The task of probing a medium for an inclusion is cast as a signal detection problem. A sufficient statistic is developed for determining the existence and location of an inclusion. The analysis shows the human limitations of palpation when using a probe and the limitations imposed by a haptic display either when emulating such an environment or when relaying related information in a teleoperated system. Force calculations using FEM models were compared to data measured from constructed gels. Psychophysics experiments demonstrated promising results for the playback of the FEM data.