Abstract Three experiments investigated 4.5-month-old infants' perception of the unity and boundaries of haptically presented objects. When infants actively explored the two handles of an unseen object assembly, perception of the unity of the assembly depended on the handles' motion. Infants perceived a single, connected object if the handles moved rigidly together, and they perceived two distinct objects if the handles underwent relative vertical or horizontal motion. When infants passively explored the same object assembly undergoing the same motions, object perception appeared to be indeterminate. The findings of the active motion experiments accord with the findings of studies of visual object perception and suggest that object perception depends on amodal processes, operating on representations of either seen or felt surface motions. The findings of the passive motion experiments nevertheless suggest a difference between visual and haptic perception: for infants as for adults, haptic perception is enhanced by the active production of surface motion.