Multidimensional scaling analysis of haptic exploratory procedures

Theresa Cooke, Christian Wallraven, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Previous work in real and virtual settings has shown that the way in which we interact with objects plays a fundamental role in the way we perceive them. This article uses multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis to further characterize and quantify the effects of using different haptic exploratory procedures (EPs) on perceptual similarity spaces. In Experiment 1, 20 participants rated similarity on a set of nine novel, 3D objects varying in shape and texture after either following their contours, laterally rubbing their centers, gripping them, or sequentially touching their tips.MDSanalysiswas used to recover perceptual maps of the objects and relative weights of perceptual dimensions from similarity data. Both the maps and relative weights of shape/texture properties were found to vary as a function of the EP used. In addition, large individual differences in the relative weight of shape/texture were observed. In Experiment 2, 17 of the previous participants repeated Experiment 1 after an average of 105 days. The same patterns of raw similarity ratings, perceptual maps, dimension weights, and individual differences were observed, indicating that perceptual similarities remained stable over time. The findings underscore the role of hand movements and individual biases in shaping haptic perceptual similarity. A framework for validating multimodal virtual displays based on the approach used in the study is also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalACM Transactions on Applied Perception
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan


  • Exploratory procedure
  • Haptic
  • Multidimensional scaling
  • Shape
  • Similarity
  • Texture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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