Manual exploration and the perception of slipperiness
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In this article, we report on two experiments that examined the haptic perception of slipperiness. The first experiment aimed to determine whether the type of finger motion across a surface influenced the ability to accurately judge the frictional coefficient (or slipperiness) of that surface. Results showed that when using static contact, participants were not as good at distinguishing between various surfaces, compared with when their finger moved across the surface. This raises the issue of how humans are able to generate the appropriate forces in response to friction during grasping (which involves static finger contact). In a second study, participants lifted objects with surfaces of varying coefficients of friction. The participants were able to accurately perceive the slipperiness of the surfaces that were lifted; however, the grasping forces were not scaled appropriately for the friction. That is, there was a dissociation between haptic perception and motor output.
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