Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 161, Issue 2, pp 233–242 | Cite as

Visual, haptic and crossmodal recognition of scenes

  • Fiona N. Newell
  • Andrew T. Woods
  • Marion Mernagh
  • Heinrich H. Bülthoff
Research Article

Abstract

Real-world scene perception can often involve more than one sensory modality. Here we investigated the visual, haptic and crossmodal recognition of scenes of familiar objects. In three experiments participants first learned a scene of objects arranged in random positions on a platform. After learning, the experimenter swapped the position of two objects in the scene and the task for the participant was to identify the two swapped objects. In experiment 1, we found a cost in scene recognition performance when there was a change in sensory modality and scene orientation between learning and test. The cost in crossmodal performance was not due to the participants verbally encoding the objects (experiment 2) or by differences between serial and parallel encoding of the objects during haptic and visual learning, respectively (experiment 3). Instead, our findings suggest that differences between visual and haptic representations of space may affect the recognition of scenes of objects across these modalities.

Keywords

Scene perception Crossmodal recognition Vision Haptics Orientation dependency 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by a European Union IST programme grant (IST-2001-34712) awarded to the first author and by the Max-Planck Society, Germany. We thank Karl-Heinz Hofmann and Christina Baum of the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics for building our experimental apparatus.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona N. Newell
    • 1
  • Andrew T. Woods
    • 1
  • Marion Mernagh
    • 1
  • Heinrich H. Bülthoff
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Max-Planck Institute for Biological CyberneticsTübingenGermany

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