Influence of shape on the haptic size aftereffect

A.M.L. Kappers, W.M. Bergmann Tiest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Recently, we showed a strong haptic size aftereffect by means of a size bisection task: after adaptation to a large sphere, subsequently grasped smaller test spheres felt even smaller, and vice versa. In the current study, we questioned whether the strength of this aftereffect depends on shape. In four experimental conditions, we determined the aftereffect after adaptation to spheres and tetrahedra and subsequent testing also with spheres and tetrahedra. The results showed a clear influence of shape: the haptic aftereffect was much stronger if adaptation and test stimuli were identical in shape than if their shapes were different. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to term such aftereffects haptic shape-size aftereffects, as size alone could not be the determining factor. This influence of shape suggests that higher cortical areas are involved in this aftereffect and that it cannot be due to adaptation of peripheral receptors. An additional finding is that the geometric property or combination of properties participants use in the haptic size bisection task varies widely over participants, although participants themselves are quite consistent.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere88729
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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