Neurobiology: Feeling bumps and holes

  title={Neurobiology: Feeling bumps and holes},
  author={J Randall Flanagan and Susan J. Lederman},
We use our hands as well as our eyes to perceive physical objects. New insight into how our hands feel a surface may have implications for developing virtual-reality tools such as training devices for surgeons. 

Tactile and Haptic Illusions

This paper surveys the research literature on robust tactile and haptic illusions by briefly considering a number of important general themes that have emerged in the materials surveyed.

Clothes-in-Process: Touch, Texture, Time

Abstract Contemporary research on fashion consumption has largely focused on the surface qualities of dress, comprising questions of esthetics, expression, and identity. Rather than thinking about

Haptic interfaces and devices

A description of the components and the modus operandi of haptic interfaces are described, followed by a list of current and prospective applications and a discussion of a cross‐section of current device designs.

Perception of simulated local shapes using active and passive touch.

The results with the lateral force fields showed that with passive touch, subjects recognized that a stimulus was present but were unable to correctly categorize its shape as convex or concave, suggesting that feedback from the motor command can play an important role in processing sensory inputs during tactile exploration.

Haptic-GeoZui3D: Exploring the Use of Haptics in AUV Path Planning

This paper describes a desktop virtual reality system that brings together 3D user interaction and visualization to provide a compelling environment for AUV path planning, and describes how haptics are used to significantly augment the ability to lay out a vehicle path.

Perception of mechanically and optically simulated bumps and holes

The perception of optically simulated haptic feedback is investigated and it is concluded that active cursor displacements can be used to simulate the operation of mechanical force feedback devices.

Perception, recording and reproduction of physical invariants during bare fingertip exploration of tactile textures. (Perception, enregistrement et reproduction d'invariants physiques lors de l'exploration de textures tactiles par un doigt humain)

It was demonstrated that tactile wavelets with different combinations of amplitude and duration could be felt perceptually equal in intensity and suggested that there are common physical quantities – invariants – for these signals that the brain is sensitive to, which could relate to a perceptual constancy in asperity exploration.

Integration of force and position cues for shape perception through active touch

Predicting human touch sensitivity to single atom substitutions in surface monolayers for molecular control in tactile interfaces.

It is predicted, and demonstrated, that humans can distinguish between two isosteric silanes which differ only by a single nitrogen-for-carbon substitution, and the mechanism of tactile contrast originates from a difference in monolayer ordering, as quantified by the Hurst exponent.

Tutorial Haptic interfaces and devices

A description of the components and the modus operandi of haptic interfaces are described, followed by a list of current and prospective applications and a discussion of a cross-section of current device designs.



The visual brain in action

This chapter discusses vision from a biological point of view, attention, consciousness, and the coordination of behaviour in primate visual cortex, and discusses dissociations between perception and action in normal subjects.

Independence of perceptual and sensorimotor predictions in the size–weight illusion

It is shown that when subjects repeatedly lifted equally heavy large and small objects in alternation, they learned to scale their fingertip forces precisely for the true object weights and thus exhibited accurate sensorimotor prediction.

A neurological dissociation between perceiving objects and grasping them

The quantitative analyses demonstrate strikingly accurate guidance of hand and finger movements directed at the very objects whose qualities she fails to perceive and suggest that the neural substrates for the visual perception of object qualities such as shape, orientation and size are distinct from those underlying the use of those qualities in the control of manual skills.

Softness discrimination with a tool.

  • R. LaMotte
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of neurophysiology
  • 2000
It is concluded that during active movements, kinesthetic information and knowledge of central efferent commands provide useful cues that are not present during passive touch that allow the observer to discriminate differences in object compliance not confounded by differences in applied velocity.

Visual and Somatosensory Information about Object Shape Control Manipulative Fingertip Forces

It is concluded that both visual and somatosensory inputs can be used in conjunction with sensorimotor memories to adapt the force output to object shape automatically for grasp stability.

Detection of vibration transmitted through an object grasped in the hand.

Data from both the psychophysical and the neurophysiological studies suggest that detection performance at frequencies >20 Hz was based on activity in Pacinian afferents, and the extreme sensitivity compared with previous reports may have resulted from differences in contact area, direction of vibration, contact force, andThe shape of the stimulus probe.

Force can overcome object geometry in the perception of shape through active touch

It is shown that regardless of surface geometry, subjects identified and located shape features on the basis of force cues or their correlates, and it is found that subjects perceived a bump.

Haptic detection thresholds of Gaussian profiles over the whole range of spatial scales

The discrimination threshold between a flat surface and a Gaussian surface was investigated in a series of two alternative forced choice experiments on human subjects and the dependence of the detection threshold on the spatial width of the Gaussian profile was found to be a power function with an exponent of about 1.3.