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Rob Gray, Hong Tan; Combination of visual and tactile information about moving objects. Journal of Vision 2003;3(12):75. doi: 10.1167/3.12.75.
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An insect running down a boy's arm poses a challenging problem for the human brain. In order to determine whether the felt movement is due to a mosquito that should be squashed or a beetle that should be collected, the boy needs to quickly and accurately direct his visual attention towards the insect. This crossmodal shift of attention towards a moving object is considerably more complex than towards a static stimulus like a tap on the shoulder. Not only must the boy's brain integrate the tactile and visual maps of external space but it must been done in a dynamic, predictive manner. Here, we will present several lines of evidence from experiments with simulated moving objects demonstrating dynamic links in the spatial mapping between vision and touch. For example, we will show evidence that visual information about the time to contact of an approaching object can be used to accurately reorient tactile attention to the place where the object will hit the skin. How visual and tactile motion is weighted in conditions where the two cues are in conflict will also be discussed.
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