Haptic perception of viscosity

Wouter M. Bergmann Tiest, Anne C L Vrijling, A.M. L. Kappers

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Viscosity is a liquid's resistance against flow. Using a discrimination experiment, the human ability to distinguish between different viscosities was measured over the range of 200-20,000 mPa.s. Eight blindfolded subjects stirred pairs of different silicone oils using a wooden spatula and had to indicate the "thicker" of the two. The viscosity of the liquids was measured seperately using a rheometer. Weber fractions for discrimination ranged from 0.3 at high viscosities to almost 1 at the lowest viscosity. For the higher viscosities, discrimination could be described as Weber-like, but for the low viscosities, there seemed to be a floor effect for the absolute threshold. The characterisation of the discrimination threshold as a function of viscosity is of fundamental interest in perception research, but also of practical value for designers of haptic devices capable of displaying viscosity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHaptics: Generating and Perceiving Tangible Sensations - International Conference, EuroHaptics 2010, Proceedings
Number of pages6
Volume6191 LNCS
EditionPART 1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Conference on Haptics: Generating and Perceiving Tangible Sensations, EuroHaptics 2010 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 8 Jul 201010 Jul 2010

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 1
Volume6191 LNCS
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Haptics: Generating and Perceiving Tangible Sensations, EuroHaptics 2010


  • Dynamic touch
  • Kinaesthesia
  • Liquid
  • Thresholds
  • Weber fraction


Dive into the research topics of 'Haptic perception of viscosity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this