Adaptation aftereffects reveal that tactile distance is a basic somatosensory feature

Elena Calzolari, Elena Azañón, Matthew Danvers, Giuseppe Vallar, Matthew R. Longo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The stage at which processing of tactile distance occurs is still debated. We addressed this issue by implementing an adaptationaftereffect paradigm with passive touch. We demonstrated the presence of a strong aftereffect, induced by the simultaneous presentation of pairs of tactile stimuli. After adaptation to two different distances, one on each hand, participants systematically perceived a subsequent stimulus delivered to the hand adapted to the smaller distance as being larger. We further investigated the nature of the aftereffects, demonstrating that they are orientation- and skin-region-specific, occur even when just one hand is adapted, do not transfer either contralaterally or across the palm and dorsum, and are defined in a skin-centered, rather than an external, reference frame. These characteristics of tactile distance aftereffects are similar to those of low-level visual aftereffects, supporting the idea that distance perception arises at early stages of tactile processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4555-4560
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume114
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2017

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Aftereffects
  • Somatosensory processing
  • Tactile distance
  • Touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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