CITEC Congratulates Catharina Glowania on Successful Dissertation

Catharine Glowania successfully completed her dissertation.On 6 July 2018, Catharina Glowania successfully completed her dissertation. She was a member of “Cognitive Neuroscience,” a CITEC-affiliated research group in the Faculty of Biology. The title of Glowania’s dissertation was “Interaction between hand movements, posture and perception.” Dr. Norbert Böddeker (Cognitive Neuroscience, Bielefeld University) and Professor Dr. Thomas Schack (Neurocognition and Action – Biomechanics, Bielefeld University) served as evaluators of her dissertation. Catharina Glowania’s work investigated the interplay of hand movements, hand posture and haptic perception of objects.

One finding of Glowania’s research is that haptic adaption depends on the exploratory mode. “When we touch a slanted surface for a long time, we get used to it. This means that after a while, a slanted surface will begin to feel less slanted, or even straight.”
Glowania then looked at what happened when the study subjects moved their hands across the slanted surface after this experience. “When the exploratory mode changes from static to dynamic, as in this case, the surface feels slanted again,” says Catharina Glowania. “The nerves that deliver the information about the slope of the surfaces and adapt to them with long, static touch, are accordingly not the same as the nerves that provide us information when we dynamically swipe over the surfaces.”

Another finding of her doctoral work is that haptic adaptation stops happening as soon as there is enough visual information. As Catharina Glowania explains: “Our vision is a very dominant sense. If there is a conflict between haptic and visual input, the brain often puts more emphasis on the information from visual input for perception.”

In addition to this, the neuroscientist researched how strongly surface texture influences gripping behavior. Here it became clear that smooth and thus slippery objects are grasped more tightly than objects with a rough surface.

Catharina Glowania currently works as a business analyst at mgm technology partners gmbh, a company specializing in web-based applications.

Congratulations to Catharina Glowania for her successful dissertation at CITEC!