Heath B, Ettlinger G, Brown J V, 1988, "Tactile recognition of mirror images by children: intermanual transfer and rotation of the palm" Perception 17(4) 535 – 547
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Tactile recognition of mirror images by children: intermanual transfer and rotation of the palm
Barbara Heath, George Ettlinger, Josephine V Brown
Received 25 January 1988, in revised form 26 September 1988
Abstract. In order to evaluate the importance of the axis of stimulus presentation, inter- and intramanual recognition of mirror pairs was studied with the stimulus materials aligned along the front/back axis (whereas in previous work the mirror pairs were aligned along the left/right axis). Children were allowed to feel shapes with the whole hand, with only four fingers (excluding the thumb), or with only the index finger. After learning with one hand, recognition was tested in experiment 1 with the other hand; after learning with one orientation of the hand (palm down or up), recognition was tested in experiment 2 with the other orientation (palm up or down) of the same hand; after learning with one coronal alignment of the hand (to the left or right), recognition was tested in experiment 3 with the other alignment (to the right or left), but without rotation, of the same hand. Significantly fewer intermanual recognition errors were made on mirror pairs with the materials oriented along the front/back axis than in previous work when oriented along the left/right axis. This supports the suggestion that such errors arise when the stimuli are oriented along the left/right axis during formation of the memory trace. The same trend was unexpectedly obtained for intramanual recognition errors (after rotation of the hand). These errors (after hand rotation) are largely due to coding with respect to the hand; they are reduced when the hand is not aligned with the body axis, since then coding can also occur in relation to the environment.
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