not do so by referring to the task as generally involving shape, location, or texture information. We can do so by evaluating the kinds of information that are available in the various stimulus situations, and by evaluating the properties of the tactual and visual systems that engage the available stimulus information. This functional approach to human perception may hold promise for analysis of other situations of intermodality relations as well as that between vision and touch.
The similarity of this formulation to the analysis of complex tasks to be performed by robotic systems is evident. In analyzing the demands on a robotic system, it is necessary to specify the information sources with precision, to evaluate the capabilities of various components of the system in relation to those sources of information, and to evaluate the output capabilities of the performance end of the system. It is necessary for robotics engineers to use a flexible approach to the relationships among information, information sensors, and output characteristics. Similarly, perceptual psychologists must avoid categorical approaches to information sources, sensory modalities, and motor capabilities, and must instead consider the functional relationships among these elements in order to achieve a full understanding of the nature of the relationships among the sensory modalities within the larger context of adaptive perception.
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