The Natural Truth: The Contribution of Vision and Touch in the Categorisation of “Naturalness”
Being able to readily discriminate between natural things and synthetic mimics in our environment is an important ability for many species. Making these judgements relies on the acuity of our different senses. Here, we investigated the relative contribution of visual and tactile cues, alone or in combination, to the categorisation of wood and fabric stimuli as natural or unnatural. For both wood and fabric stimuli we found that natural and unnatural stimuli could be discriminated, although performance varied as a function of modality. Specifically, for the wood stimuli, performance was better when vision and touch were combined, whereas for the fabric stimuli, performance was least accurate when using touch alone, compared to the visual or bimodal conditions, which were quantitatively similar. We concluded that both vision and touch contribute, albeit in qualitatively different ways, to the perception of “naturalness”, and that a combination of these modalities facilitates this perception.
KeywordsNaturalness Vision Touch Visuotactile Bimodal Texture Wood Fabric
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Adelson, E.H.: On seeing stuff: the perception of materials by humans and machines. In: Rogowitz, B.E., Pappas, T.N. (eds.) Proc. of the SPIE, 2001. Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VI, vol. 4299, pp. 1–12, International Society for Optical Engineering, Bellingham, WA (2001)Google Scholar
- 2.Ballesteros, S., Reales, J.M., Pónce de Leon, L., García, B.: The Perception of ecological textures by touch: Does the perceptual space change under bimodal visual and haptic exploration? In: Proc. of the First Joint Eurohaptics Conference and Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems (World Haptics), World Haptics (2005)Google Scholar
- 7.Hollins, M., Bensmaïa, S.J., Karlof, K., Young, F.: Individual differences in perceptual space for tactile textures: Evidence from multidimensional scaling. Percept. Psychophys. 62, 1534–1544 (2000)Google Scholar
- 8.Hollins, M., Faldowski, R., Rao, S., Young, F.: Perceptual dimensions of tactile surface texture: A multidimensional scaling analysis. Percept. Psychophys. 54, 697–705 (1993)Google Scholar
- 13.Rozin, P., Fischler, C., Shields, C.: Conceptions of “natural” in the domain of foods in France, Germany, Italy, U.K. and the USA. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (unpublished manuscript, 2005)Google Scholar