The existence of a common mechanism for visual and haptic representations has been reported in object perception. In contrast, representations of movements might be more specific to modalities. Referring to the vertical axis is natural for visual representations whereas a fixed reference axis might be inappropriate for haptic movements and thus also inappropriate for its representations in the brain. The present study found that visual and haptic movement representations are processed independently. A psychophysical experiment examining mental rotation revealed the well-known effect of rotation angle for visual representations whereas no such effect was found for haptic representations. We also found no interference between processes for visual and haptic movements in an experiment where different stimuli were presented simultaneously through visual and haptic modalities. These results strongly suggest that (1) there are separate representations of visual and haptic movements, and (2) the haptic process has a rotation-independent representation.
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