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Asymmetric Oscillation Distorts the Perceived Heaviness of Handheld Objects
January-June 2008 (vol. 1 no. 1)
pp. 9-18
Tomohiro Amemiya, NTT, Kanagawa
Taro Maeda, Osaka University, Osaka
Weight perception has been of great interest for over three centuries. Most research has been concerned with the weight of static objects, and some illusions have been discovered. Here, we show a new illusion related to the perception of the heaviness of oscillating objects. We performed experiments that involved comparing the weight of two objects of identical physical appearance but with different gross weights and oscillation patterns (vibrating vertically at frequencies of 5 or 9 cycles per second with symmetric and asymmetric acceleration patterns). The results show that the perceived weight of an object vibrating with asymmetric acceleration increases compared to that with symmetric acceleration when the acceleration peaks in the gravity direction. In contrast, almost no heaviness perception change was observed in the anti-gravity direction. We speculate that the reason for the divergence between these results is caused by the differential impact of these two hypothesized perceptual mechanisms as follows: the salience of pulse stimuli appears to have a strong influence in the gravity direction, whereas filling-in could explain our observations in the anti-gravity direction. The study of this haptic illusion can provide valuable insights into not only human perceptual mechanisms but into the design of ungrounded haptic interfaces.

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Index Terms:
User interfaces, Human information processing, Haptic I/O
Tomohiro Amemiya, Taro Maeda, "Asymmetric Oscillation Distorts the Perceived Heaviness of Handheld Objects," IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 9-18, Jan.-June 2008, doi:10.1109/TOH.2008.5
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