Tactile dots and bars serve as tactile landmarks so that people with visual impairment can use same consumer products as those used by sighted people. However, reliable age-related data on the appropriate sizes and the shapes was not necessarily available. The purpose of this study is to evaluate influences of edge radius of curvature of tactile dots and bars on their discriminability in younger and older people to determine the appropriate size of tactile bars (as distinguished from tactile dots). Sighted younger and older participants tactually discriminated the tactile dots and bars presented individually, in random order, by a two-alternative forced-choice task. The results showed that both participants discriminated tactile bars from tactile dots faster and more accurately as the dimensional difference between bar length and width increased, regardless of conditions of edge radius of curvature. Therefore, longer dimensional difference between width and length of tactile bars is an important factor to discriminate tactile bars correctly. On the other hand, tactile dots with a larger edge radius of curvature have higher discriminability than tactile dots with a smaller edge radius of curvature in the case of dots of identical height.
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