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Shaziela Ishak, Emily Boyle, Kelsie Decker, Alexis Tine; Examining the utility of visual and tactile information for fitting objects through openings. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1105. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1105.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Fitting is a complex, multi-step process involving prospective planning, decision-making, and linking several small routines into a unified action. It involves choosing the correct object, navigating it over the hole, orienting it appropriately, and finally pushing it through. Fitting tasks appear on measures of children's cognitive and motor skill development. Despite its everyday relevance and theoretical importance, little is know about which type of information aids in solving fitting problems. To address this gap we examined whether visual only or visual-tactile information is effective when children solve a novel fitting task. Two- to three-year-olds were first randomly assigned to information groups and then asked to fit familiar and unfamiliar shapes through openings. In the vision group, children looked at unfamiliar shapes and were not allowed to touch them. In the visual-tactile group children looked at and manipulated unfamiliar shapes. Children in a control group manipulated familiar shapes. During 24 test trials children were presented with a wooden board with three shape cut-outs and one shape. Children's task was to fit the shape through its corresponding cut-out. Half of the trials were with unfamiliar shapes. Findings indicate that all children correctly inserted the familiar shapes. However, the control group picked the correct opening on only 68% of unfamiliar trials. In contrast, the vision group picked the correct opening on 84% of unfamiliar trials and the visual-tactile group picked the correct opening on 98% of unfamiliar trials. The findings suggest that although prior visual information helped children successfully solve the problem tactile information had an additive effect. Additionally, error analysis revealed that memory overrode both current visual and tactile information. On 58% of error trials children picked a position or opening that was correct on the previous trial. Results are discussed in terms of children's emerging use of visual and tactile information.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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