Thermal-tactile integration in object temperature perception

Ho, Hsin-Ni, Chow, Hiu Mei, Tsunokake, Sayaka and Roseboom, Warrick (2019) Thermal-tactile integration in object temperature perception. IEEE Transactions on Haptics. ISSN 1939-1412 (Accepted)

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The brain consistently faces a challenge of whether and how to combine the available information sources to estimate the properties of an object explored by hand. While object perception is an inference process involving multisensory inputs, thermal referral (TR) is an illusion demonstrating how interaction between thermal and tactile systems can lead to deviations from physical reality – When observers touch three stimulators simultaneously with the middle three fingers of one hand but only the outer two stimulators are heated (or cooled), thermal uniformity is perceived across three fingers. Here we used TR of warmth to examine the thermal-tactile interaction in object temperature perception. We show that TR is consistent with precision-weighted averaging of thermal sensation across tactile locations. Further, we show that prolonged contact with TR stimulation results in adaptation to the local variations of veridical temperatures instead of the thermal uniformity perceived across three fingers. Our results illuminate the flexibility of processing that underlies thermal-tactile interactions and serve as a basis for thermal display design.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
Depositing User: Marianne Cole
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 15:10
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2019 15:10

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