Sensory and emotional perception of wooden surfaces through fingertip touch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Helsinki


Previous studies on tactile experiences have investigated a wide range of material surfaces across various skin sites of the human body in self-touch or other touch modes. Here, we investigate whether the sensory and emotional aspects of touch are related when evaluating wooden surfaces using fingertips in the absence of other sensory modalities. Twenty participants evaluated eight different pine and oak wood surfaces, using sensory and emotional touch descriptors, through the lateral motion of active fingertip exploration. The data showed that natural and smooth wood surfaces were perceived more positively in emotional touch than coated surfaces. We highlight the importance of preserving the naturalness of the surface texture in the process of wood-surface treatment so as to improve positive touch experiences, as well as avoid negative ones. We argue that the results may offer possibilities in the design of wood-based interior products with a view to improving consumer touch experiences.


Original languageEnglish
Article number367
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberMarch
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Emotional touch, Fingertip touch, Surface treatments, Tactile perception, Texture perception, Wood

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