Despite the wide use of visual and haptic texture in industrial design, architecture and art to convey information (e.g. about the atmosphere or safety of buildings, or the strength, quality, or intended users of objects), there is virtually no systematic research on the emotional qualities and expectations associated with specific textures. SYNTEX aims at providing methods and a theory to objectively measure, model and predict such psychological effects.
SYNTEX will have substantial impact on product design in its most general sense. Designers of buildings (architects), consumer products, interfaces of computer programs, internet pages, and games, will profit from the ability to use texture in a predictable way to communicate additional information and achieve intended psychological effects.
SYNTEX thus aims at the development of
- a new measurement method to 'calculate' the degree to which certain feelings or emotions are associated with a particular texture in an individual subject.
- a new investigative method for the modeling of human interpretation of visual and haptic textures.
- a method to synthesize artificial textures specified to evoke certain feelings and emotions.
The whole project is arranged around three cycles of psychological and neurophysiological experiments combined with a concurrent development of a computational model. The modeling will employ a new approach that is driven by mathematics; Starting from a model based on existing knowledge (on texture perception) we will identify the major mathematical gaps (rather than the gaps in psychological understanding) and design experiments to fill these gaps.
Fuzzy logic will be incorporated to account for the inherent fuzziness of emotions. The consortium consists of a well-balanced group with backgrounds in psychology, neurophysiology, mathematics, machine vision and product design, thus combining the interdisciplinary knowledge required to achieve the goals.
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