Tactile Displays for Cueing Self-Motion and Looming: What Would Gibson Think?

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Ben D. Lawson

Abstract: James J. Gibson pioneered an approach to perception that treats stimuli as rich in information and considers perception to be tightly coupled with action, based upon the possibilities for action encountered in the environment. The relation between whole-field optical flow and the visual control of self-motion towards or away from significant objects has been central to the development of ecological psychology. This paper considers recent developments in tactile research and conjectures what Gibson might have to say about employing tactile displays to convey self-motion and/or looming. The author considers the ecological functions of touch (versus vision and hearing), especially in regards to the perception of self-motion and looming. Self-motion and looming are then contrasted to develop general principles for specifying these two percepts via touch, partly using Gibson’s visual kinesthesis principles as a point of departure. A few initial studies (by the author and others) are highlighted which imply that appropriately-designed tactile displays may augment the perception of self-motion and looming. The most successful tactile display designs are likely to be analogous to the natural stimuli specifying self-motion or looming in the tactile, visual, and/or auditory domains.

Keywords: Self-motion, looming, collision, tactile display, ecological psychology, Gibson, flow

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe100209

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