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Presentation Summary

Title : A combined psychophysical-modelling study of the mechanisms of tactile picture perception
Authors : Andrew Davison, Pierre Yger, Jason Chan, Fiona Newell and Yves Frégnac
Year : 2006
Supported by : SenseMaker


The involvement of visual cortex in haptic spatial perception, including haptic object recognition, is well established, but little is known about the precise mechanisms involved. We have pursued a joint experimental-modelling approach to explore possible mechanisms. Human exploratory paths in a task involving tactile picture perception are used to drive a system-level model of haptic processing, based on the idea that humans continuously compare tactile and proprioceptive sensory input to multiple hypotheses about the contents of the picture. Each hypothesis is represented as a mental image, expressed as a pattern of activation in visual cortex representing the expectation of finding particular tactile features at particular points in space. The simulated responses of the model show good agreement with human performance when averaged over subjects, but fit less well on a subject-by-subject basis. Supported by EU project IST-2001-34712.