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Title: Investigation of finger-reading effect and tactile relief recognition
Author: Hsia, Yun-Chung
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis considers the claim that people with appropriate training can discriminate between different printed materials even when they do not look at them, by using their finger-tips instead of their eyes to perceive what is on the paper. This is known as ‘finger-reading ability’. Four stages were proposed to develop a well controlled paradigm of finger-reading training using stringent controls. The first experiment conducted was designed to determine the limits of tactile relief recognition. It is about to what extent are people able to recognise printed characters through the medium of touch. The study, in particular, examined the extent to which characters on a sheet of paper must be elevated above the plane of the paper in order for them to be recognisable by touch. Six elevations (0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm) of eight digits recognition tasks were presented to 24 children and 24 adults. The performance of recognising eight digits with all six elevations was significantly lower in the child group compared to the adult group. Poorer tactile relief acuity in children may represent an immature tactile mechanism. In the second experiment, eighteen children aged 7 to 12 were tested individually and asked to determine the identity of a target by means of directly touching a flat two-digit number varying between four different colours on paper, using a newly developed finger-reading training paradigm. Questionnaires measured participants’ mental imagery, paranormal beliefs and tactual experience. It was predicted that a quarter of the child participants, after finger-reading for eight hours, would demonstrate finger-reading ability. Overall, no significant results were found. The third experiment included three phases, a selection study, a confirmation study and a training study, in the hope to select possibly talented participants; 1,771 participants aged from six to thirteen joined in this experiment which failed in its objective of selecting potential children to acquire finger-reading ability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available