Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 273–283 | Cite as

Information available In brief tactile presentations

  • James C. Bliss
  • Hewitt D. Crane
  • Phyllis K. Mansfield
  • James T. Townsend


Two experiments investigated characteristics of Immediate recall for brief tactile stimuli applied to the 24 interjoint regions of the fingers of both hands (thumbs excluded) The obtained Immediate-memory span varied from 35 to 7,5 stimulus positions correct after correction for guessing, similar to the results In analogous visual studies, Properties of any hypothetical tactile short-term memory were studied by requiring subjects to report only a specified portion of the stimuli presented, and by varying the time of occurrence of the marker specifying which portion of the stimuli to report, In this partial-report condition, subjects had more stimulus information available at the time of reporting than their immediate memory spans indicated, provided that the stimulus marker occurred within 0.8 sec after stimulus termination, The data suggest that at least for the amount of training employed here, any tactile short-term memory has much less capacity than an analogous visual short-term memory.


Stimulus Position Partial Report Sighted Subject Marker Delay Stimulus Point 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Averbach, E., &Coriell, A. S. Short-term In Vision.Bell Sys. tech. J., 1961, 40, 307–328.Google Scholar
  2. Bliss, J. C., & Crane, H. D. A computer’ aided Instrumentatton system for studies In tactual perception.Prot. of 16th annual NAECON conf., Dayton, Ohio, 1964, 375–384.Google Scholar
  3. Bliss. J. C., Crane, H. D., & Link, S. W. Tactual perception: ex, periments and models, SRI interim reports 1 and 2, June and Sept. 1965, prepared for NASA under contract NAS 2-2752 and ASD under contract AF 33(615)-1099.Google Scholar
  4. Bliss, J. C., Crane, H. D..Link, S. W., &Townsend, J. T. Tactile perception of sequentially presented spatial patterns.Percept: & Psychophys., 1966a, 1, 125–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bliss, J. C., Crane, H. D., &Link, S. W. Effect of display movement on tactile pattern perception.Percept. & Psychophlys., 1966b, 1, 195–202.Google Scholar
  6. Estes, W. K., &Taylor, H. A. A detection method and probabilistic models for assessing inCormatlon processing from brief visual displays.Proc.Nat Acad. SCI., 1964, 52, 446–454.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Geldard, F. Pattern perception by the skin. Presented at Int.Symp. on skin senses. Florida State University, Tallahasee, Fla., 1966. Proceedings to be published by C. C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill.Google Scholar
  8. Linvill, J. G., &Bliss, J. C. A direct translation reading aid for the blind.Proc. of IEEE, 1966, 54, 40–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Massa, R. J. The role of short-term visual memory in visual Information processing. Presented at symp.on models for perception of speech and visual form, Boston, Mass. 1964.Google Scholar
  10. Miller, G. A. The magic number seven, plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing Information.Psychol. Rev., 1956, 63, 81–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Sperling, G. The information available in brieC visual presentations.Psychol. Monogr., general and applied, 1960, 74, 1–29.Google Scholar
  12. Sperling. G. A model for visual memory tasks.Hum. Factors. 1963, 19–31.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Bliss
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hewitt D. Crane
    • 1
  • Phyllis K. Mansfield
    • 1
  • James T. Townsend
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford Research InstituteStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations