, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 299-302

Identifying objects by touch: An “expert system”


How good are we at recognizing objects by touch? Intuition may suggest that the haptic system is a poor recognition device, and previous research with nonsense shapes and tangible-graphics displays supports this opinion. We argue that the recognition capabilities of touch are best assessed with three-dimensional, familiar objects. The present study provides a baseline measure of recognition under those circumstances, and it indicates that haptic object recognition can be both rapid and accurate.

This work was based on an honor psychology thesis conducted by the third author under the supervision of the second author at Queen’s University, 1982. It was supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Grant A9854 to the second author.