Giudice, N. A., Klatzky, R. L., & Loomis, J. M. (in press). Evidence for amodal representations after bimodal learning: Integration of haptic-visual layouts into a common spatial image. Spatial Cognition & Computation.
Participants learned circular layouts of 6 objects presented haptically or visually, then indicated the direction from a start target to an end target of the same or different modality (intra-modal versus inter-modal). When objects from the two modalities were learned separately, superior performance for intra-modal trials indicated a cost of switching between modalities. When a bimodal layout intermixing modalities was learned, intra- and inter-modal trials did not differ reliably. These findings indicate that a spatial image, independent of input modality, can be formed when inputs are spatially and temporally congruent, but not when modalities are temporally segregated in learning.