Global surface features contribute to human haptic roughness estimations

Huazhi Li, Jiajia Yang, Yinghua Yu, Wu Wang, Yulong Liu, Mengni Zhou, Qingqing Li, Jingjing Yang, Shiping Shao, Satoshi Takahashi, Yoshimichi Ejima, Jinglong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have paid special attention to the relationship between local features (e.g., raised dots) and human roughness perception. However, the relationship between global features (e.g., curved surface) and haptic roughness perception is still unclear. In the present study, a series of roughness estimation experiments was performed to investigate how global features affect human roughness perception. In each experiment, participants were asked to estimate the roughness of a series of haptic stimuli that combined local features (raised dots) and global features (sinusoidal-like curves). Experiments were designed to reveal whether global features changed their haptic roughness estimation. Furthermore, the present study tested whether the exploration method (direct, indirect, and static) changed haptic roughness estimations and examined the contribution of global features to roughness estimations. The results showed that sinusoidal-like curved surfaces with small periods were perceived to be rougher than those with large periods, while the direction of finger movement and indirect exploration did not change this phenomenon. Furthermore, the influence of global features on roughness was modulated by local features, regardless of whether raised-dot surfaces or smooth surfaces were used. Taken together, these findings suggested that an object’s global features contribute to haptic roughness perceptions, while local features change the weight of the contribution that global features make to haptic roughness perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-789
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Global feature
  • Haptic roughness perception
  • Local feature
  • Raised-dot surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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