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A.M.L. Kappers et al. (Eds.): EuroHaptics 2010, Part I, LNCS 6191, pp. 298305, 2010. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010
 

Summary: A.M.L. Kappers et al. (Eds.): EuroHaptics 2010, Part I, LNCS 6191, pp. 298305, 2010.
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010
What Is It Like to Be a Rat? Sensory Augmentation
Study
Avraham Saig, Amos Arieli, and Ehud Ahissar
Neurobiology Department, Weizmann Institute of Science,
Rehovot 76100, Israel
{avraham.saig,amos.arieli,ehud.ahissar}@weizmann.ac.il
Abstract. The present study examined the human ability to learn a new sensory
modality, specifically "whisking". An experimental apparatus containing artifi-
cial whiskers, force sensors, position sensors and computer interface was devel-
oped. Twelve participants took part in an experiment containing three tasks:
pole localization in the radial dimension, roughness estimation, and object rec-
ognition. All tasks were performed only through use of the artificial whiskers
which were attached to participants' fingers. With little or no practice humans
were able to localize objects, recognize shapes and assess roughness with accu-
racy equal to or greater than that of rats in equivalent tasks, though with longer
times. While the number of available whiskers significantly affected shape rec-
ognition, it did not affect radial localization accuracy. Introspection by partici-
pants revealed a wide range of motor-sensory strategies developed in order to

  

Source: Ahissar, Ehud - Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine