Discrimination threshold for haptic volume perception of fingers and phalanges

Zhilin Zhang, Chunlin Li, Jian Zhang, Qiang Huang, Ritsu Go, Tianyi Yan, Jinglong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Humans exhibit a remarkable ability to discriminate variations in object volume based on natural haptic perception. The discrimination thresholds for the haptic volume perception of the whole hand are well known, but the discrimination thresholds for haptic volume perception of fingers and phalanges are still unknown. In the present study, two psychophysical experiments were performed to investigate haptic volume perception in various fingers and phalanges. The configurations of both experiments were completely dependent on haptic volume perception from the fingers and phalanges. The participants were asked to blindly discriminate the volume variation of regular solid objects in a random order by using the distal phalanx, medial phalanx, and proximal phalanx of their index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger. The discrimination threshold of haptic volume perception gradually decreases from the little finger to the index finger as well as from the proximal phalanx to the distal phalanx. Overall, both the shape of the target and the part of the finger in contact with the target significantly influence the precision of haptic perception of volume. This substantial data set provides detailed and compelling perspectives on the haptic system, including for discrimination of the spatial size of objects and for performing more general perceptual processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-585
Number of pages10
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Discrimination threshold
  • Finger
  • Haptic volume perception
  • Phalanx
  • Shape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language


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