Contribution of thermal cues to material discrimination and localization

Hsin Ni Ho, Lynette A. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of these two experiments was to determine the role of thermal cues in material discrimination and localization, using materials that spanned a range of thermal properties. In the first experiment, the subjects were required to select the cooler of two materials presented to the index fingers. In the second, the finger that was in contact with a material that was different from that presented to the other two fingers on the same hand had to be identified. The results indicated that the subjects were able to discriminate between materials, using thermal cues, when the differences in their thermal properties were large. The changes in skin temperature when the fingers were touching the materials were, however, smaller than those predicted by the theoretical model. The ability to localize the thermal changes when three fingers on the same hand were stimulated was poor and depended on both the thermal properties of the target and the distractor materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-128
Number of pages11
JournalPerception and Psychophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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