Supramodality Effects in Visual and Haptic Spatial Processes

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In this article, the authors investigated unimodal and cross-modal processes in spatial working memory. A number of locations had to be memorized within visual or haptic matrices according to different experimental conditions known to be critical in accounting for the effects of perception on imagery. Results reveal that some characteristics of the generated mental image remained strictly inherent to the modality in which information was acquired; in general, accuracy was higher when configurations were visually rather than haptically explored (Experiments 1 and 3). Interestingly, the same pattern emerged when the effects of simultaneous versus sequential processing of the stimuli inherent to vision and haptics were isolated from perceptual modality (Experiment 2). Supramodal elements were also identified (Experiment 3) that were specifically associated to the nature of the cognitive processes, regardless of the original characteristics of the sensory information. These data indicate that both unimodal modality-specific and higher order supramodal mechanisms are simultaneously used in spatial processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-642
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • haptic processes
  • spatial processes
  • supramodality
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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