A precision-of-information explanation of sensory dominance
by George H. Van Doorn; Mark A. Symmons; Barry L. Richardson
International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms (IJAIP), Vol. 3, No. 3/4, 2011

Abstract: Subjects identified letters or judged the sizes of squares presented visually and/or haptically. The stimuli were presented as spatiotemporal patterns (pre-recorded movement pathways) matched to avoid favouring either mode. Visual explorers were shown pathways as either a 1 cm line tracing out the shape (moving window condition) or as a line moving behind a stationary 1 cm window (stationary window condition). Haptic explorers' fingertips were guided along raised-line pathways (moving window condition) or felt the shapes, depicted in raised-line drawings, moving under their static fingertip (stationary window condition). Visual and haptic performance did not differ but the moving window conditions yielded lower latencies than stationary window conditions in both modes. When squares of different sizes were presented simultaneously to vision and kinesthesis, vision was dominant. The reverse was true when tactile (cutaneous) input was added to the kinesthetic information. These findings support the optimal integration hypothesis in that precision of information is critically related to dominance, and they challenge the concept of sensory capture as a modality-specific phenomenon.

Online publication date: Thu, 26-Mar-2015

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