August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
 Can shape information be transferred from hand to eye independently of semantics?
Author Affiliations
  • Ana Pesquita
    Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • Allison A. Brennan
    Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • James T. Enns
    Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • Salvador Soto-Faraco
    Departament de Tecnologies de la Informació i les Comunicacions, Universitat Pompeu Fabra\nInstitució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, ICREA
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 1321. doi:
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      Ana Pesquita, Allison A. Brennan, James T. Enns, Salvador Soto-Faraco;  Can shape information be transferred from hand to eye independently of semantics?. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1321. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Is visual object identification influenced by haptic information from objects being explored simultaneously with the hands? Previous approaches to this question have either used familiar objects, thereby not ruling out the semantic route, or used unfamiliar objects, thus neglecting the question of how the results are related to everyday object recognition. Using an adaptation of a visual priming method (Biederman & Cooper, 1991), we compare identity with category priming to separate semantic influences from direct shape transfer in haptic-visual priming with familiar objects. Participants (n=16) manually explored an object (haptic prime) while viewing photos that progressively revealed common objects they were tasked to name. Familiar objects belonged to 8 semantic categories, each represented by 2 differently shaped objects. To address conceptually-mediated versus direct shape priming, we compared identity (haptic prime and visual target share a label and shape) and category priming (same label but different shapes). Results showed that accuracy was greater for identity than category priming (90% vs. 79%), and a shared semantic label led to greater accuracy than in unrelated and neutral conditions (71%). Detailed analyses indicated that the haptic objects did not bias responses independently of these priming effects: (1) with unrelated primes, responses associated with the held object occurred no more (7.8%) than expected by chance (12.5%), and (2) across all conditions in which the haptic prime was a potential target, participants responded with that label only 59% (optimal guessing was 67%). This demonstrates that shape can be transferred from hand to eye for familiar objects, independent of the semantic priming previously demonstrated in haptic-to-visual priming (Reales & Ballesteros, 1999). Moreover, this new methodological approach adds to recent research using non-familiar objects (Ernst, 2007; Ostrovsky, 2011), because it indexes the haptic-visual transfer of shape for familiar, ecologically valid, objects.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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