The Psychology of Touch

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

pictures are familiar, inspection of pictures of a well-known kind of object will be a swifter process. Blind children tested in Arizona ( Kennedy, 1982b, in preparation) were proficient at tactile exploration, and identified tactile pictures at a rate exceeding blind children in Haiti, occasionally recognizing more than 50% of a sample of pictures. The Haitians could draw more effectively, possibly because manual skill in crafts and woodworking were stressed in their school.

We anticipate that tactile exploration of pictures, as it becomes more proficient, will allow larger chunks of the display to function as units, and to be grasped quickly. The role of junctions will become more evident. Ambiguities will be dispelled more rapidly. Alternatives will be sought more effectively and more quickly. Less time will be spent stuck on first impressions. In this connection, ultrasound pictures may be a helpful analogy. Initially these are incomprehensible to the sighted. To the expert, they reveal a great deal about the womb and the fetus within. Compare the line drawings replicating chiaroscuro structure in Fig. 11.7, which are mere ciphers as far as vision is concerned. No amount of experience, we predict, with outline versions of chiaroscuro structure will enable such displays to show vivid and comprehensible referents to human vision. They will never produce apparent shadow akin to the apparent depth in outlined relief. Outline depiction occurs, we contend, in perceptual pathways that are actuated after chiaroscuro has been analyzed and axes of lines registered. Like visual pictures, haptic pictures, the evidence indicates, are surrogates for relief. The question that demands a response is how extensive and comprehensive a pictorial facility can be built in touch on this foundation. In one sentence our response is: Form principles of depth and slant used by vision are also used by touch, and can stand on the foundation that lines depict relief corners and occlusions.


REFERENCES

Cabe P. A. ( 1980). "Picture perception in nonhuman subjects". In M. A. Hagen (Ed.), The perception of pictures (Vol. 2). New York: Academic Press.

Caron-Pargue J. ( 1985). "Le dessin du cube chez l'enfant [Children drawing cubes]". Berne, Switzerland, and New York: Peter Lang ( European University Studies, Series 6, Vol. 166).

Cavanagh P., & Leclerc Y. G. ( 1989). "Shape from shadows". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Peformance, 15, 3-27.

Cook R. G., Wright A. A., & Kendrick D. F. ( 1987). Determinants of categorization in pigeons. Paper presented at the meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Seattle, Nov. 6-8.

Deregowski J. B. ( 1989). "Real space and represented space: Cross cultural perspectives". Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12, 51-74.

Dent C. ( 1987). "Developmental studies of perception and metaphor: The twain shall meet". Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 2, 53-72.

Dunlea A. ( 1989). Vision and the emergence of meaning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

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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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