School of Psychology, Brennan MacCallum Building (A18), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
While viewing an unambiguously rotating circular array of bars for an extended period, most perceive the array to occasionally move in the direction opposite to its true motion. We find that this alternation in perception has similar dynamics to rivalry, including little correlation among the durations of successive percepts. We also describe analogous reversals in touch and in proprioception. In the proprioceptive case, biceps vibration induces illusory forearm extension. Occasionally, although the same stimulation continues, reversals occur-flexion is perceived rather than extension. Temporal sampling is often invoked to explain the visual reversals but it cannot explain these proprioceptive reversals. Instead, after initial adaptation to the stimulus, rivalry between signals indicating the opposing directions could potentially explain reversals in all three modalities.
Front Psychol. 2011 ;2 :203 21904532
Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, Université Paul Sabatier, Université de Toulouse Toulouse, France.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that brain oscillations in various frequency bands play important roles in perceptual and attentional processes. Understandably, most of the associated experimental evidence comes from human or animal electrophysiological studies, allowing direct access to the oscillatory activities. However, such periodicities in perception and attention should, in theory, also be observable using the proper psychophysical tools. Here, we review a number of psychophysical techniques that have been used by us and other authors, in successful and sometimes unsuccessful attempts, to reveal the rhythmic nature of perceptual and attentional processes. We argue that the two existing and largely distinct debates about discrete vs. continuous perception and parallel vs. sequential attention should in fact be regarded as two facets of the same question: how do brain rhythms shape the psychological operations of perception and attention?
Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
We investigated the effect of adapting speed, duration, and distance on the frequency of occurrence, duration, and vividness of the tactile motion aftereffect (tMAE). Using a cylindrical drum with a patterned surface we adapted the glabrous surface of the right hand at two speeds (14 and 28 cm/s) and three durations (60, 120, and 240 s). Distance was explored in the interaction of adapting speed and duration. The results showed that the frequency of occurrence, duration, and vividness of the tMAE increased with adapting speed. There was also a positive relationship between adapting duration and the frequency of occurrence, but not the duration or vividness, of the illusion. Distance was only a factor when it came to the duration of the tMAE. Taken together, these results show the importance of adapting parameters, particularly speed, on the tMAE.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Mar 24;: 20336656
Université de Toulouse, UPS, Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, Toulouse, France.
After prolonged viewing of a continuous periodic motion stimulus at frequencies around 10 Hz, observers experience a fleeting impression of reversed motion: the continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion (c-WWI). To account for this phenomenon it has been proposed that attentional mechanisms discretely sample motion information. Alternative accounts argue that the illusion relies on the spurious activation of motion detectors, which under the effect of adaptation could trigger a reversed percept. We investigated the neural correlates of the c-WWI using fMRI (3T). Subjects viewed a vertically bisected ring containing a radial grating unambiguously rotating at 10 Hz; they continuously reported the perceived motion direction within each half of the ring. The two halves always rotated in opposite directions, allowing us to separately explore illusory reversals occurring within each hemifield. Comparing BOLD activity during illusory (c-WWI) or real perceptual periods revealed systematic differences in right parietal regions, in addition to the right motion complex MT+. This activation pattern did not depend on the side on which the illusion occurred, and could not be accounted for by purely perceptual switch-related activity-known to encompass parietal regions during other bistable effects. This first characterization of the fMRI correlates of the c-WWI may have implications for the different theoretical explanations of the phenomenon. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010.(c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo, Tokyo, 113-8656, Japan, Shinobu_Kuroki@ipc.i.u-tokyo.ac.jp.
The sense of touch is initiated by stimulation of peripheral mechanoreceptors, and then the spatio-temporal pattern of the receptors' activation is interpreted by central cortical processing. To explore the tactile central processing, we psychophysically studied human judgments of the temporal relationships between two tactile events occurring at different skin locations. We examined four types of two-point temporal judgments-simultaneity, temporal order, apparent motion, and inter-stimulus interval-which differ from one another in time scale and task requirement. To perform any of the four temporal judgment tasks, the brain has to integrate spatially separated inputs. The main focus of the present study is to examine how the spatial separation affects the temporal judgment tasks. Two spatial coordinates can be defined in touch: the somatotopic coordinate, defined by cortical topography, and the spatiotopic coordinate, defined in the environment. In our experiments, the somatotopic distance was manipulated by stimulating the middle and index fingers of the same hand or different hands (ipsilateral vs. bilateral conditions), while the spatiotopic distance was manipulated by increasing the stimulators' separation under bilateral conditions (bilateral-near vs. bilateral-far conditions). Our results clearly demonstrated that all four of the temporal judgments were significantly affected by the somatotopic distance, but only slightly by the spatiotopic distance. The present results, together with the previous findings, suggest that tactile temporal judgments in a wide range of time scale, from several to several 100 ms, primarily reflect processing at the level of somatotopic representation unless the performance is further constrained by spatial processing.
Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue, West Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5, Canada.
The motion aftereffect (MAE) refers to the apparent motion of a stationary stimulus following adaptation to a continuously moving stimulus. There is a growing consensus that the fast adapting (FA) rather than the slowly adapting (SA) afferent units mediate the tactile version of the MAE. The present study investigated which FA units underlie the tactile MAE by measuring its prevalence, duration, and vividness on different skin areas that vary in their composition of FA units. Specifically, the right cheek, volar surface of the forearm, and volar surface of the hand were adapted using a ridged cylindrical drum, which rotated at 60 rpm for 120 s. Although there was no difference in duration or vividness between the skin surfaces tested, the tactile MAE was reported twice as often on the hand compared to the cheek and forearm, which did not differ significantly from one another. This suggests that the FA I units in the glabrous skin and the hair follicle and/or the FA I and field units in the hairy skin contribute to the tactile MAE.
Stochastic variations in sensory awareness are driven by noisy neuronal adaptation: evidence from serial correlations in perceptual bistability.
Helmholtz Institute Physics of Man, Utrecht University, PaduaLaan 8, 3584 CH, Utrecht, The Netherlands. email@example.com
When the sensory system is subjected to ambiguous input, perception alternates between interpretations in a seemingly random fashion. Although neuronal noise obviously plays a role, the neural mechanism for the generation of randomness at the slow time scale of the percept durations (multiple seconds) is unresolved. Here significant nonzero serial correlations are reported in series of visual percept durations (to the author's knowledge for the first time accounting for duration impurities caused by reaction time, drift, and incomplete percepts). Serial correlations for perceptual rivalry using structure-from-motion ambiguity were smaller than for binocular rivalry using orthogonal gratings. A spectrum of computational models is considered, and it is concluded that noise in adaptation of percept-related neurons causes the serial correlations. This work bridges, in a physiologically plausible way, widely appreciated deterministic modeling and randomness in experimental observations of visual rivalry.
Other papers by authors:
PLoS One. 2012 ;7 (9):e45438 23029010
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia ; School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
INTRODUCTION: While the directionality of tactile motion processing has been studied extensively, tactile speed processing and its relationship to direction is little-researched and poorly understood. We investigated this relationship in humans using the 'tactile speed aftereffect'(tSAE), in which the speed of motion appears slower following prolonged exposure to a moving surface. METHOD: We used psychophysical methods to test whether the tSAE is direction sensitive. After adapting to a ridged moving surface with one hand, participants compared the speed of test stimuli on the adapted and unadapted hands. We varied the direction of the adapting stimulus relative to the test stimulus. RESULTS: Perceived speed of the surface moving at 81 mms(-1) was reduced by about 30% regardless of the direction of the adapting stimulus (when adapted in the same direction, Mean reduction = 23 mms(-1), SD = 11; with opposite direction, Mean reduction = 26 mms(-1), SD = 9). In addition to a large reduction in perceived speed due to adaptation, we also report that this effect is not direction sensitive. CONCLUSIONS: Tactile motion is susceptible to speed adaptation. This result complements previous reports of reliable direction aftereffects when using a dynamic test stimulus as together they describe how perception of a moving stimulus in touch depends on the immediate history of stimulation. Given that the tSAE is not direction sensitive, we argue that peripheral adaptation does not explain it, because primary afferents are direction sensitive with friction-creating stimuli like ours (thus motion in their preferred direction should result in greater adaptation, and if perceived speed were critically dependent on these afferents' response intensity, the tSAE should be direction sensitive). The adaptation that reduces perceived speed therefore seems to be of central origin.
Front Psychol. 2012 ;3 :307 22969738
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne Parkville, VIC, Australia.
Observers often need to attentively track moving objects. In everyday life, such objects are often visually distinctive. Previous studies have shown that tracking accuracy is increased when the targets contain a visual feature (e.g., a color) not possessed by the distractors. Conversely, a gain in tracking accuracy was not observed when the targets differed from the distractors by only a conjunction of features (Makovski and Jiang, 2009a). In this study we confirm that some conjunction targets have relatively little effect on tracking accuracy, but show that other conjunction targets can significantly aid tracking. For example, tracking accuracy is relatively high when the targets are small red squares and half the distractors are large red squares while the remaining distractors are small green squares. This seems to occur because the targets have a set of features (small and red) not shared by any one distractor. Attending to these features directs attention more to the targets than the distractors, thereby making the targets easier to track. Existing theories of attentive tracking cannot explain these results.
Trends Cogn Sci. 2012 Jul 11;: 22795562
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Brennan MacCallum Building (A18), Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
Vision Res. 2012 May 9;: 22579792
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia.
According to a limited resources account of feature-based attention, dividing feature-based attention by selecting targets on the basis of different features dilutes its power. Multiple-feature costs have been documented previously, but it is not clear whether the multiple-feature cost arose at the selection (segregating targets from non-targets) stage predicted by the limited resources account. The cost might instead result from a post-selection difficulty in processing or accessing the contents of the targets. By defining the targets with a selection attribute (color) that is very distinct from the attribute participants must access and report (spatial period), we were able to manipulate the selection process independently from the access stage. We still found a cost for different selection features (colors), suggesting that multiple-feature costs can arise at the selection stage. The cost was only significant however when distracters were present that shared the selection features. The cost manifested not only as greater errors or less precision in reporting the access attribute (spatial frequency), but also as an increased temporal lag between the physical stimuli and the reported percept. In summary, splitting selection among different features incurred little or no penalty by itself, but selection interference by distracters sharing target features could be large and could slow processing.
J Vis. 2012 ;12 (3): 22396462
Blindness to a simultaneous change of all elements in a scene, unless there is a change in summary statistics.
Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sudden change of every object in a display is typically conspicuous. We find however that in the presence of a secondary task, with a display of moving dots, it can be difficult to detect a sudden change in color of all the dots. A field of 200 dots, half red and half green, half moving rightward and half moving leftward, gave the appearance of two surfaces. When all 200 dots simultaneously switched color between red and green, performance in detecting the switch was very poor. A key display characteristic was that the color proportions on each surface (summary statistics) were not affected by the color switch. When the color switch is accompanied by a change in these summary statistics, people perform well in detecting the switch, suggesting that the secondary task does not disrupt the availability of this statistical information. These findings suggest that when the change is missed, the old and new colors were represented, but the color-location pattern (binding of colors to locations) was not represented or not compared. Even after extended viewing, changes to the individual color-location pattern are not available, suggesting that the feeling of seeing these details is misleading.
Cognition. 2012 May ;123 (2):218-28 22055340
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Brennan MacCallum Bldg.(A18), Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. email@example.com
Driving on a busy road, eluding a group of predators, or playing a team sport involves keeping track of multiple moving objects. In typical laboratory tasks, the number of visual targets that humans can track is about four. Three types of theories have been advanced to explain this limit. The fixed-limit theory posits a set number of attentional pointers available to follow objects. Spatial interference theory proposes that when targets are near each other, their attentional spotlights mutually interfere. Resource theory asserts that a limited resource is divided among targets, and performance reflects the amount available per target. Utilising widely separated objects to avoid spatial interference, the present experiments validated the predictions of resource theory. The fastest target speed at which two targets could be tracked was much slower than the fastest speed at which one target could be tracked. This speed limit for tracking two targets was approximately that predicted if at high speeds, only a single target could be tracked. This result cannot be accommodated by the fixed-limit or interference theories. Evidently a fast target, if it moves fast enough, can exhaust attentional resources.
Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU, UK. Christina.Howard@ntu.ac.uk
In the multiple object tracking (MOT) task, observers can typically keep track of up to four moving objects. Little is known however about the extent to which object motion is used by observers during MOT. For example, direction and speed might be used to anticipate future positions. We here ask to what extent position reports lag behind targets or instead correspond to extrapolated positions. Using a range of different motion trajectory patterns, observers tracked 1-4 targets among distracters and reported the final position of one of the targets. On average, reports corresponded to previous positions rather than the final position. This lag varied across conditions from around 10 to 70ms of the object's trajectory. Although some have suggested that extrapolation occurs during MOT, we find no evidence of anticipation of future positions of targets. The significant increase in lag with speed of the object is consistent with slow or intermittent updating of object positions during tracking.
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Perceiving which of a scene's objects are adjacent may require selecting them with a limited-capacity attentional process. Previous results support this notion [1-3] but leave open whether the process operates simultaneously on several objects or proceeds one by one. With arrays of colored discs moving together, we first tested the effect of moving the discs faster than the speed limit for following them with attentional selection . At these high speeds, participants could identify which colors were present and determine whether identical arrays were aligned or offset by one disc. They could not, however, apprehend which colors in the arrays were adjacent, indicating that attentional selection is required for this judgment. If selection operates serially to determine which colors are neighbors, then after the color of one disc is identified, attention must shift to the adjacent disc. As a result of the motion, attention might occasionally miss its target and land on the trailing disc. We cued attention to first select one or the other of a pair of discs and found the pattern of errors predicted. Perceiving these spatial relationships evidently requires selecting and processing objects one by one and is only possible at low object speeds.
Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW 1825, Australia. email@example.com
Muscle vibration excites muscle spindles and creates illusory movement of a body part in a blindfolded individual. It is followed by an aftereffect, an illusion of return movement when vibration stops. The aftereffect reflects adaptation in the proprioceptive system. This adaptation is susceptible to attentional manipulations (Seizova-Cajic and Azzi in Exp Brain Res 203(1):213-219, 2010), but it is not known whether it is open to cross-modal influences unaided by those manipulations. We attempted to answer this question by allowing vision of the vibrated, stationary arm. We asked our participants (n = 20) to retain focus on the feeling of movement. They reported any illusory movement during 60-s biceps vibration (at 90 Hz), as well as following its offset, when vision of the arm was removed. During vibration, the proprioceptive movement illusion persisted, although the stationary arm was visible, but its duration and strength were much reduced in comparison with the no-vision condition. The movement aftereffect, experienced in total darkness following vibration offset, was also substantially weaker. The results show that proprioceptive adaptation is strongly modulated by vision. We propose that two processes contribute: perceptual (cross-modal binding with conflicting vision reduces the proprioceptive movement signal) and attentional (view of a stationary arm distracts from the proprioceptive movement signal). Our finding that during vibration, participants felt movement in the arm they could see, which was stationary, shows that cross-modal binding partially failed. This happened because the two percepts were too discrepant. However, only one-the visual-appeared real, and we argue that such an outcome is consistent with general principles of intersensory integration.
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Under some circumstances, moving objects capture attention. Whether a change in the direction of a moving object attracts attention is still unexplored. We investigated this using a continuous tracking task. In Experiment 1, four grating patches changed smoothly and semirandomly in their positions and orientations, and observers attempted to track the orientations of two of them. After the stimuli disappeared, one of the two target gratings was queried and observers reported its orientation; hence direction of the gratings' motion across the screen was an irrelevant feature. Despite the irrelevance of its motion, when the nonqueried grating had collided with an invisible boundary within the last 200 msec of the trial, accuracy reporting the queried grating was worse than when it had not. Attention was likely drawn by the unexpected nature of these changes in direction of motion, since the effect was eliminated when the boundaries were visible (Experiment 2). This tendency for unexpected motion changes to attract attention has important consequences for the monitoring of objects in everyday environments.
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Front Psychol. 2012 ;3 :427 23133432
Department of Psychology, Chiba University Chiba, Japan.
Our somatosensory system deals with not only spatial but also temporal imprecision, resulting in characteristic spatiotemporal illusions. Repeated rapid stimulation at the wrist, then near the elbow, can create the illusion of touch at intervening locations along the arm (as if a rabbit is hopping along the arm). This is known as the "cutaneous rabbit effect"(CRE). Previous studies have suggested that the CRE involves not only an intrinsic somatotopic representation but also the representation of an extended body schema that includes causality or animacy perception upon the skin. On the other hand, unlike other multi-modal causality couplings, it is possible that the CRE is not affected by concurrent auditory temporal information. The present study examined the effect of a simple visual flash on the CRE, which has both temporal and spatial information. Here, stronger cross-modal causality or correspondence could be provided. We presented three successive tactile stimuli on the inside of a participant's left arm. Stimuli were presented on the wrist, elbow, and midway between the two. Results from our five experimental manipulations suggest that a one-shot flash enhances or attenuates the CRE depending on its congruency with cutaneous rabbit saltation. Our results reflect that (1) our brain interprets successive stimuli on the skin as motion in terms of time and space (unimodal causality) and that (2) the concurrent signals from other modalities provide clues for creating unified representations of this external motion (multi-modal causality) as to the extent that "spatiotemporal" synchronicity among modalities is provided.
Psychology and Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Institute for Mind and Biology, The University of Chicago, 940 East 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA. email@example.com
The appearance of a chromatic stimulus depends on more than the wavelengths composing it. The scientific literature has countless examples showing that spatial and temporal features of light influence the colors we see. Studying chromatic stimuli that vary over space, time, or direction of motion has a further benefit beyond predicting color appearance: the unveiling of otherwise concealed neural processes of color vision. Spatial or temporal stimulus variation uncovers multiple mechanisms of brightness and color perception at distinct levels of the visual pathway. Spatial variation in chromaticity and luminance can change perceived three-dimensional shape, an example of chromatic signals that affect a percept other than color. Chromatic objects in motion expose the surprisingly weak link between the chromaticity of objects and their physical direction of motion, and the role of color in inducing an illusory motion direction. Space, time, and motion-color's colleagues-reveal the richness of chromatic neural processing.
Front Integr Neurosci. 2011 ;5 :51 21941471
Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia Genova, Italy.
IT IS KNOWN THAT THE PERCEIVED DURATION OF VISUAL STIMULI IS STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY SPEED: faster moving stimuli appear to last longer. To test whether this is a general property of sensory systems we asked participants to reproduce the duration of visual and tactile gratings, and visuo-tactile gratings moving at a variable speed (3.5-15 cm/s) for three different durations (400, 600, and 800 ms). For both modalities, the apparent duration of the stimulus increased strongly with stimulus speed, more so for tactile than for visual stimuli. In addition, visual stimuli were perceived to last approximately 200 ms longer than tactile stimuli. The apparent duration of visuo-tactile stimuli lay between the unimodal estimates, as the Bayesian account predicts, but the bimodal precision of the reproduction did not show the theoretical improvement. A cross-modal speed-matching task revealed that visual stimuli were perceived to move faster than tactile stimuli. To test whether the large difference in the perceived duration of visual and tactile stimuli resulted from the difference in their perceived speed, we repeated the time reproduction task with visual and tactile stimuli matched in apparent speed. This reduced, but did not completely eliminate the difference in apparent duration. These results show that for both vision and touch, perceived duration depends on speed, pointing to common strategies of time perception.
Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Apparent motion can occur within a particular modality or between modalities, in which a visual or tactile stimulus at one location is perceived as moving towards the location of the subsequent tactile or visual stimulus. Intramodal apparent motion has been shown to be affected or 'captured' by information from another, task-irrelevant modality, as in spatial or temporal ventriloquism. Here we investigate whether and how intermodal apparent motion is affected by motion direction cues or temporal interval information from a third modality. We demonstrated that both moving and asynchronous static sounds can capture intermodal (visual-tactile and tactile-visual) apparent motion; moreover, while the auditory direction cues have less impact upon the perception of intramodal visual apparent motion than upon the perception of intramodal tactile or intermodal visual/tactile apparent motion, the auditory temporal information has equivalent impacts upon both intramodal and intermodal apparent motion. These findings suggest intermodal apparent motion is susceptible to the influence of dynamic or static auditory information in similar ways as intramodal visual or tactile apparent motion.
Neurosci Lett. 2011 May 7;: 21575679
Tactile perception: Do distinct subpopulations explain differences in mislocalization rates of stimuli across fingertips?
School of Biological and Health System Engineering, Arizona State University, ECG 334, Tempe, AZ 85287-9709, United States.
In a previous study we were able to demonstrate that the Cutaneous Rabbit Effect (CRE) could be induced across fingertips using a form of the reduced rabbit paradigm and electrotactile stimuli. The CRE, as used here, is an illusory phenomenon where two stimuli are rapidly at a site and then a stimulus is presented to a nearby site. The perception of the second of the stimuli is not at its presented location but at a site between the first and last stimuli. In this experiment, though the overall population did perceive the mislocalized stimuli as the CRE would predict, some subjects were very infrequently observed to mislocalize stimuli due to the CRE or other effects. Here we further examine this phenomena, attempting to identify whether a subpopulation exists that rarely mislocalizes stimuli on their fingertips. To test for this subpopulation, we reexamined the collected data from the previously published experiment and other unpublished data relating to that study. By examining these data for rates of mislocalization utilizing our previous metric we identified that there is a perceptual subpopulation that very infrequently misidentifies the location of a fingertip stimulus.
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous studies of tactile spatial perception focussed either on a single point of stimulation, on local patterns within a single skin region such as the fingertip, on tactile motion, or on active touch. It remains unclear whether we should speak of a tactile field, analogous to the visual field, and supporting spatial relations between stimulus locations. Here we investigate this question by studying perception of large-scale tactile spatial patterns on the hand, arm and back. Experiment 1 investigated the relation between perception of tactile patterns and the identification of subsets of those patterns. The results suggest that perception of tactile spatial patterns is based on representing the spatial relations between locations of individual stimuli. Experiment 2 investigated the spatial and temporal organising principles underlying these relations. Experiment 3 showed that tactile pattern perception makes reference to structural representations of the body, such as body parts separated by joints. Experiment 4 found that precision of pattern perception is poorer for tactile patterns that extend across the midline, compared to unilateral patterns. Overall, the results suggest that the human sense of touch involves a tactile field, analogous to the visual field. The tactile field supports computation of spatial relations between individual stimulus locations, and thus underlies tactile pattern perception.
Brain Res. 2011 Mar 25;1382 :219-29 21276776
Département de Neurosciences, Aix-Marseille Université/CNRS, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Intégrative et Adaptative (UMR 6149), 3 place V. Hugo, 13331 Marseille, France.
Here we investigated how the tactile modality is used along with muscle proprioception in hand movement perception, whether these two sensory inputs are centrally integrated and whether they work complementarily or concurrently. The illusory right hand rotations induced in eleven volunteers by a textured disk scrolling under their hand in two directions at three velocities and/or by mechanical vibration applied to their wrist muscles at three frequencies were compared. The kinesthetic illusions were copied by the subjects on-line with their left hand. Results: 1) in all the subjects, tactile stimulation alone induced an illusory hand rotation in the opposite direction to that of the disk, and the velocity of the illusion increased non-linearly with the disk velocity: the highest gain (the illusion velocity to disk velocity ratio) occurred at the slowest disk rotation; 2) adding a consistent proprioceptive stimulus increased the perceptual effects, whereas adding a conflicting proprioceptive stimulus of increasing frequency gradually decreased the tactile illusions and reversed their initial direction; 3) under both consistent and conflicting conditions, only strong proprioceptive stimulation significantly affected the gain of the resulting illusions, whereas the largest gain always occurred at low tactile stimulation levels when the illusory movements were in the same direction as the tactile-induced illusion. Tactile information may equal or even override muscle proprioceptive information in the perception of relatively small, slow hand movements. These two somatosensory inputs may be integrated complementarily, depending on their respective relevance to the task of accurately perceiving one's own hand movements.
Perception. 2010 ;39 (6):839-50 20698478
Division of Psychology, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Zochonis Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Kirsten.McKenzie@manchester.ac.uk
Recent studies have reported that in normal healthy individuals, the perception of illusory sensations in one modality can be induced by the presentation of a stimulus in another modality. These illusory sensations may arise from the activation of a tactile representation in memory induced by the non-target stimulus, in a process mirroring that thought to be responsible for many forms of medically unexplained symptoms. The reliability of illusory-touch reports was investigated here in two experiments with a novel perceptual paradigm designed to simulate the occurrence of somatoform symptoms in the laboratory. A concurrent light significantly increased the number of tactile stimuli reported, and resulted in a higher number of illusory-touch reports, while the modality of the trial start cue did not affect subsequent responses. In addition, a strong relationship was found between the rates of illusory sensations that participants produced in successive sessions, indicating that the tendency to report illusory sensations is a robust phenomenon.
Brain Res. 2010 Oct 1;1354 :152-62 20659437
Department of Psychology and Key Laboratory of Machine Perception Ministry of Education, Peking University, PR China.
Previous studies of dynamic crossmodal integration have revealed that the direction of apparent motion in a target modality can be influenced by a spatially incongruent motion stream in another, distractor modality. Yet, it remains to be examined whether non-motion intra- and crossmodal perceptual grouping can affect apparent motion in a given target modality. To address this question, we employed Ternus apparent-motion displays, which consist of three horizontal aligned visual (or tactile) stimuli that can alternately be seen as either 'element motion' or 'group motion'. We manipulated intra- and crossmodal grouping by cueing the middle stimulus with different cue-target onset asynchronies (CTOAs). In unimodal conditions, we found Ternus apparent motion to be readily biased towards 'element motion' by precues with short or intermediate CTOAs in the visual modality and by precues with short CTOAs in the tactile modality. By contrast, crossmodal precues with short or intermediate CTOAs had no influence on Ternus apparent motion. However, crossmodal synchronous tactile cues led to dominant 'group motion' percepts. And for unimodal visual apparent motion, precues with long CTOAs shifted apparent motion towards 'group motion' in general. The results suggest that intra- and crossmodal interactions on visual and tactile apparent motion take place in different temporal ranges, but both are subject to attentional modulations at long CTOAs.
José M Reales Avilés, Francisco Muñoz Muñoz, Dieter Kleinböhl, Manuel Sebastián, Soledad Ballesteros Jiménez
Department of Methodology, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain. email@example.com
The study of touch has recently grown, due mainly to the extensive use of several types of actuators that stimulate several subsystems of touch. There is a widespread interest in applying these mechanisms to the study of the neurophysiological correlates of tactual perception. In this article, we present a new device (the tactile spinning wheel [TSW]) for delivering textured surfaces to the finger pad. The TSW allows one to control several parameters of the stimulation (angular speed, texture, etc.) and, connected to an EEG recording system, makes it possible to study neural electrophysiological events. The device consists of a rotating platform on which the tactile stimuli are fixed, a system that synchronizes stimuli onset with the EEG system, and an electronic interface that controls the platform. We present the technical details of the TSW, its calibration, and some experimental results we have obtained with this device.