Role of Extended Perceptual Experience upon Haptic Perception of Nonrepresentational Shapes

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Abstract

The influence of amount and type of exploratory activity upon 3 male and 5 female undergraduates' ability to detect the symmetrical or asymmetrical characteristics of individually presented plastic nonrepresentational shapes was examined. A decrease in scanning time and number of identification errors between the first and fourth days of testing indicates that extended perceptual experience plays a major role in the efficient pick-up and utilization of haptic information. A signal-detection analysis demonstrated that the use of a simultaneous-apprehension scanning strategy resulted in greater sensitivity to symmetrical shapes; a trace scanning strategy resulted in greater sensitivity to asymmetrical shapes than did the use of a simultaneous-apprehension scan. The data support the hypothesis that experience, the form parameter of symmetry, and the type of scanning strategy used to explore a stimulus function together to influence haptic perception of nonrepresentational shapes.

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