Haptic adaptation to slant: No transfer between exploration modes

Abstract

Human touch is an inherently active sense: to estimate an object's shape humans often move their hand across its surface. This way the object is sampled both in a serial (sampling different parts of the object across time) and parallel fashion (sampling using different parts of the hand simultaneously). Both the serial (moving a single finger) and parallel (static contact with the entire hand) exploration modes provide reliable and similar global shape information, suggesting the possibility that this information is shared early in the sensory cortex. In contrast, we here show the opposite. Using an adaptation-and-transfer paradigm, a change in haptic perception was induced by slant-adaptation using either the serial or parallel exploration mode. A unified shape-based coding would predict that this would equally affect perception using other exploration modes. However, we found that adaptation-induced perceptual changes did not transfer between exploration modes. Instead, serial and parallel exploration components adapted simultaneously, but to different kinaesthetic aspects of exploration behaviour rather than object-shape per se. These results indicate that a potential combination of information from different exploration modes can only occur at down-stream cortical processing stages, at which adaptation is no longer effective.

DOI: 10.1038/srep34412

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Dam2016HapticAT, title={Haptic adaptation to slant: No transfer between exploration modes}, author={Loes C. J. van Dam and Myrthe A. Plaisier and Catharina Glowania and Marc O. Ernst}, booktitle={Scientific reports}, year={2016} }