Participants sat at a desk, and a visual barrier was placed in front of the slabs. In each trial, a pair of slabs was presented to the subject. Participants were instructed to freely explore the surfaces of the slabs for as long as they wished and then indicate which slab they perceived as softer. Each of the 36 possible pairs of the nine stimuli was presented three times in randomized order (i.e., 108 trials total), and the initial location of each slab (left versus right) was randomized. This test enabled slab-by-slab comparisons and was designed to measure the effect of coupling between indentation depth and contact area on the perception of softness.

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