Investigation into the origin of the haptic aftereffect of curved surfaces

Ingrid M.L.C. Vogels (Corresponding author), Astrid M.L. Kappers, Jan J. Koenderink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In haptics, the perceived (phenomenal) flatness of a surface is strongly influenced by a previous surface which has been statically touched. The mechanisms underlying this haptic aftereffect of curved surfaces are investigated. It is shown that the representation of curvature abstracted from the sense of touch, ie a high-level representation, is not affected during the aftereffect. This is concluded because: (1) the aftereffect does not exhibit intermanual transfer; (2) the way in which two successive surfaces are touched can influence the magnitude of the aftereffect; and (3) it is not necessary to touch a surface - active muscular contraction can also result in a shift of the phenomenal flatness. Furthermore, it is suggested that the physiological process involved in the aftereffect is a central process, ie it is located in the brain but it is distinct for each hemisphere. This is supported by the findings that: (1) the decay rate of the aftereffect is not influenced by the degree of peripheral stimulation during the decay; and (2) the aftereffect does not transfer from the adapted hand to the unadapted hand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-117
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


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