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Publication Detail
Anisotropies of tactile distance perception on the face
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Longo MR, Amoruso E, Calzolari E, Ben Yehuda M, Haggard P, Azañón E
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
© 2020, The Psychonomic Society, Inc. The distances between pairs of tactile stimuli oriented across the width of the hand dorsum are perceived as about 40% larger than equivalent distances oriented along the hand length. Clear anisotropies of varying magnitudes have been found on different sites on the limbs and less consistently on other parts of the body, with anisotropies on the center of the forehead, but not on the belly. Reported anisotropies on the center of the forehead, however, might reflect an artefact of categorical perception from the face midline, which might be comparable to the expansion of tactile distance perception observed for stimuli presented across joint boundaries. To test whether tactile anisotropy is indeed a general characteristic of the tactile representation of the face, we assessed the perceived distance between pairs of touches on the cheeks and three locations on the forehead: left, right, and center. Consistent with previous results, a clear anisotropy was apparent on the center of the forehead. Importantly, similar anisotropies were also evident on the left and right sides of the forehead and both cheeks. These results provide evidence that anisotropy of perceived tactile distance is not a specific feature of tactile organization at the limbs but it also exists for the face, and further suggest that the spatial distortions found for tactile distances that extend across multiple body parts are not present for stimuli that extend across the body midline.
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