Differential effects of non-informative vision and visual interference on haptic spatial processing.
Volcic R., van Rheede JJ., Postma A., Kappers AML.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effects of non-informative vision and visual interference upon haptic spatial processing, which supposedly derives from an interaction between an allocentric and egocentric reference frame. To this end, a haptic parallelity task served as baseline to determine the participant-dependent biasing influence of the egocentric reference frame. As expected, large systematic participant-dependent deviations from veridicality were observed. In the second experiment we probed the effect of non-informative vision on the egocentric bias. Moreover, orienting mechanisms (gazing directions) were studied with respect to the presentation of haptic information in a specific hemispace. Non-informative vision proved to have a beneficial effect on haptic spatial processing. No effect of gazing direction or hemispace was observed. In the third experiment we investigated the effect of simultaneously presented interfering visual information on the haptic bias. Interfering visual information parametrically influenced haptic performance. The interplay of reference frames that subserves haptic spatial processing was found to be related to both the effects of non-informative vision and visual interference. These results suggest that spatial representations are influenced by direct cross-modal interactions; inter-participant differences in the haptic modality resulted in differential effects of the visual modality.