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04-09-2017 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2019

Psychological Research 5/2019

Weber’s law in 2D and 3D grasping

Psychological Research > Uitgave 5/2019
Aviad Ozana, Tzvi Ganel


Visually guided grasping movements directed to real, 3D objects are characterized by a distinguishable trajectory pattern that evades the influence of Weber’s law, a basic principle of perception. Conversely, grasping trajectories directed to 2D line drawings of objects adhere to Weber’s law. It can be argued, therefore, that during 2D grasping, the visuomotor system fails at operating in analytic mode and is intruded by irrelevant perceptual information. Here, we explored the visual and tactile cues that enable such analytic processing during grasping. In Experiment 1, we compared grasping directed to 3D objects with grasping directed to 2D object photos. Grasping directed to photos adhered to Weber’s law, suggesting that richness in visual detail does not contribute to analytic processing. In Experiment 2, we tested whether the visual presentation of 3D objects could support analytic processing even when only partial object-specific tactile information is provided. Surprisingly, grasping could be performed in an analytic fashion, violating Weber’s law. In Experiment 3, participants were denied of any haptic feedback at the end of the movement and grasping trajectories again showed adherence to Weber’s law. Taken together, the findings suggest that the presentation of real objects combined with indirect haptic information at the end of the movement is sufficient to allow analytic processing during grasp.

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