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Going against the grain – Texture orientation affects direction of exploratory movement

Lezkan, Alexandra; Drewing, Knut

In haptic perception sensory signals depend on how we actively move our hands. For textures with periodically repeating grooves, movement direction can determine temporal cues to spatial frequency. Moving in line with texture orientation does not generate temporal cues. In contrast, moving orthog-onally to texture orientation maximizes the temporal frequency of stimulation, and thus optimizes temporal cues. Participants performed a spatial frequency discrimination task between stimuli of two types. The first type showed the de-scribed relationship between movement direction and temporal cues, the second stimulus type did not. We expected that when temporal cues can be optimized by moving in a certain direction, movements will be adjusted to this direction. However, movement adjustments were assumed to be based on sensory infor-mation, which accumulates over the exploration process. We analyzed 3 indi-vidual segments of the exploration process. As expected, participants only ad-justed movement directions in the final exploration segment and only for the stimulus type, in which movement direction influenced temporal cues. We con-clude that sensory signals on the texture orientation are used online during ex-ploration in order to adjust subsequent movements. Once sufficient sensory evi-dence on the texture orientation was accumulated, movements were directed to optimize temporal cues.

Lezkan, A. & Drewing, K. (2016). Going against the grain – Texture orientation affects direction of exploratory movement, part I. Haptics: Perception, Devices, Control, and Applications (pp. 430-440).

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