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The perceptual experience of slope by foot and by finger.

Authors
  • Hajnal, Alen
  • Abdul-Malak, Daniel T
  • Durgin, Frank H
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance
Publisher
American Psychological Association
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2011
Volume
37
Issue
3
Pages
709–719
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/a0019950
PMID: 20731518
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Historically, the bodily senses have often been regarded as impeccable sources of spatial information and as being the teacher of vision. Here, the authors report that the haptic perception of slope by means of the foot is greatly exaggerated. The exaggeration is present in verbal as well as proprioceptive judgments. It is shown that this misperception of pedal slope is not caused by calibration to the well-established visual misperception of slope because it is present in congenitally blind individuals as well. The pedal misperception of slope is contrasted with the perception of slope by dynamic touch with a finger in a force-feedback device. Although slopes feel slightly exaggerated even when explored by finger, they tend to show much less exaggeration than when equivalent slopes are stood on. The results are discussed in terms of a theory of coding efficiency.

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