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Haptic localizations for onset and offset of vibro-tactile stimuli are dissociated

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When humans explore the external world, hand and arm movements play important roles. Spatio-temporal arrangements of the environment are perceptually generated mainly by means of the sensory–motor integration of the internal model of these movements with the information obtained during the movements. In order to investigate the mechanisms of this integration process, localization tasks have been studied, and previous studies have suggested that the integration process does not work properly around the time of a hand movement. In particular, when a transient vibro-tactile stimulation is presented before, during, or after a hand movement, the stimulus is systematically mislocalized. However, it is debatable whether the tendency to mislocalize a transient stimulus indicates a general failure of the sensory-motor integration process. Here we investigated the generality of the tendency towards mislocalization by observing haptic localizations to different target types, the onset and offset of continuous vibro-tactile stimuli. We found similar types of mislocalizations in responses to the transient vibration and the onset of a continuous vibration, and a clear difference in the types of mislocalizations in responses to the onset and offset of continuous vibrations.

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Correspondence to Junji Watanabe.

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Watanabe, J., Nakatani, M., Ando, H. et al. Haptic localizations for onset and offset of vibro-tactile stimuli are dissociated. Exp Brain Res 193, 483–489 (2009).

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