Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Touching Curvature and Feeling Size: a Contrast Illusion

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Multisensory Research
For more content, see Seeing and Perceiving and Spatial Vision.

We know that our eyes can be deceiving. Here we demonstrate that we should not always trust our sense of touch either. Previous studies have shown that when pinching an object between thumb and index finger, we can under many circumstances accurately perceive its size. In contrast, the current results show that the local curvature at the areas of contact between the object and the fingers causes systematic under- or overestimation of the object’s size. This is rather surprising given that local curvature is not directly related to the object’s size. We suggest an explanation in terms of a contrast between the finger separation and an inferred relationship between local curvature and size. This study provides the first demonstration of an illusory haptic size percept caused by local curvature in a pinch grip.

Affiliations: 1: 2Cognitive Neurosciences Department, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adams W. , Graf E. , Ernst M. ( 2004). "Experience can change the ‘light-from-above’ prior", Nat. Neurosci. Vol 7, 10571058.
2. Berryman L. , Yau J. , Hsiao S. ( 2006). "Representation of object size in the somatosensory system", J. Neurophysiol. Vol 96, 2739.
3. Brayanov J. B. , Smith M. A. ( 2010). "Bayesian and “Anti-Bayesian” biases in sensory integration for action and perception in the size–weight illusion", J. Neurophysiol. Vol 103, 15181531.
4. Ernst M. O. ( 2007). "Learning to integrate arbitrary signals from vision and touch", J. Vis. Vol 7( 5), 7.
5. Ernst M. O. ( 2009). "Perceptual learning: Inverting the size–weight illusion", Curr. Biol. Vol 19, R23R25.
6. Flanagan J. R. , Bittner J. P. , Johansson R. S. ( 2008). "Experience can change distinct size–weight priors engaged in lifting objects and judging their weights", Curr. Biol. Vol 8, 17421747.
7. Gepshtein S. , Banks M. ( 2003). "Viewing geometry determines how vision and haptics combine in size perception", Curr. Biol. Vol 13, 483488.
8. Girshick A. R. , Landy M. S. , Simoncelli E. P. ( 2011). "Cardinal rules: Visual orientation perception reflects knowledge of environmental statistics", Nat. Neurosci. Vol 14, 926932.
9. Heller M. A. , McCarthy M. , Schultz J. , Greene J. , Shanley M. , Clark A. , Skoczylas S. , Prociuk J. ( 2005). "The influence of exploration mode, orientation and configuration on the haptic Muller–Lyer illusion", Perception Vol 34, 14751500.
10. Heller M. A. , Walk A. D. M. , Schnarr R. , Kibble S. , Litwiller B. , Ambuehl C. ( 2010). "Attenuating the haptic horizontal–vertical curvature illusion", Atten. Percept. Psychophys. Vol 72, 16261641.
11. Jenmalm P. , Birznieks I. , Goodwin A. W. , Johansson R. S. ( 2003). "Influence of object shape on responses of human tactile afferents under conditions characteristic of manipulation", Eur. J. Neurosci. Vol 18, 164176.
12. Jenmalm P. , Johansson R. ( 1997). "Visual and somatosensory information about object shape control manipulative fingertip forces", J. Neurosci. Vol 17, 44864499.
13. Johansson R. , Westling G. ( 1984). "Roles of glabrous skin receptors and sensorimotor memory in automatic control of precision grip when lifting rougher or more slippery objects", Exp. Brain Res. Vol 56, 550564.
14. Knill D. C. ( 2007). "Learning Bayesian priors for depth perception", J. Vis. Vol 7( 8), 13.
15. Muller C. M. P. , Brenner E. , Smeets J. B. J. ( 2009). "Maybe they are all circles: Clues and cues", J. Vis. Vol 9( 9), 10.
16. Panday V. , Tiest W. M. B. , Kappers A. M. L. ( 2012). "Influence of local properties on the perception of global object orientation", IEEE Trans. Haptics Vol 5, 5865.
17. Plaisier M. A. , Ernst M. O. ( 2013). Introducing the shape–length illusion, in: World Haptics Conference (WHC), 2013, Daejeon, Korea, pp. 583–586, IEEE.
18. Teghtsoonian M. , Teghtsoonian R. ( 1965). "Seen and felt length", Psychon. Sci. Vol 3, 465466.
19. Teghtsoonian R. , Teghtsoonian M. ( 1970). "Two varieties of perceived length", Percept. Psychophys. Vol 8, 389392.
20. van der Horst B. J. , Kappers A. M. L. ( 2008). "Using curvature information in haptic shape perception of 3D objects", Exp. Brain Res. Vol 190, 361367.
21. Weiss Y. , Simoncelli E. , Adelson E. ( 2002). "Motion illusions as optimal percepts", Nat. Neurosci. Vol 5, 598604.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Multisensory Research — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation