Perception of electrical and mechanical stimulation of the skin: implications for electrotactile feedback.

Patrick L. Marcus, Andrew J Fuglevand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spinal cord injury is often accompanied by impaired tactile and proprioceptive sensations. Normally, somatosensensory information derived from such sensations is important in the formation of voluntary motor commands. Therefore, as a preliminary step toward the development of an electrotactile feedback system to restore somatosensation, psychophysical methods were used to characterize perceptual attributes associated with electrical stimulation of the skin on the back of the neck in human subjects. These data were compared to mechanical stimulation of the skin on the back of neck and on the distal pad of the index finger. Spatial acuity of the neck, evaluated using two-point thresholds, was not significantly different for electrical (37 +/- 14 mm) or mechanical stimulation (39 +/- 10 mm). The exponent (beta) of the best fitting power function relating perceived intensity to applied stimulus strength was used to characterize perceptual sensitivity to mechanical and electrical stimuli. For electrical stimuli, both current amplitude-modulated and frequency-modulated trains of pulses were tested. Perceptual sensitivity was significantly greater for current amplitude modulation (beta = 1.14 +/- 0.37) compared to frequency modulation (beta = 0.57 +/- 0.24) and mechanical stimulation (0.51 +/- 0.12). Finally, based on the data gathered here, we derive a transfer function that could be used in the future to convert mechanical stimuli detected with artificial sensors placed on the fingers into electrotactile signals that evoke perceptions similar to those arising from normal mechanical stimulation of the skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66008
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Fingerprint

Electric Stimulation
Skin
Neck
Feedback
Fingers
Amplitude modulation
Touch
Frequency modulation
Spinal Cord Injuries
Transfer functions
Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Perception of electrical and mechanical stimulation of the skin : implications for electrotactile feedback. / Marcus, Patrick L.; Fuglevand, Andrew J.

In: Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 6, 12.2009, p. 66008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{22ccb0ea0afd40ea9b76d647cfe14fed,
title = "Perception of electrical and mechanical stimulation of the skin: implications for electrotactile feedback.",
abstract = "Spinal cord injury is often accompanied by impaired tactile and proprioceptive sensations. Normally, somatosensensory information derived from such sensations is important in the formation of voluntary motor commands. Therefore, as a preliminary step toward the development of an electrotactile feedback system to restore somatosensation, psychophysical methods were used to characterize perceptual attributes associated with electrical stimulation of the skin on the back of the neck in human subjects. These data were compared to mechanical stimulation of the skin on the back of neck and on the distal pad of the index finger. Spatial acuity of the neck, evaluated using two-point thresholds, was not significantly different for electrical (37 +/- 14 mm) or mechanical stimulation (39 +/- 10 mm). The exponent (beta) of the best fitting power function relating perceived intensity to applied stimulus strength was used to characterize perceptual sensitivity to mechanical and electrical stimuli. For electrical stimuli, both current amplitude-modulated and frequency-modulated trains of pulses were tested. Perceptual sensitivity was significantly greater for current amplitude modulation (beta = 1.14 +/- 0.37) compared to frequency modulation (beta = 0.57 +/- 0.24) and mechanical stimulation (0.51 +/- 0.12). Finally, based on the data gathered here, we derive a transfer function that could be used in the future to convert mechanical stimuli detected with artificial sensors placed on the fingers into electrotactile signals that evoke perceptions similar to those arising from normal mechanical stimulation of the skin.",
author = "Marcus, {Patrick L.} and Fuglevand, {Andrew J}",
year = "2009",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1088/1741-2560/6/6/066008",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
pages = "66008",
journal = "Journal of Neural Engineering",
issn = "1741-2560",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Perception of electrical and mechanical stimulation of the skin

T2 - implications for electrotactile feedback.

AU - Marcus, Patrick L.

AU - Fuglevand, Andrew J

PY - 2009/12

Y1 - 2009/12

N2 - Spinal cord injury is often accompanied by impaired tactile and proprioceptive sensations. Normally, somatosensensory information derived from such sensations is important in the formation of voluntary motor commands. Therefore, as a preliminary step toward the development of an electrotactile feedback system to restore somatosensation, psychophysical methods were used to characterize perceptual attributes associated with electrical stimulation of the skin on the back of the neck in human subjects. These data were compared to mechanical stimulation of the skin on the back of neck and on the distal pad of the index finger. Spatial acuity of the neck, evaluated using two-point thresholds, was not significantly different for electrical (37 +/- 14 mm) or mechanical stimulation (39 +/- 10 mm). The exponent (beta) of the best fitting power function relating perceived intensity to applied stimulus strength was used to characterize perceptual sensitivity to mechanical and electrical stimuli. For electrical stimuli, both current amplitude-modulated and frequency-modulated trains of pulses were tested. Perceptual sensitivity was significantly greater for current amplitude modulation (beta = 1.14 +/- 0.37) compared to frequency modulation (beta = 0.57 +/- 0.24) and mechanical stimulation (0.51 +/- 0.12). Finally, based on the data gathered here, we derive a transfer function that could be used in the future to convert mechanical stimuli detected with artificial sensors placed on the fingers into electrotactile signals that evoke perceptions similar to those arising from normal mechanical stimulation of the skin.

AB - Spinal cord injury is often accompanied by impaired tactile and proprioceptive sensations. Normally, somatosensensory information derived from such sensations is important in the formation of voluntary motor commands. Therefore, as a preliminary step toward the development of an electrotactile feedback system to restore somatosensation, psychophysical methods were used to characterize perceptual attributes associated with electrical stimulation of the skin on the back of the neck in human subjects. These data were compared to mechanical stimulation of the skin on the back of neck and on the distal pad of the index finger. Spatial acuity of the neck, evaluated using two-point thresholds, was not significantly different for electrical (37 +/- 14 mm) or mechanical stimulation (39 +/- 10 mm). The exponent (beta) of the best fitting power function relating perceived intensity to applied stimulus strength was used to characterize perceptual sensitivity to mechanical and electrical stimuli. For electrical stimuli, both current amplitude-modulated and frequency-modulated trains of pulses were tested. Perceptual sensitivity was significantly greater for current amplitude modulation (beta = 1.14 +/- 0.37) compared to frequency modulation (beta = 0.57 +/- 0.24) and mechanical stimulation (0.51 +/- 0.12). Finally, based on the data gathered here, we derive a transfer function that could be used in the future to convert mechanical stimuli detected with artificial sensors placed on the fingers into electrotactile signals that evoke perceptions similar to those arising from normal mechanical stimulation of the skin.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=75549089971&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=75549089971&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1088/1741-2560/6/6/066008

DO - 10.1088/1741-2560/6/6/066008

M3 - Article

C2 - 19918109

AN - SCOPUS:75549089971

VL - 6

SP - 66008

JO - Journal of Neural Engineering

JF - Journal of Neural Engineering

SN - 1741-2560

IS - 6

ER -