When a grasped object is larger or smaller than expected, haptic feedback automatically recalibrates motor planning. Intriguingly, haptic feedback can also affect 3D shape perception through a process called depth cue reweighting. Although signatures of cue reweighting also appear in motor behavior, it is unclear whether this motor reweighting is the result of upstream perceptual reweighting, or a separate process. We propose that perceptual reweighting is directly related to motor control; in particular, that it is caused by persistent, systematic movement errors that cannot be resolved by motor recalibration alone. In Experiment 1, we inversely varied texture and stereo cues to create a set of depth-metamer objects: when texture specified a deep object, stereo specified a shallow object, and vice versa, such that all objects appeared equally deep. The stereo-texture pairings that produced this perceptual metamerism were determined for each participant in a matching task (Pre-test). Next, participants repeatedly grasped these depth metamers, receiving haptic feedback that was positively correlated with one cue and negatively correlated with the other, resulting in persistent movement errors. Finally, participants repeated the perceptual matching task (Post-test). In the condition where haptic feedback reinforced the texture cue, perceptual changes were correlated with changes in grasping performance across individuals, demonstrating a link between perceptual reweighting and improved motor control. Experiment 2 showed that cue reweighting does not occur when movement errors are rapidly corrected by standard motor adaptation. These findings suggest a mutual dependency between perception and action, with perception directly guiding action, and actions producing error signals that drive motor and perceptual learning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- 3D shape perception
- Cue combination
- Sensorimotor adaptation