Roughness perception in haptic virtual reality for sighted and blind people
Psychophysical functions for perceived roughness, relating ln (magnitude estimate of roughness) to ln (groove width), were obtained for blind and sighted participants in virtual reality using the PHANToM force feedback device. The stimuli were sinusoidal surfaces with groove widths between 0.675 mm and 20.700 mm. Group functions showed a similar nonlinearity to those obtained in physical reality using rigid probes (Klatzky, Lederman, Hamilton, Grindley, & Swendsen, 2003; Lederman, Klatzky, Hamilton, & Ramsay, 1999). Individual functions gave a different picture. Of 23 total participants, there were 13 with wholly descending linear psychometric functions, 7 with quadratic functions similar to the group function, and 3 with anomalous functions. Individual power law exponents showed no significant effects of visual status. All analyses gave a power law exponent close to 20.80. The implications for theories of roughness, methodologies of data analysis, and the design of haptic virtual reality interfaces are considered.