Salient material properties and haptic volume perception : the influences of surface texture, thermal conductivity, and compliance

W.M. Bergmann Tiest, M. Kahrimanovic, I. Niemantsverdriet, K. Bogale, A.M.L. Kappers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the influences of surface texture, thermal conductivity, and compliance on the haptic perception of the volume of small cubes. It was hypothesized that an object containing highly salient material properties would be perceived as larger in volume than the same object without these properties. Blindfolded subjects were asked to explore pairs of cubes differing in their material properties and to select the one with the larger volume. The results showed that, counterintuitively, a smooth cube was perceived as being significantly larger than a rough cube of the same physical volume, with average biases of about 19 %. Furthermore, cubes with a higher thermal conductivity were perceived as significantly larger than cubes with a lower thermal conductivity (average bias of about 7 %). In addition, the magnitude of the bias in this condition was not changed by increasing or decreasing the temperature of the test objects, suggesting that the effect of thermal conductivity could not be attributed directly to the heat flow. Finally, a hard cube was perceived as significantly larger than a soft cube of equal physical volume, with an average bias of about 25 %. These results reveal that the studied material properties have significant and consistent influences on the haptic perception of volume. The observed biases provide an indication of the levels at which the processing of haptic information on volume and material properties occurs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1810-1818
Number of pages9
JournalAttention, Perception, & Psychophysics
Volume74
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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