Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Using a tactile variant of the negative-priming paradigm, we analyzed the influence of Gestalt grouping on the ability of participants to ignore distracting tactile information. The distance between participants' hands, to which the target and distractor stimuli were simultaneously delivered, was varied (near/touching hands vs. hands far apart). In addition, the influence of touching hands was controlled, as participants wore gloves and their hands were blocked from vision by a cover. The magnitude of the tactile negative-priming effect was modulated by the interaction between hand separation and whether or not gloves were worn. When the hands were touching, negative priming emerged only while wearing gloves that prevented direct skin-to-skin contact. In contrast, when the separation between the participants' hands was larger, negative priming emerged only when gloves were not worn. This pattern of results is interpreted in terms of the competing influences of two interacting Gestalt principles--namely, connectedness and proximity--on the processing of tactile distractors.

Original publication




Journal article


Atten Percept Psychophys

Publication Date





468 - 480


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Attention, Computer Peripherals, Gloves, Protective, Hand, Humans, Middle Aged, Perceptual Masking, Reaction Time, Space Perception, Surveys and Questionnaires, Touch Perception, User-Computer Interface, Young Adult