2012 volume 41(7) pages 862 – 870

Cite as:
Xu Y, O’Keefe S, Suzuki S, Franconeri S L, 2012, "Visual influence on haptic torque perception" Perception 41(7) 862 – 870

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Visual influence on haptic torque perception

Yangqing Xu, Shélan O’Keefe, Satoru Suzuki, Steven L Franconeri

Abstract. The brain receives input from multiple sensory modalities simultaneously, yet we experience the outside world as a single integrated percept. This integration process must overcome instances where perceptual information conflicts across sensory modalities. Under such conflicts, the relative weighting of information from each modality typically depends on the given task. For conflicts between visual and haptic modalities, visual information has been shown to influence haptic judgments of object identity, spatial features (eg location, size), texture, and heaviness. Here we test a novel instance of haptic–visual conflict in the perception of torque. We asked participants to hold a left–right unbalanced object while viewing a potentially left–right mirror-reversed image of the object. Despite the intuition that the more proximal haptic information should dominate the perception of torque, we find that visual information exerts substantial influences on torque perception even when participants know that visual information is unreliable.
Keywords: sensory integration, crossmodal perception, visual, haptic, weight distribution, torque perception

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