The Haptic Analog of the Visual Aubert-Fleischl Phenomenon

  • Alessando MoscatelliEmail author
  • Meike Scheller
  • Gabriele Joanna Kowalski
  • Marc Ernst
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8619)


In vision, the perceived velocity of a moving stimulus is different depending on whether the image moves across the retina with the eyes immobile or whether the observer pursues the stimulus such that the stimulus is stationary on the moving retina. The effect is known as the Aubert-Fleischl phenomenon. Here, we reproduced the analog of this visual illusion in haptics. For this purpose, we asked our participants to estimate the speed of a moving belt either from tactile cues, by keeping the hand world stationary, or from proprioceptive cues by tracking the belt with a guided upper-limb movement. The participants overestimated the speed of the moving stimulus determined from tactile cues compared with proprioceptive cues, in analogy with the Aubert-Fleischl phenomenon. Reproducing the illusion in the haptic modality may help evaluating some of the general mechanisms of spatial constancy in perceptual systems.


Velocity discrimination Touch Proprioception 



This work is supported from the EU FP7/2007–2013 project no. 601165 WEARHAP (WEARable HAPtics for Humans and Robots) and project no. 248587 THE (The Hand Embodied).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessando Moscatelli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Meike Scheller
    • 1
  • Gabriele Joanna Kowalski
    • 1
  • Marc Ernst
    • 1
  1. 1.Cognitive Neuroscience and CITECUniversität BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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