August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
Shape Influences Perceived Ease of Grasping
Author Affiliations
  • McKenzie Gunter
    University of Southern Mississippi
  • Tyler Overstreet
    University of Southern Mississippi
  • Catherine Dowell
    University of Southern Mississippi
  • Alen Hajnal
    University of Southern Mississippi
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5472. doi:
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      McKenzie Gunter, Tyler Overstreet, Catherine Dowell, Alen Hajnal; Shape Influences Perceived Ease of Grasping. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5472.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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How does shape (whether an object is sphere-like or cube-like) influence the perception of grasp-ability? In an online study (Experiment 1) participants rated the ease with which sphere-like and cube-like objects were graspable. Experiment 2 was an in-person laboratory study that followed the same procedure using 3D printed replicas of the objects. Ten objects served as visual stimuli ranging from a perfect sphere to a perfect cube with each object’s shape incrementally resembling one or the other ideal shape. The objects were generated using the Catmull-Clark and Shrinkwrap algorithm. Participants looked at the object located on a table and rated their ability to grasp and pick up the object with one hand. The ratings were measured by a slider on a computer screen, with the left end labeled ‘easy to grasp’ and the right end labeled ‘hard to grasp’. Participants were not allowed to pick up the objects, so no haptic feedback was provided. Sphere-like objects were rated easier to grasp than the cube-like ones, similar to the online experiment. In the lab study information about depth and size was readily available. The difference in perceived ease of grasping was more pronounced in the online study in which the stimuli were 2D pictures, without direct access to information about size (even though a keychain presented next to each object served as reference for size). Rich information (depth and size) resulted in more realistic perception in the lab study: the shape mattered less than in the online experiment. Future studies will incorporate a haptic condition and objects of different sizes to test whether perceived grasp-ability differs as a function of object shape.


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