Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 198, Issue 2–3, pp 329–337 | Cite as

Perceptual learning of view-independence in visuo-haptic object representations

  • Simon Lacey
  • Marisa Pappas
  • Alexandra Kreps
  • Kevin Lee
  • K. SathianEmail author
Research article


We previously showed that cross-modal recognition of unfamiliar objects is view-independent, in contrast to view-dependence within-modally, in both vision and haptics. Does the view-independent, bisensory representation underlying cross-modal recognition arise from integration of unisensory, view-dependent representations or intermediate, unisensory but view-independent representations? Two psychophysical experiments sought to distinguish between these alternative models. In both experiments, participants began from baseline, within-modal, view-dependence for object recognition in both vision and haptics. The first experiment induced within-modal view-independence by perceptual learning, which was completely and symmetrically transferred cross-modally: visual view-independence acquired through visual learning also resulted in haptic view-independence and vice versa. In the second experiment, both visual and haptic view-dependence were transformed to view-independence by either haptic-visual or visual-haptic cross-modal learning. We conclude that cross-modal view-independence fits with a model in which unisensory view-dependent representations are directly integrated into a bisensory, view-independent representation, rather than via intermediate, unisensory, view-independent representations.


Multisensory Bisensory Object recognition Cross-modal Vision Touch 



Support to KS from the National Eye Institute, National Science Foundation and the Veterans Administration is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Amedi A, Malach R, Hendler T, Peled S, Zohary E (2001) Visuo-haptic object-related activation in the ventral pathway. Nat Neurosci 4:324–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biederman I (1987) Recognition by components: A theory of human image understanding. Psychol Rev 94:115–147PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Booth MCA, Rolls ET (1998) View-invariant representations of familiar objects by neurons in the inferior temporal visual cortex. Cereb Cortex 8:510–523PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bülthoff HH, Edelman S (1992) Psychophysical support for a two-dimensional view interpolation theory of object recognition. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89:60–64PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chellew G, Persinger MA (1994) Women but not men exhibit a positive correlation between complex partial epileptic-like signs and tactile-visual cross-modal matching: Implications for hemispheric intercalation. Percept Mot Skills 78:1312–1314PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Edelman S, Bülthoff HH (1992) Orientation dependence in the recognition of familiar and novel views of three-dimensional objects. Vis Res 32:2385–2400PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Freides D (1974) Human information processing and sensory modality: Cross-modal functions, information complexity, memory, and deficit. Psychol Bull 8:284–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gauthier I, Hayward WG, Tarr MJ, Anderson AW, Skudlarski P et al (2002) BOLD activity during mental rotation and view-dependent object recognition. Neuron 34:161–171PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Grill-Spector K, Kushnir T, Edelman S, Avidan G, Itzchak Y, Malach R (1999) Differential processing of objects under various viewing conditions in the human lateral occipital complex. Neuron 24:187–203PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gupta U, Gupta BS (1997) Sex differences in haptic perceptual judgment. Psychol Stud 42:72–74Google Scholar
  11. Heller MA, Calcaterra JA, Green SL, Barnette SL (1999) Perception of the horizontal and vertical in tangible displays. Perception 28:387–394PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Heller MA, Brackett DD, Scroggs E, Steffen H, Heatherly K, Salik S (2002) Tangible pictures: viewpoint effects and linear perspective in visually impaired people. Perception 31:747–769PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heller MA, Kennedy JM, Clark A, McCarthy M, Borgert A, Wemple L, Fulkerson E, Kaffel N, Duncan A, Riddle T (2006) Viewpoint and orientation influence picture recognition in the blind. Perception 35:1397–1420PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. James TW, Humphrey GK, Gati JS, Menon RS, Goodale MA (2002) Differential effects of view on object-driven activation in dorsal and ventral streams. Neuron 35:793–801PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jolicoeur P (1985) The time to name disoriented natural objects. Mem Cognit 13:289–303PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kaas AL, van Mier HI (2006) Haptic spatial matching in near peripersonal space. Exp Brain Res 170:403–413PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kraebel KS, Gerhardstein PC (2006) Three-month-old infants’ object recognition across changes in viewpoint using an operant learning procedure. Infant Behav Dev 29:11–23PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lacey S, Campbell C (2006) Mental representation in visual/haptic crossmodal memory: Evidence from interference effects. Q J Exp Psychol 59:361–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lacey S, Peters A, Sathian K (2007) Cross-modal object recognition is view-independent. PLoS ONE 2(9):e890. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000890 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lawson R (2009) A comparison of the effects of depth rotation on visual and haptic 3D object recognition. J Exp Psychol Human (in press)Google Scholar
  21. Lederman SJ, Klatzky RL (1987) Hand movements: a window into haptic object recognition. Cogn Psychol 19:342–368PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu T (2007) Learning sequence of views of three-dimensional objects: the effect of temporal coherence on object memory. Perception 36:1320–1333PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Newell FN, Ernst MO, Tjan BS, Bülthoff HH (2001) View dependence in visual and haptic object recognition. Psychol Sci 12:37–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Newell FN, Woods AT, Mernagh M, Bülthoff HH (2005) Visual, haptic and crossmodal recognition of scenes. Exp Brain Res 161:233–242PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Norman JF, Clayton AM, Norman HF, Crabtree CE (2008) Learning to perceive differences in solid shape through vision and touch. Perception 37:185–196PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Peissig JJ, Tarr MJ (2007) Visual object recognition: do we know more now than we did 20 years ago? Annu Rev Psychol 58:75–96PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Perry G, Rolls ET, Stringer SM (2006) Spatial vs temporal continuity in view invariant visual object recognition learning. Vis Res 46:3994–4006PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Riesenhuber M, Poggio T (1999) Hierarchical models of object recognition in cortex. Nat Neurosci 2:1019–1025PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Robert M, Pelletier J, St-Onge R, Berthiaume F (1994) Women’s deficiency in water-level representation: present in visual conditions yet absent in haptic contexts. Acta Psychol 87:19–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sathian K (2005) Visual cortical activity during tactile perception in the sighted and the visually deprived. Dev Psychobiol 46:279–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stilla R, Sathian K (2008) Selective visuo-haptic processing of shape and texture. Hum Brain Mapp 29:1123–1138PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tarr MJ, Bülthoff HH (1995) Is human object recognition better described by geon structural descriptions or by multiple views: comment on Biederman and Gerhardstein (1993). J Exp Psychol Human 21:1494–1505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ueda Y, Saiki J (2007) View independence in visual and haptic object recognition. Jpn J Psychon Sci 26:11–19Google Scholar
  34. Wallis G, Bülthoff HH (1999) Learning to recognize objects. Trends Cogn Sci 3:22–31PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Woods AT, Moore A, Newell FN (2008) Canonical views in haptic object representation. Perception 37:1867–1878PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhang M, Weisser VD, Stilla R, Prather SC, Sathian K (2004) Multisensory cortical processing of shape and its relation to mental imagery. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 4:251–259PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zuidhoek S, Kappers AML, Postma A (2007) Haptic orientation perception: Sex differences and lateralization of functions. Neuropsychologia 45:332–341PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Lacey
    • 1
  • Marisa Pappas
    • 1
  • Alexandra Kreps
    • 1
  • Kevin Lee
    • 1
  • K. Sathian
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologySchool of Medicine, Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Rehabilitation R&D Center of ExcellenceDecaturUSA

Personalised recommendations