Optimal Exploration Strategies in Haptic Search

  • Vonne van Polanen
  • Wouter M. Bergmann Tiest
  • Noortje Creemers
  • Merel J. Verbeek
  • Astrid M. L. KappersEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8618)


In this study, we have investigated which strategies were optimal in different haptic search tasks, where items were held in the hand. Blindfolded participants had to detect the presence of a target among distractors while using predetermined strategies. The optimal strategy was determined by considering reaction time and error data. In the search for salient targets, a rough sphere among smooth or a cube among spheres, parallel strategies were optimal. With non-salient targets, the results were different. In the search for a sphere among cubes, a parallel strategy was effective, but only if the fingers could be used. In the search for a smooth sphere among rough, only a serial strategy was successful. Thus, the optimal strategy depended on the required perceptual information.


Haptic search Exploratory movements Psychophysics 



This work was supported by the European Commission with the Collaborative Project no. 248587, “THE Hand Embodied”, within the FP7-ICT-2009-4-2-1 program “Cognitive Systems and Robotics”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vonne van Polanen
    • 1
  • Wouter M. Bergmann Tiest
    • 1
  • Noortje Creemers
    • 1
  • Merel J. Verbeek
    • 1
  • Astrid M. L. Kappers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.MOVE Research Institute, Faculty of Human Movement SciencesVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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