Are visual texture-selective areas recruited during haptic texture discrimination? Academic Article uri icon


  • Shape and texture provide cues to object identity, both when objects are explored using vision and via touch (haptics). Visual shape information is processed within the lateral occipital complex (LOC), while texture is processed in medial regions of the collateral sulcus (CoS). Evidence indicates that the LOC is recruited during both visual and haptic shape processing. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine whether 'visual' texture-selective areas are similarly recruited when observers discriminate texture via touch. We used a blocked design in which participants discriminated either the texture or shape of unfamiliar 3-dimensional (3D) objects, via vision or touch. We observed significant haptic texture-selective fMRI responses in medial occipitotemporal cortex within areas adjacent to, but not overlapping, those recruited during visual texture discrimination. Although areas of ventromedial temporal cortex are recruited during visual and haptic texture perception, these areas appear to be spatially distinct and modality-specific.

publication date

  • 2014