The Psychology of Touch

By Morton A. Heller; William Schiff | Go to book overview
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strained by an unfamiliar display that provides no retrieval cues. (3) The relative difficulty of recognition and production (recall) is governed by the presence or absence of retrieval cues. Without prior cuing, production is thus easier than recognition. The thesis is that haptic recognition is indirect and has its basis in movement or output plans.

The argument and findings have implications for developmental theories of drawing and for theories of haptic coding. They underlie the fact that drawing is not a unitary skill, and suggest how the importance of subsidiary symbolic, procedural, inferential, perceptual, and output processes can vary with apparently small differences in task information. They also have practical implications for blind children. For theories of haptic shape coding, the findings imply first that models need to distinguish between different forms of haptic shape; and second, that for configurations of the kind discussed here, explanations have to include the conditions involved in movement processing and output plans as the basic information.


The work to which the chapter refers was supported by a grant from the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council of Great Britain, which is gratefully acknowledged.


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