the display screen a portion of the drawing appeared to move behind a stationary aperture, in concert with the movement of the pen. This aperture was varied in width, thus simulating the use of one or two fingers. In terms of average recognition accuracy and average response latency, recognition performance was virtually the same in the one-finger touch condition and the simulated one-finger vision condition. Visual recognition performance improved considerably when the visual field size was doubled (simulating two fingers), but tactual performance showed little improvement, suggesting that the effective tactual field of view for this task is approximately equal to one finger pad. This latter result agrees with other reports in the literature indicating that integration of two-dimensional pattern information extending over multiple fingers on the same hand is quite poor. The near equivalence of tactual picture perception and narrow-field vision suggests that the difficulties of tactual picture recognition must be largely due to the narrowness of the effective field of view.
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