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Haptic perception in interaction with other senses

MPS-Authors
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Helbig,  HB
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Ernst,  MO
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Helbig, H., & Ernst, M. (2008). Haptic perception in interaction with other senses. In M. Grunwald (Ed.), Human Haptic Perception: Basics and Applications (pp. 235-249). Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-C63F-B
Abstract
Human perception is inherently multisensory: we perceive the world simultaneously with multiple senses. While strolling the farmers market, for example, we might become aware of the presence of a delicious fruit by its characteristic smell. We might use our senses of vision and touch to identify the fruit by its typical size and shape and touch it to select only that one with the distinctive soft texture that signals ‘ripe’. When we take a bite of the fruit, we taste its characteristic flavour and hear a slight smacking sound which confirms that the fruit we perceive with our senses of vision, touch, audition, smell and taste is a ripe, delicious peach. That is, in the natural environment the information delivered by our sense of touch is combined with information gathered by each of the other senses to create a robust percept. Combining information from multiple systems is essential because no information-processing system, neither technical nor biological, is powerful enough to provide a precise and accurate sensory estimate under all conditions.