Haptic discrimination and matching of viscosity

W.M. Bergmann Tiest, A.C.L. Vrijling, A.M.L. Kappers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In three experiments, viscosity perception of liquids using the sense of touch was studied. The first two were discrimination experiments in which Weber fractions were determined for a number of viscosities spanning the range of what is encountered in daily life, and for two ways of perceiving viscosity (stirring with a spatula or with the index finger). For high viscosities, Weber fractions were around 0.3, whereas they increased for lower viscosities. For low viscosities, discrimination performance was much worse with the finger than with the spatula. In the third experiment, subjects matched liquids perceived with these two methods, which resulted in biases of around 80. Control experiments and force measurements were performed to find an explanation for these results. It was concluded that the relationship between perceived and physical viscosity is steeper for stirring liquids with a spatula than stirring with the finger.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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