Studies in Perception and Action V: Tenth International Conference on Perception and Action: Aug. 8-13, 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland

By Madeleine A. Grealy; James A. Thomson et al. | Go to book overview
Studies in Perception and Action V M. A. Grealy & J. A. Thomson (Eds.) © 1999 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Are Haptic Perceptions Independent?
Megan M. CooperCESPA, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USAPrevious investigations of dynamic touch have suggested that, in wielding an occluded rod, the nonvisible perceptions of whole rod length and center of percussion are different functions of the inertial properties of that object ( Carello, Thuot, Anderson, & Turvey, in press). Rod length has been shown to depend on the inertia tensor, Iij, and in particular on the maximum eigenvalue (I1). Center of percussion (CP) depends on the ratio of I1 to static moment. The implication that the perceptions are independent covariants of these inertial properties was tested using the 3- step procedure of Ashby and Townsend ( 1986). The logic of the analysis rests on the definition of certain key terms:
Perceptual independence exists if the perception of one dimension of a given stimulus, A (e.g. I1), in no way interacts with or is contingent upon the perception of another, B (e.g. CP).
Decisional separability exists if the decision to report a particular perception of dimension A does not depend on the level of B.
Perceptual separability exists provided the perceptual effects of dimension A do not depend on the level of B.

A logical test for perceptual independence cannot proceed without first satisfying that conditions of separability hold. Step 1 is a global test of separability, the test of partial contingent uncertainties (see Garner & Morton, 1969). If these values do not differ significantly from zero, then separability holds. Step 2 is a local test of separability, the test of marginal response invariance (see Ashby & Townsend, 1986). If the perceived values of A do not vary with the level of B, then the local test of separability passes. Step 3 is the test for perceptual independence, termed sampling independence (see Ashby & Townsend, 1986). If the joint probability of making a particular response (P(ai, bj)) equals the product

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Studies in Perception and Action V: Tenth International Conference on Perception and Action: Aug. 8-13, 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland
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