The role of spatially selective attention in the tactile perception of texture

K. Sathian, H. Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

During manual sensing of object attributes like surface texture, the tactile receptor sheet is conjointly activated at numerous loci. What is the role of spatially selective attention in perception under these conditions? We show that the requirement for spatial focus of attention is minimal in the detection of an abrupt change in texture. In contrast, spatial attention may help in a variety of other tasks of comparable difficulty. These include detecting the absence of a texture change at one of many loci, distinguishing its direction, and discriminating between different textures. Attentional demand appears to vary along a continuum in these tasks, rather than being all-or-none.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1991

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