Perception and action in teleoperated needle insertion

Ilana Nisky, Assaf Pressman, Carla M. Pugh, Ferdinando A. Mussa-Ivaldi, Amir Karniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We studied the effect of delay on perception and action in contact with a force field that emulates elastic soft tissue with a rigid nonlinear boundary. Such a field is similar to forces exerted on a needle during teleoperated needle insertion. We found that delay causes motor underestimation of the stiffness of this nonlinear soft tissue, without perceptual change. These experimental results are supported by simulation of a simplified mechanical model of the arm and neural controller, and a model for perception of stiffness, which is based on regression in the force-position space. In addition, we show that changing the gain of the teleoperation channel cancels the motor effect of delay without adding perceptual distortion. We conclude that it is possible to achieve perceptual and motor transparency in virtual one-dimensional remote needle insertion task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5871613
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 19 Aug 2011


  • Medical simulation
  • perception and psychophysics
  • telemanipulation
  • transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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