Object and spatial imagery dimensions in visuo-haptic representations

Simon Lacey, Jonathan B. Lin, K. Sathian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Visual imagery comprises object and spatial dimensions. Both types of imagery encode shape but a key diVerence is that object imagers are more likely to encode surface properties than spatial imagers. Since visual and haptic object representations share many characteristics, we investigated whether haptic and multisensory representations also share an object-spatial continuum. Experiment 1 involved two tasks in both visual and haptic within-modal conditions, one requiring discrimination of shape across changes in texture, the other discrimination of texture across changes in shape. In both modalities, spatial imagers could ignore changes in texture but not shape, whereas object imagers could ignore changes in shape but not texture. Experiment 2 re-analyzed a cross-modal version of the shape discrimination task from an earlier study. We found that spatial imagers could discriminate shape across changes in texture but object imagers could not and that the more one preferred object imagery, the more texture changes impaired discrimination. These Wndings are the Wrst evidence that object and spatial dimensions of imagery can be observed in haptic and multisensory representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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