Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Biology

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Chemistry

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of 44 young adults (mean age = 21.7 years) to compare natural and artificial three-dimensional (3-D) objects using their senses of vision and touch. Previous research has indicated that the information content provided by a stimulus set can have a significant effect on a participant’s ability to perform cross-modal object recognition tasks. A primary goal of the present study was to understand what shape features are transferable between visual and haptic modalities. Participants haptically manipulated objects from one of two stimulus sets: bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) and sinusoidally-modulated spheres (SIMS). Then they indicated which of the 12 simultaneously visible objects possessed the same shape. It was found that the participants’ shape-matching performance was significantly higher for the bell pepper condition compared to the SIMS (t(42) = 11.8, p < 0.000001). These results demonstrate that while young adults can reliably match the solid shape of objects across the sensory modalities of vision and touch, the obtained performance depends critically upon the mathematical characteristics of the solid shapes that are utilized.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Farley Norman, Andrew Mienaltowski, Siera Bramschreiber

Disciplines

Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry and Psychology

Available for download on Sunday, December 12, 2021

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