ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 1804-1817.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01804

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Cognitive mechanisms of 2D-to-3D spatial information transformation in haptic recognition of 2D images

QIN Yinghui1,2, YU Wenyuan1,2,3, FU Xiaolan1,2, LIU Ye1,2()   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 1000049, China
    3Research Institute of Basic Theories, Zhejiang Lab, Hangzhou 311121, China
  • Received:2021-10-26 Online:2022-08-15 Published:2022-06-23
  • Contact: LIU Ye


Two-dimensional (2D) tangible image is an important alternative way for visually impaired people to obtain image information. Most existing tactile 2D images are tangible line drawings directly transformed from visual 2D images. The expression of spatial information in the visual 2D images usually follows principles of perspective and viewpoint transforming three-dimensional (3D) space into 2D planar. The mapping from 2D image to 3D space in visual system is learned through long-time perceptual learning. However, it still needs further exploration about cognitive mechanisms of 2D-to-3D spatial information transformation established by haptic system in haptic recognition of 2D images. The visual features of 2D images, including perspective, viewpoint, occlusion, texture gradient and hollow-out, affect the 2D-to-3D spatial information transformation in haptic recognition of 2D images mainly. These visual factors usually interfere with the recognition of 2D tactile images which are directly transformed from 2D visual images. Therefore, visual factors, such as perspective and viewpoint, cannot be directly transferred to tactile 2D images. Based on the findings of existing researches, a dual-imagery processing model is proposed to explain the mechanisms of 2D-to-3D spatial information transformation when touching 2D tangible images, and the cognitive mechanism concerning about how visual factors modulate the 2D-to-3D spatial information transformation. The following are key points of this model:

Firstly, the cognitive process of haptic recognition of 2D images consists of three modules: haptic perception, working memory and long-term memory. (1) The "haptic perception" module receives tactile and proprioceptive information, obtains the texture, shape and size information of the object, then forms the spatial relationship information of each part of the object, including perspective and viewpoint, by further sensory integration; (2) The "working memory" contains two sub-modules: Object-imagery-based sub-module forms the object imagery of the 2D images using the object information (texture, shape and size) offered by the "haptic perception", In contrast, spatial-imagery-based sub-module forms the spatial imagery of 2D images using the space information (spatial relationship, perspective, and viewpoint) offered by the "haptic perception" module; (3) The "long-term memory" module stores the individual's prior knowledge, experience, and representation of the objects and interacts with other two modules

Secondly, haptic recognition of 2D images depends on the coordination of object imagery and spatial imagery. Successful haptic recognition of 2D images requires the effective integration of object imagery and spatial imagery. Otherwise, the 2D images cannot be recognized by touching. The dual-imagery processing model could contribute to the further exploration of haptic recognition and its cognitive mechanism, and provide theoretical guidance for the design of 2D tangible images.

Key words: haptics, two-dimensional image, haptic recognition, perspective, viewpoint

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