The Psychology of Touch

By Morton A. Heller; William Schiff | Go to book overview

PART II
DEVELOPMENT AND INTERMODAL RELATIONS

How should we understand the relationship between the senses of touch and vision? David Warren and Matt Rossano have argued that we need to understand the influence of vision on touch in order to gain a proper understanding of the sense of touch. The relationship between the senses turns out to be rather complicated, and changes over the course of development, as Bushnell and Boudreau point out.

Much of our knowledge about stimuli derives from input from more than one sense (see Heller, 1982). It is certainly possible to blindfold subjects (and mask sound with headphones or white noise) in a laboratory to study the sense of touch. This control methodology is clearly the dominant sort of research paradigm. However, sighted people often see the things they touch, and hear the sound of fingers in contact with objects. We visually monitor hand movements as we explore the environment. In addition, we can hear the sound of a fingernail or fingertip tapping on a surface. Contact with wood sounds different from contact with metal, and this auditory input can aid in the identification of surface characteristics, such as texture (e.g., Lederman, 1979).

There are a number of possible statements that might characterize the relations between the senses, and Warren and Rossano discuss these alternatives at length. Vision may dominate touch when discrepant information is presented to the two modalities. The most common method for inducing a discrepancy between the senses has involved manipulating vision of an object with a lens. This was the approach used by Rock and Victor ( 1964). They

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The Psychology of Touch
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • References x
  • References xi
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 1
  • Part I Sensory Phenomena 21
  • References 22
  • Chapter 2 Sensory and Physiological Bases of Touch 23
  • References 55
  • Chapter 3 Thermal Sensibility 61
  • References 87
  • Chapter 14 Pain Responsiveness 91
  • References 111
  • References 112
  • Part II Development and Intermodal Relations 115
  • References 117
  • Chapter 5 Intermodality Relations: Vision and Touch 119
  • References 135
  • Chapter 6 the Development of Haptic Perception During Infancy 139
  • Part III Tactile Pattern Perception 163
  • References 166
  • Chapter 7 Haptic Perception of Form: Activity and Stimulus Attributes 169
  • Chapter 8 Vibrotactile Pattern Perception: Some Findings and Applications 189
  • References 213
  • Chapter 9 Braille 219
  • References 235
  • References 238
  • Chapter 10 Haptic Perception in Blind People 239
  • Chapter 11 Tactile Pictures 263
  • References 296
  • Chapter 12 a Reversed Lag in the Recognition and Production of Tactual Drawings: Theoretical Implications for Haptic Coding 301
  • References 323
  • Chapter 13 Conclusions: the Future of Touch 327
  • References 336
  • Author Index 339
  • Subject Index 349
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