Haptic perception

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

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    Fueled by novel applications, interest in haptic perception is growing. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art of a number of important aspects of haptic perception. By means of touch we can not only perceive quite different material properties, such as roughness, compliance, friction, coldness and slipperiness, but we can also perceive spatial properties, such as shape, curvature, size and orientation. Moreover, the number of objects we have in our hand can be determined, either by counting or subitizing. All these aspects will be presented and discussed in this paper. Although our intuition tells us that touch provides us with veridical information about our environment, the existence of prominent haptic illusions will show otherwise. Knowledge about haptic perception is interesting from a fundamental viewpoint, but it also is of eminent importance in the technological development of haptic devices. At the end of this paper, a few recent applications will be presented. WIREs Cogn Sci 2013, 4:357-374. DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1238 Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)357-374
    JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Cognitive Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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