Force feedback delay affects perception of stiffness but not action, and the effect depends on the hand used but not on the handedness. Academic Article uri icon


  • Interaction with an object often requires the estimation of its mechanical properties. We examined whether the hand that is used to interact with the object and their handedness affected people's estimation of these properties using stiffness estimation as a test case. We recorded participants' responses on a stiffness discrimination of a virtual elastic force field and the grip force applied on the robotic device during the interaction. In half of the trials, the robotic device delayed the participants' force feedback. Consistent with previous studies, delayed force feedback biased the perceived stiffness of the force field. Interestingly, in both left-handed and right-handed participants, for the delayed force field, there was even less perceived stiffness when participants used their left hand than their right hand. This result supports the idea that haptic processing is affected by laterality in the brain, not by handedness. Consistent with previous studies, participants adjusted their applied grip force according to the correct size and timing of the load force regardless of the hand that was used, the handedness, or the delay. This suggests that in all these conditions, participants were able to form an accurate internal representation of the anticipated trajectory of the load force (size and timing) and that this representation was used for accurate control of grip force independently of the perceptual bias. Thus, these results provide additional evidence for the dissociation between action and perception in the processing of delayed information.

publication date

  • August 1, 2018