Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Tactile Picture Recognition: Errors Are in Shape Acquisition or Object Matching?

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Seeing and Perceiving
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Spatial Vision.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that sighted and blind individuals find it difficult to recognize tactile pictures of common objects. However, it is still not clear what makes recognition of tactile pictures so difficult. One possibility is that observers have difficulty acquiring the global shape of the image when feeling it. Alternatively, observers may have an accurate understanding of the shape but are unable to link it to a particular object representation. We, therefore, conducted two experiments to determine where tactile picture recognition goes awry. In Experiment 1, we found that recognition of tactile pictures by blindfolded sighted observers correlated with image characteristics that affect shape acquisition (symmetry and complexity). In Experiment 2, we asked drawing experts to draw what they perceived after feeling the images. We found that the experts produced three types of drawings when they could not recognize the tactile pictures: (1) drawings that did not look like objects (incoherent), (2) drawings that looked like incorrect objects (coherent but inaccurate) and (3) drawings that looked like the correct objects (coherent and accurate). The majority of errors seemed to result from inaccurate perception of the global shape of the image (error types 1 and 2). Our results suggest that recognition of simplistic tactile pictures of objects is largely inhibited by low-level tactile shape processing rather than high-level object recognition mechanisms.

Affiliations: 1: M.I.T., Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, 46-4089, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Gibson J. J. ( 1962). "Observations on active touch", Psycholog. Rev. Vol 69, 477491.
2. Heller M. A. ( 1984). "Active and passive touch: the influence of exploration time", J. Gen. Psychol. Vol 110, 243249.
3. Heller M. A. ( 1989). "Picture and pattern perception in the sighted and the blind: the advantage of the late blind", Perception Vol 18, 379389.
4. Heller M. A. , Meyers D. S. ( 1983). "Active and passive tactual recognition of form", J. Gen. Psychol. Vol 108, 225229.
5. Heller M. A. , Calcaterra J. A. , Burson L. L. , Tyler L. A. ( 1996). "Tactual picture identification by blind and sighted people: effects of providing categorical information", Percept. Psychophys. Vol 58, 310323.
6. Hunter J. E. , Schmidt F. L. ( 1990). Methods of Meta-Analysis: Correcting Error and Bias in Research Findings. Sage, Newbury Park, CA, USA.
7. Huttenlocher D. P. , Klanderman G. A. , Rucklidge W. J. ( 1993). "Comparing images using the Hausdorff distance", IEEE Trans. Patt. Anal. Machine Intell. Vol 15, 850863.
8. Jähne B. , Scharr H. , Körkel S. ( 1999). "Principles of filter design", in: Handbook of Computer Vision and Applications, Vol Vol. 2, Jähne B. , Haußecker H. , Geißler P. (Eds), pp.  125151. Academic Press, San Diego.
9. Klatzky R. L. , Loomis J. M. , Lederman S. J. , Wake H. , Fujita N. ( 1993). "Haptic identification of objects and their depictions", Percept. Psychohys. Vol 54, 170178.
10. Lederman S. J. , Klatzky R. L. , Chataway C. , Summers C. D. ( 1990). "Visual mediation and the haptic recognition of two-dimensional pictures of common objects", Percept. Psychophys. Vol 47, 5464.
11. Loomis J. M. ( 1981). "Tactile pattern perception", Perception Vol 10, 527.
12. Loomis J. M. , Klatzky R. L. , Lederman S. J. ( 1991). "Similarity of tactual and visual picture recognition with limited field of view", Perception Vol 20, 167177.
13. Magee L. E. , Kennedy J. M. ( 1980). "Exploring pictures tactually", Nature Vol 283, 287288.
14. Snodgrass J. G. , Vanderwart M. ( 1980). "A standardized set of 260 pictures: norms for name agreement, image agreement, familiarity, and visual complexity", J. Exper. Psychol.: Human Learning and Memory Vol 6, 174215.
15. Thorndike R. L. ( 1949). Personnel Selection. Wiley, New York, USA.
16. Wijntjes M. W. A. , van Lienen T. , Verstijnen I. M. , Kappers A. M. L. ( 2008a). "Look what I have felt: unidentified haptic line drawings are identified after sketching", Acta Psychol. Vol 128, 255263.
17. Wijntjes M. W. A. , van Lienen T. , Verstijnen I. M. , Kappers A. M. L. ( 2008b). "The influence of picture size on recognition and exploratory behavior in raised-line drawings", Perception Vol 37, 602614.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Seeing and Perceiving — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation