Mahar D, Mackenzie B, McNicol D, 1994, "Modality-specific differences in the processing of spatially, temporally, and spatiotemporally distributed information" Perception 23(11) 1369 – 1386
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Modality-specific differences in the processing of spatially, temporally, and spatiotemporally distributed information
Doug Mahar, Brian Mackenzie, Don McNicol
Received 8 August 1994
Abstract. The extent to which auditory, tactile, and visual perceptual representations are similar, particularly when dealing with speech and speech-like stimuli, was investigated. It was found that comparisons between auditory and tactile patterns were easier to perform than were similar comparisons between auditory and visual stimuli. This was true across a variety of styles of tactile and visual display, and was not due to limitations in the discriminability of the visual displays. The findings suggest that auditory and tactile representations of stimuli are more alike than are auditory and visual ones. It was also found that touch and vision differ in terms of the style of information distribution which they process most efficiently. Touch dealt with patterns best when the pattern was characterised by changes across time, whereas vision did best when spatially or spatiotemporally distributed patterns were presented. As the sense of hearing also seems to specialise in the processing of temporally ordered patterns, these results suggest one way in which the senses of hearing and touch differ from vision.
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