Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Roberta L. Klatzky & Susan J. Lederman
The word haptic refers to the wealth of perceptual experience obtained from skin, muscles, tendons, and joints, especially through manual exploration. Haptic perception encompasses multiple distinct input sensations, resulting from different types of neural structures that receive stimulation from the world and convey it to the brain. Inputs from sensors within the skin are called cutaneous , or sometimes tactile , whereas those from sensors in muscles, tendons, and joints are called kinesthetic . This entry discusses several aspects of haptic perception. The foundation of haptic perception lies in sensory receptors, populations of neurons that convert events impinging on the body to electrical signals sent to the brain. A receptor consists of the axon of a nerve fiber, which in some cases originates in a specialized ending. Each type of haptic receptor (or sensor) responds to a particular kind of information and, hence, conveys a particular kind of interaction with ...