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Perceiving extents of rods by wielding: haptic diagonalization and decomposition of the inertia tensor.

Authors
  • Solomon, H Y
  • Turvey, M T
  • Burton, G
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1989
Volume
15
Issue
1
Pages
58–68
Identifiers
PMID: 2522533
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We report two experiments on the length-perception capabilities of the hand-related haptic subsystem. On each trial, a visually occluded rod was wielded by the subject at a position intermediate between its two ends. The position was either 1/2 or 3/4 of the rod's length. On two-thirds of the trials, a weight was attached to the rod at a point either above or below its center of gravity and not coincident with the hand's position. In Experiment 1, the subject's task was to perceive the distance reachable with the portion of the rod extending beyond the position of the grasp. In the second experiment, the subject's task was to perceive the distance reachable with the entire rod if it were held at its proximal end. In Experiment 1, perceived reaching distance was a function of the moment of inertia of the amount of rod forward of the grasp about an axis through the proximal end of the rod segment. In Experiment 2, perceived reaching distance was a function of the moment of inertia of the entire rod about the given axis of rotation intermediate between the rod's ends. The results are discussed in terms of (a) the notion of smart perceptual instruments capitalizing on invariant properties of the inertia tensor and (b) how the haptic decomposition of moments of inertia follows the principle of equivalence of forces.

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