The sense of touch considered as a multi-modal system

08. November 2012

During mechanical interaction with our environment, we have a perceptual experience that in many ways can be compare to audition or vision, yet, touch relies on physics that are completely different from that of optics or acoustics. New mechanical stimulation delivery equipment capable of fine segregation of distinct cues at different length scales and different time scales now allows us to study haptic perception almost as conveniently as vision or audition. From these studies, there is mounting evidence that many percepts, such as shape, texture or rigidity, can be elicited through multiple sensing modes that blur the boundaries traditionally erected between touch and kinesthesia.

Biographical note
Vincent Hayward is one of the unique researchers bringing together expertise from Engineering, Robotics and Human Perception and Cognition. He is probably the expert when it comes to the haptic sensory modality and he is able to give some of the most interesting and inspiring talks. Vincent Hayward (Dr.-Ing., 1981 Univ. de Paris XI) was Postoctoral Fellow then Visiting Assistant Professor (1982) at Purdue University, and joined CNRS, France, as Chargé de Recherches in 1983. In 1987, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University as assistant, associate and then full professor (2006). He was the Director of the McGill Center for Intelligent Machines from 2001 to 2004. Hayward is interested in haptic device design and perception. He is on editorial board of the ACM Transactions on Applied Perception and just completed a term as associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics, and is a Fellow of the IEEE. Hayward has published in Nature, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, Current Biology, as well as in numerous engineering journals.