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Sample records for tactile sensory diagnostic

  1. Tactile and non-tactile sensory paradigms for fMRI and neurophysiologic studies in rodents.

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    Sanganahalli, Basavaraju G; Bailey, Christopher J; Herman, Peter; Hyder, Fahmeed

    2009-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become a popular functional imaging tool for human studies. Future diagnostic use of fMRI depends, however, on a suitable neurophysiologic interpretation of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal change. This particular goal is best achieved in animal models primarily due to the invasive nature of other methods used and/or pharmacological agents applied to probe different nuances of neuronal (and glial) activity coupled to the BOLD signal change. In the last decade, we have directed our efforts towards the development of stimulation protocols for a variety of modalities in rodents with fMRI. Cortical perception of the natural world relies on the formation of multi-dimensional representation of stimuli impinging on the different sensory systems, leading to the hypothesis that a sensory stimulus may have very different neurophysiologic outcome(s) when paired with a near simultaneous event in another modality. Before approaching this level of complexity, reliable measures must be obtained of the relatively small changes in the BOLD signal and other neurophysiologic markers (electrical activity, blood flow) induced by different peripheral stimuli. Here we describe different tactile (i.e., forepaw, whisker) and non-tactile (i.e., olfactory, visual) sensory paradigms applied to the anesthetized rat. The main focus is on development and validation of methods for reproducible stimulation of each sensory modality applied independently or in conjunction with one another, both inside and outside the magnet. We discuss similarities and/or differences across the sensory systems as well as advantages they may have for studying essential neuroscientific questions. We envisage that the different sensory paradigms described here may be applied directly to studies of multi-sensory interactions in anesthetized rats, en route to a rudimentary understanding of the awake functioning brain where various sensory cues presumably

  2. Can tactile sensory processing differentiate between children with autistic disorder and asperger's disorder?

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    Ghanizadeh, Ahmad

    2011-05-01

    There are debates whether autistic disorder (autism) and Asperger's disorder are two distinct disorders. Moreover, interventional sensory occupational therapy should consider the clinical characteristics of patients. Already, commonalities and differences between Asperger's disorder and autistic disorder are not well studied. The aim of this study is to compare tactile sensory function of children with autistic disorder and children with Asperger's disorder. Tactile sensory function was compared between 36 children with autism and 19 children with Asperger's disorder. The two disorders were diagnosed based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition, Text Revision. The parent-reported Tactile Dysfunction Checklist was used to assess the three aspects of hypersensitivity, hyposensitivity, and poor tactile perception and discrimination. Developmental coordination was also assessed. Developmental coordination problems total score was not associated with group. The mean (standard deviation) score of tactile hyper-responsivity was not different between the groups. Tactile hyporesponsivity and poor tactile perception and discrimination scores were statistically higher in autistic disorder than Asperger's disorder group. These results for the first time indicated that at least some aspects of tactile perception can differentiate these two disorders. Children with autistic disorder have more tactile sensory seeking behaviors than children with Asperger's disorder. Moreover, the ability of children with autistic disorder for tactile discrimination and sensory perception is less than those with Asperger's disorder. Interventional sensory therapy in children with autistic disorder should have some characteristics that can be different and specific for children with Asperger's disorder. Formal intelligence quotient testing was not performed on all of the children evaluated, which is a limitation to this study. In some cases, a clinical estimation of

  3. Motor-sensory confluence in tactile perception.

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    Saig, Avraham; Gordon, Goren; Assa, Eldad; Arieli, Amos; Ahissar, Ehud

    2012-10-03

    Perception involves motor control of sensory organs. However, the dynamics underlying emergence of perception from motor-sensory interactions are not yet known. Two extreme possibilities are as follows: (1) motor and sensory signals interact within an open-loop scheme in which motor signals determine sensory sampling but are not affected by sensory processing and (2) motor and sensory signals are affected by each other within a closed-loop scheme. We studied the scheme of motor-sensory interactions in humans using a novel object localization task that enabled monitoring the relevant overt motor and sensory variables. We found that motor variables were dynamically controlled within each perceptual trial, such that they gradually converged to steady values. Training on this task resulted in improvement in perceptual acuity, which was achieved solely by changes in motor variables, without any change in the acuity of sensory readout. The within-trial dynamics is captured by a hierarchical closed-loop model in which lower loops actively maintain constant sensory coding, and higher loops maintain constant sensory update flow. These findings demonstrate interchangeability of motor and sensory variables in perception, motor convergence during perception, and a consistent hierarchical closed-loop perceptual model.

  4. Tactile short-term memory in sensory-deprived individuals.

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    Papagno, Costanza; Minniti, Giovanna; Mattavelli, Giulia C; Mantovan, Lara; Cecchetto, Carlo

    2017-02-01

    To verify whether loosing a sense or two has consequences on a spared sensory modality, namely touch, and whether these consequences depend on practice or are biologically determined, we investigated 13 deafblind participants, 16 deaf participants, 15 blind participants, and 13 matched normally sighted and hearing controls on a tactile short-term memory task, using checkerboard matrices of increasing length in which half of the squares were made up of a rough texture and half of a smooth one. Time of execution of a fixed matrix, number of correctly reproduced matrices, largest matrix correctly reproduced and tactile span were recorded. The three groups of sensory-deprived individuals did not differ in any measure, while blind and deaf participants outscored controls in all parameters except time of execution; the difference approached significance for deafblind people compared to controls only in one measure, namely correctly reproduced matrices. In blind and deafblind participants, performance negatively correlated with age of Braille acquisition, the older being the subject when acquiring Braille, the lower the performance, suggesting that practice plays a role. However, the fact that deaf participants, who did not share tactile experience, performed similarly to blind participants and significantly better than controls highlights that practice cannot be the only contribution to better tactile memory.

  5. Instrumental tactile diagnostics in robot-assisted surgery

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    Solodova RF

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Rozalia F Solodova,1,2 Vladimir V Galatenko,1,2 Eldar R Nakashidze,3 Igor L Andreytsev,3 Alexey V Galatenko,1 Dmitriy K Senchik,2 Vladimir M Staroverov,1 Vladimir E Podolskii,1,2 Mikhail E Sokolov,1,2 Victor A Sadovnichy1,2 1Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, 2Institute of Mathematical Studies of Complex Systems, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 31st Surgery Department, Clinical Hospital 31, Moscow, Russia Background: Robotic surgery has gained wide acceptance due to minimizing trauma in patients. However, the lack of tactile feedback is an essential limiting factor for the further expansion. In robotic surgery, feedback related to touch is currently kinesthetic, and it is mainly aimed at the minimization of force applied to tissues and organs. Design and implementation of diagnostic tactile feedback is still an open problem. We hypothesized that a sufficient tactile feedback in robot-assisted surgery can be provided by utilization of Medical Tactile Endosurgical Complex (MTEC, which is a novel specialized tool that is already commercially available in the Russian Federation. MTEC allows registration of tactile images by a mechanoreceptor, real-time visualization of these images, and reproduction of images via a tactile display. Materials and methods: Nine elective surgeries were performed with da Vinci™ robotic system. An assistant performed tactile examination through an additional port under the guidance of a surgeon during revision of tissues. The operating surgeon sensed registered tactile data using a tactile display, and the assistant inspected the visualization of tactile data. First, surgeries where lesion boundaries were visually detectable were performed. The goal was to promote cooperation between the surgeon and the assistant and to train them in perception of the tactile feedback. Then, instrumental tactile diagnostics was utilized in case of visually undetectable boundaries. Results: In robot-assisted surgeries where lesion

  6. Vagus nerve stimulation paired with tactile training improved sensory function in a chronic stroke patient.

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    Kilgard, Michael P; Rennaker, Robert L; Alexander, Jen; Dawson, Jesse

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) paired with rehabilitation can enhance neural plasticity in the primary sensory and motor cortices, improve forelimb function after stroke in animal models and improve motor function in patients with arm weakness after stroke. To gain "first-in-man" experience of VNS paired with tactile training in a patient with severe sensory impairment after stroke. During the long-term follow-up phase of a clinical trial of VNS paired with motor rehabilitation, a 71-year-old man who had made good motor recovery had ongoing severe sensory loss in his left hand and arm. He received VNS paired with tactile therapy in an attempt to improve his sensory function. During twenty 2-hour sessions, each passive and active tactile event was paired with a 0.5 second burst of 0.8 mA VNS. Sensory function was measured before, halfway through, and after this therapy. The patient did not report any side effects during or following VNS+Tactile therapy. Quantitative measures revealed lasting and clinically meaningful improvements in tactile threshold, proprioception, and stereognosis. After VNS+Tactile therapy, the patient was able to detect tactile stimulation to his affected hand that was eight times less intense, identify the joint position of his fingers in the affected hand three times more often, and identify everyday objects using his affected hand seven times more often, compared to baseline. Sensory function significantly improved in this man following VNS paired with tactile stimulation. This approach merits further study in controlled clinical trials.

  7. Mechanisms of tactile sensory deterioration amongst the elderly.

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    Skedung, Lisa; El Rawadi, Charles; Arvidsson, Martin; Farcet, Céline; Luengo, Gustavo S; Breton, Lionel; Rutland, Mark W

    2018-04-19

    It is known that roughness-smoothness, hardness-softness, stickiness-slipperiness and warm-cold are predominant perceptual dimensions in macro-, micro- and nano- texture perception. However, it is not clear to what extent active tactile texture discrimination remains intact with age. The general decrease in tactile ability induces physical and emotional dysfunction in elderly, and has increasing significance for an aging population. We report a method to quantify tactile acuity based on blinded active exploration of systematically varying micro-textured surfaces and a same-different paradigm. It reveals that elderly participants show significantly reduced fine texture discrimination ability. The elderly group also displays statistically lower finger friction coefficient, moisture and elasticity, suggesting a link. However, a subpopulation of the elderly retains discrimination ability irrespective of cutaneous condition and this can be related to a higher density of somatosensory receptors on the finger pads. Skin tribology is thus not the primary reason for decline of tactile discrimination with age. The remediation of cutaneous properties through rehydration, however leads to a significantly improved tactile acuity. This indicates unambiguously that neurological tactile loss can be temporarily compensated by restoring the cutaneous contact mechanics. Such mechanical restoration of tactile ability has the potential to increase the quality of life in elderly.

  8. Risk prediction and impaired tactile sensory perception among cancer patients during chemotherapy.

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    Cardoso, Ana Carolina Lima Ramos; Araújo, Diego Dias de; Chianca, Tânia Couto Machado

    2018-01-08

    to estimate the prevalence of impaired tactile sensory perception, identify risk factors, and establish a risk prediction model among adult patients receiving antineoplastic chemotherapy. historical cohort study based on information obtained from the medical files of 127 patients cared for in the cancer unit of a private hospital in a city in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Data were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate statistics, with survival and multivariate analysis by Cox regression. 57% of the 127 patients included in the study developed impaired tactile sensory perception. The independent variables that caused significant impact, together with time elapsed from the beginning of treatment up to the onset of the condition, were: bone, hepatic and regional lymph node metastases; alcoholism; palliative chemotherapy; and discomfort in lower limbs. impaired tactile sensory perception was common among adult patients during chemotherapy, indicating the need to implement interventions designed for early identification and treatment of this condition.

  9. The effects of negative emotions on sensory perception: fear but not anger decreases tactile sensitivity.

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    Kelley, Nicholas J; Schmeichel, Brandon J

    2014-01-01

    Emotions and sensory perceptions are closely intertwined. Of the five senses, sight has been by far the most extensively studied sense in emotion research. Relatively less is known about how emotions influence the other four senses. Touch is essential for nonverbal communication in both humans and other animals. The current investigation tested competing hypotheses about the effect of fear on tactile perception. One hypothesis based on evolutionary considerations predicts that fear enhances sensory perception, including tactile sensitivity. A competing hypothesis based on research on peripheral psychophysiology predicts that fear should decrease tactile sensitivity. Two experiments that induced negative emotional states and measured two-point discrimination ability at the fingertip found that fear reduces tactile sensitivity relative to anger or a neutral control condition (Studies 1 and 2). These findings did not appear to be driven by participants' naïve beliefs about the influence of emotions on touch (Study 3). The results represent the first evidence of the causal impact of emotional states on tactile sensitivity, are consistent with prior evidence for the peripheral physiological effects of fear, and offer novel empirical grounds for developing and advancing theories of emotional influences on sensory perception.

  10. Cross-sensory facilitation reveals neural interactions between visual and tactile motion in humans

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    Monica eGori

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Many recent studies show that the human brain integrates information across the different senses and that stimuli of one sensory modality can enhance the perception of other modalities. Here we study the processes that mediate cross-modal facilitation and summation between visual and tactile motion. We find that while summation produced a generic, non-specific improvement of thresholds, probably reflecting higher-order interaction of decision signals, facilitation reveals a strong, direction-specific interaction, which we believe reflects sensory interactions. We measured visual and tactile velocity discrimination thresholds over a wide range of base velocities and conditions. Thresholds for both visual and tactile stimuli showed the characteristic dipper function, with the minimum thresholds occurring at a given pedestal speed. When visual and tactile coherent stimuli were combined (summation condition the thresholds for these multi-sensory stimuli also showed a dipper function with the minimum thresholds occurring in a similar range to that for unisensory signals. However, the improvement of multisensory thresholds was weak and not directionally specific, well predicted by the maximum likelihood estimation model (agreeing with previous research. A different technique (facilitation did, however, reveal direction-specific enhancement. Adding a non-informative pedestal motion stimulus in one sensory modality (vision or touch selectively lowered thresholds in the other, by the same amount as pedestals in the same modality. Facilitation did not occur for neutral stimuli like sounds (that would also have reduced temporal uncertainty, nor for motion in opposite direction, even in blocked trials where the subjects knew that the motion was in the opposite direction showing that the facilitation was not under subject control. Cross-sensory facilitation is strong evidence for functionally relevant cross-sensory integration at early levels of sensory

  11. Robust tactile sensory responses in finger area of primate motor cortex relevant to prosthetic control

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    Schroeder, Karen E.; Irwin, Zachary T.; Bullard, Autumn J.; Thompson, David E.; Bentley, J. Nicole; Stacey, William C.; Patil, Parag G.; Chestek, Cynthia A.

    2017-08-01

    Objective. Challenges in improving the performance of dexterous upper-limb brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) have prompted renewed interest in quantifying the amount and type of sensory information naturally encoded in the primary motor cortex (M1). Previous single unit studies in monkeys showed M1 is responsive to tactile stimulation, as well as passive and active movement of the limbs. However, recent work in this area has focused primarily on proprioception. Here we examined instead how tactile somatosensation of the hand and fingers is represented in M1. Approach. We recorded multi- and single units and thresholded neural activity from macaque M1 while gently brushing individual finger pads at 2 Hz. We also recorded broadband neural activity from electrocorticogram (ECoG) grids placed on human motor cortex, while applying the same tactile stimulus. Main results. Units displaying significant differences in firing rates between individual fingers (p  sensory information was present in M1 to correctly decode stimulus position from multiunit activity above chance levels in all monkeys, and also from ECoG gamma power in two human subjects. Significance. These results provide some explanation for difficulties experienced by motor decoders in clinical trials of cortically controlled prosthetic hands, as well as the general problem of disentangling motor and sensory signals in primate motor cortex during dextrous tasks. Additionally, examination of unit tuning during tactile and proprioceptive inputs indicates cells are often tuned differently in different contexts, reinforcing the need for continued refinement of BMI training and decoding approaches to closed-loop BMI systems for dexterous grasping.

  12. Tactile and non-tactile sensory paradigms for fMRI and neurophysiologic studies in rodents

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    Sanganahalli, Basavaraju G.; Bailey, Christopher J.; Herman, Peter; Hyder, Fahmeed

    2009-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become a popular functional imaging tool for human studies. Future diagnostic use of fMRI depends, however, on a suitable neurophysiologic interpretation of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal change. This particular goal is best achieved in animal models primarily due to the invasive nature of other methods used and/or pharmacological agents applied to probe different nuances of neuronal (and glial) activity coupled to the BOLD...

  13. Peripheral tactile sensory perception of older adults improved using subsensory electrical noise stimulation.

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    Breen, Paul P; Serrador, Jorge M; O'Tuathail, Claire; Quinlan, Leo R; McIntosh, Caroline; ÓLaighin, Gearóid

    2016-08-01

    Loss of tactile sensory function is common with aging and can lead to numbness and difficulty with balance and gait. In previous work we found that subsensory electrical noise stimulation (SENS) applied to the tibial nerve improved tactile perception in the soles of the feet of healthy adults. In this work we aimed to determine if SENS remained effective in an older adult population with significant levels of sensory loss. Older adult subjects (N=8, female = 4, aged 65-80) had SENS applied via surface electrodes placed proximally to the medial and lateral malleoli. Vibration perception thresholds (VPTs) were assessed in six conditions, two control conditions (no SENS) and four SENS conditions (zero mean ±15µA, 30µA, 45µA and 60µA SD). VPT was assessed at three sites on the plantar aspect of the foot. Vibration perception was significantly improved in the presence of ±30µA SENS and by 16.2±2.4% (mean ± s.e.m.) when optimised for each subject. The improvement in perception was similar across all VPT test sites. Copyright © 2016 IPEM. All rights reserved.

  14. White matter microstructure is associated with auditory and tactile processing in children with and without sensory processing disorder

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    Yi Shin Chang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensory processing disorders (SPD affect up to 16% of school-aged children, and contribute to cognitive and behavioral deficits impacting affected individuals and their families. While sensory processing differences are now widely recognized in children with autism, children with sensory-based dysfunction who do not meet autism criteria based on social communication deficits remain virtually unstudied. In a previous pilot diffusion tensor imaging (DTI study, we demonstrated that boys with SPD have altered white matter microstructure primarily affecting the posterior cerebral tracts, which subserve sensory processing and integration. This disrupted microstructural integrity, measured as reduced white matter fractional anisotropy (FA, correlated with parent report measures of atypical sensory behavior. In this present study, we investigate white matter microstructure as it relates to tactile and auditory function in depth with a larger, mixed-gender cohort of children 8 to 12 years of age. We continue to find robust alterations of posterior white matter microstructure in children with SPD relative to typically developing children, along with more spatially distributed alterations. We find strong correlations of FA with both parent report and direct measures of tactile and auditory processing across children, with the direct assessment measures of tactile and auditory processing showing a stronger and more continuous mapping to the underlying white matter integrity than the corresponding parent report measures. Based on these findings of microstructure as a neural correlate of sensory processing ability, diffusion MRI merits further investigation as a tool to find biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment response in children with SPD. To our knowledge, this work is the first to demonstrate associations of directly measured tactile and non-linguistic auditory function with white matter microstructural integrity -- not just in children with

  15. Tactile-Sight: A Sensory Substitution Device Based on Distance-Related Vibrotactile Flow

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    Leandro Cancar

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Sensory substitution is a research field of increasing interest with regard to technical, applied and theoretical issues. Among the latter, it is of central interest to understand the form in which humans perceive the environment. Ecological psychology, among other approaches, proposes that we can detect higher-order informational variables (in the sense that they are defined over substantial spatial and temporal intervals that specify our interaction with the environment. When using a vibrotactile sensory substitution device, it is reasonable to ask if stimulation on the skin may be exploitable to detect higher-order variables. Motivated by this question, a portable vibrotactile sensory substitution device was built, using distance-based information as a source and driving a large number of vibrotactile actuators (72 in the reported version, 120 max. The portable device was designed to explore real environments, allowing natural unrestricted movement for the user while providing contingent real-time vibrotactile information. Two preliminary experiments were performed. In the first one, participants were asked to detect the time to contact of an approaching ball in a simulated (desktop environment. Reasonable performance was observed in all experimental conditions, including the one with only tactile stimulation. In the second experiment, a portable version of the device was used in a real environment, where participants were asked to hit an approaching ball. Participants were able to coordinate their arm movements with vibrotactile stimulation in appropriate timing. We conclude that vibrotactile flow can be generated by distance-based activation of the actuators and that this stimulation on the skin allows users to perceive time-to-contact related environmental properties.

  16. Visual Sensory Signals Dominate Tactile Cues during Docked Feeding in Hummingbirds.

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    Goller, Benjamin; Segre, Paolo S; Middleton, Kevin M; Dickinson, Michael H; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2017-01-01

    Animals living in and interacting with natural environments must monitor and respond to changing conditions and unpredictable situations. Using information from multiple sensory systems allows them to modify their behavior in response to their dynamic environment but also creates the challenge of integrating different, and potentially contradictory, sources of information for behavior control. Understanding how multiple information streams are integrated to produce flexible and reliable behavior is key to understanding how behavior is controlled in natural settings. Natural settings are rarely still, which challenges animals that require precise body position control, like hummingbirds, which hover while feeding from flowers. Tactile feedback, available only once the hummingbird is docked at the flower, could provide additional information to help maintain its position at the flower. To investigate the role of tactile information for hovering control during feeding, we first asked whether hummingbirds physically interact with a feeder once docked. We quantified physical interactions between docked hummingbirds and a feeder placed in front of a stationary background pattern. Force sensors on the feeder measured a complex time course of loading that reflects the wingbeat frequency and bill movement of feeding hummingbirds, and suggests that they sometimes push against the feeder with their bill. Next, we asked whether the measured tactile interactions were used by feeding hummingbirds to maintain position relative to the feeder. We created two experimental scenarios-one in which the feeder was stationary and the visual background moved and the other where the feeder moved laterally in front of a white background. When the visual background pattern moved, docked hummingbirds pushed significantly harder in the direction of horizontal visual motion. When the feeder moved, and the background was stationary, hummingbirds generated aerodynamic force in the opposite

  17. Sensory prediction on a whiskered robot: A tactile analogy to "optic flow"

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    Christopher L Schroeder

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available When an animal moves an array of sensors (e.g., the hand, the eye through the environment, spatial and temporal gradients of sensory data are related by the velocity of the moving sensory array. In vision, the relationship between spatial and temporal brightness gradients is quantified in the optical flow equation. In the present work, we suggest an analog to optical flow for the rodent vibrissal (whisker array, in which the perceptual intensity that flows over the array is bending moment. Changes in bending moment are directly related to radial object distance, defined as the distance between the base of a whisker and the point of contact with the object. Using both simulations and a 1x5 array (row of artificial whiskers, we demonstrate that local object curvature can be estimated based on differences in radial distance across the array. We then develop two algorithms, both based on tactile flow, to predict the future contact points that will be obtained as the whisker array translates along the object. The translation of the robotic whisker array represents the rat's head velocity. The first algorithm uses a calculation of the local object slope, while the second uses a calculation of the local object curvature. Both algorithms successfully predict future contact points for simple surfaces. The algorithm based on curvature was found to more accurately predict future contact points as surfaces became more irregular. We quantify the inter-related effects of whisker spacing and the object’s spatial frequencies, and examine the issues that arise in the presence of real-world noise, friction, and slip.

  18. Sensory Responsiveness and the Effects of Equal Subjective Rewards on Tactile Learning and Memory of Honeybees

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    Scheiner, Ricarda; Kuritz-Kaiser, Anthea; Menzel, Randolf; Erber, Joachim

    2005-01-01

    In tactile learning, sucrose is the unconditioned stimulus and reward, which is usually applied to the antenna to elicit proboscis extension and which the bee can drink when it is subsequently applied to the extended proboscis. The conditioned stimulus is a tactile object that the bee can scan with its antennae. In this paper we describe the…

  19. Study of the tactile perception of bathroom tissues: Comparison between the sensory evaluation by a handfeel panel and a tribo-acoustic artificial finger.

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    Thieulin, C; Pailler-Mattei, C; Vargiolu, R; Lancelot, S; Zahouani, H

    2017-02-01

    Tactile perception is one of the sensorial modes most stimulated by our daily environment. In particular, perceived softness is an important parameter for judging the sensory quality of surfaces and fabrics. Unfortunately, its assessment greatly depends on the tactile sense of each person, which in turn depends on many factors. Currently, the predominant method for evaluating the tactile perception of fabrics is the human handfeel panel. This qualitative approach does not permit the quantitative measure of touch feel perception. In this study, we present a new artificial finger device to investigate the tactile sensing of ten bathroom tissues. It enables simultaneously measuring the friction and vibrations caused when sliding an artificial finger on the surface of the tissue. The comparison between the results obtained with the artificial finger and the tactile perception evaluated using a handfeel panel showed that the artificial finger is able to separate the two parts of the tactile perception of bathroom tissues: softness and surface texture (velvetiness). The statistical analysis suggests that there is a good correlation between the vibrations measured with the artificial finger and the softness evaluated by the panel. It then shows that the friction measured by the artificial finger is related to the surface texture of a bathroom tissue. The ability of the artificial finger to mimic human touch is demonstrated. Finally, a Principal Component Analysis orders the signatures of the tactile perception of the bathroom tissues in four different groups. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Synthetic tactile perception induced by transcranial alternating-current stimulation can substitute for natural sensory stimulus in behaving rabbits.

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    Márquez-Ruiz, Javier; Ammann, Claudia; Leal-Campanario, Rocío; Ruffini, Giulio; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M

    2016-01-21

    The use of brain-derived signals for controlling external devices has long attracted the attention from neuroscientists and engineers during last decades. Although much effort has been dedicated to establishing effective brain-to-computer communication, computer-to-brain communication feedback for "closing the loop" is now becoming a major research theme. While intracortical microstimulation of the sensory cortex has already been successfully used for this purpose, its future application in humans partly relies on the use of non-invasive brain stimulation technologies. In the present study, we explore the potential use of transcranial alternating-current stimulation (tACS) for synthetic tactile perception in alert behaving animals. More specifically, we determined the effects of tACS on sensory local field potentials (LFPs) and motor output and tested its capability for inducing tactile perception using classical eyeblink conditioning in the behaving animal. We demonstrated that tACS of the primary somatosensory cortex vibrissa area could indeed substitute natural stimuli during training in the associative learning paradigm.

  1. Diagnostic value of the near-nerve needle sensory nerve conduction in sensory inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.

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    Odabasi, Zeki; Oh, Shin J

    2018-03-01

    In this study we report the diagnostic value of the near-nerve needle sensory nerve conduction study (NNN-SNCS) in sensory inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (IDP) in which the routine nerve conduction study was normal or non-diagnostic. The NNN-SNCS was performed to identify demyelination in the plantar nerves in 14 patients and in the median or ulnar nerve in 2 patients with sensory IDP. In 16 patients with sensory IDP, routine NCSs were either normal or non-diagnostic for demyelination. Demyelination was identified by NNN-SNCS by dispersion and/or slow nerve conduction velocity (NCV) below the demyelination marker. Immunotherapy was initiated in 11 patients, 10 of whom improved or remained stable. NNN-SNCS played an essential role in identifying demyelinaton in 16 patients with sensory IDP, leading to proper treatment. Muscle Nerve 57: 414-418, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Motor and sensory alalia: diagnostic difficulties

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    M. Yu. Bobylova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Alalia is a speech disorder that develops due to organic brain damage in children with normal hearing and intelligence during the first three year of life. Systemic speech underdevelopment in alalia is characterized by violations in the phonetic, phonemic, lexical, and grammatical structure. Patients with alalia can also have non-speech related impairments, including motor (impaired movement and coordination, sensory (impaired sensitivity and perception, and psychopathological disorders. There are three types of alalia: motor, sensory, and mixed. Children with motor alalia have expressive language disorders, speech praxis, poor speech fluency, impaired articulation, and other focal neurological symptoms; however, they understand speech directed to them. Patients with motor alalia are often left-handed. Regional slowing and epileptiform activity are often detected on their electroencephalogram.  Children with sensory alalia are characterized by poor speech understanding (despite normal hearing resulting in secondary underdevelopment of their own speech. These patients have problems with the analysis of sounds, including speech sounds (impaired speech gnosis, which prevents the development of association between the sound image and the object. Therefore, the child hears, but does not understand the speech directed at him/her (auditory agnosia. Differential diagnosis of alalia is challenging and may require several months of observation. It also implies the exclusion of hearing loss and mental disorders.

  3. Early postnatal development of electrophysiological and histological properties of sensory sural nerves in male rats that were maternally deprived and artificially reared: Role of tactile stimulation.

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    Zempoalteca, Rene; Porras, Mercedes G; Moreno-Pérez, Suelem; Ramirez-Funez, Gabriela; Aguirre-Benítez, Elsa L; González Del Pliego, Margarita; Mariscal-Tovar, Silvia; Mendoza-Garrido, Maria E; Hoffman, Kurt Leroy; Jiménez-Estrada, Ismael; Melo, Angel I

    2018-04-01

    Early adverse experiences disrupt brain development and behavior, but little is known about how such experiences impact on the development of the peripheral nervous system. Recently, we found alterations in the electrophysiological and histological characteristics of the sensory sural (SU) nerve in maternally deprived, artificially reared (AR) adult male rats, as compared with maternally reared (MR) control rats. In the present study, our aim was to characterize the ontogeny of these alterations. Thus, male pups of four postnatal days (PND) were (1) AR group, (2) AR and received daily tactile stimulation to the body and anogenital region (AR-Tactile group); or (3) reared by their mother (MR group). At PND 7, 14, or 21, electrophysiological properties and histological characteristics of the SU nerves were assessed. At PND 7, the electrophysiological properties and most histological parameters of the SU nerve did not differ among MR, AR, and AR-Tactile groups. By contrast, at PND 14 and/or 21, the SU nerve of AR rats showed a lower CAP amplitude and area, and a significant reduction in myelin area and myelin thickness, which were accompanied by a reduction in axon area (day 21 only) compared to the nerves of MR rats. Tactile stimulation (AR-Tactile group) partially prevented most of these alterations. These results suggest that sensory cues from the mother and/or littermates during the first 7-14 PND are relevant for the proper development and function of the adult SU nerve. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 78: 351-362, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Tactile exploration of virtual objects for blind and sighted people: the role of beta 1 EEG band in sensory substitution and supramodal mental mapping.

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    Campus, C; Brayda, L; De Carli, F; Chellali, R; Famà, F; Bruzzo, C; Lucagrossi, L; Rodriguez, G

    2012-05-01

    The neural correlates of exploration and cognitive mapping in blindness remain elusive. The role of visuo-spatial pathways in blind vs. sighted subjects is still under debate. In this preliminary study, we investigate, as a possible estimation of the activity in the visuo-spatial pathways, the EEG patterns of blind and blindfolded-sighted subjects during the active tactile construction of cognitive maps from virtual objects compared with rest and passive tactile stimulation. Ten blind and ten matched, blindfolded-sighted subjects participated in the study. Events were defined as moments when the finger was only stimulated (passive stimulation) or the contour of a virtual object was touched (during active exploration). Event-related spectral power and coherence perturbations were evaluated within the beta 1 band (14-18 Hz). They were then related to a subjective cognitive-load estimation required by the explorations [namely, perceived levels of difficulty (PLD)]. We found complementary cues for sensory substitution and spatial processing in both groups: both blind and sighted subjects showed, while exploring, late power decreases and early power increases, potentially associated with motor programming and touch, respectively. The latter involved occipital areas only for blind subjects (long-term plasticity) and only during active exploration, thus supporting tactile-to-visual sensory substitution. In both groups, coherences emerged among the fronto-central, centro-parietal, and occipito-temporal derivations associated with visuo-spatial processing. This seems in accordance with mental map construction involving spatial processing, sensory-motor processing, and working memory. The observed involvement of the occipital regions suggests that a substitution process also occurs in sighted subjects. Only during explorations did coherence correlate positively with PLD for both groups and in derivations, which can be related to visuo-spatial processing, supporting the

  5. Tactile exploration of virtual objects for blind and sighted people: the role of beta 1 EEG band in sensory substitution and supramodal mental mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brayda, L.; De Carli, F.; Chellali, R.; Famà, F.; Bruzzo, C.; Lucagrossi, L.; Rodriguez, G.

    2012-01-01

    The neural correlates of exploration and cognitive mapping in blindness remain elusive. The role of visuo-spatial pathways in blind vs. sighted subjects is still under debate. In this preliminary study, we investigate, as a possible estimation of the activity in the visuo-spatial pathways, the EEG patterns of blind and blindfolded-sighted subjects during the active tactile construction of cognitive maps from virtual objects compared with rest and passive tactile stimulation. Ten blind and ten matched, blindfolded-sighted subjects participated in the study. Events were defined as moments when the finger was only stimulated (passive stimulation) or the contour of a virtual object was touched (during active exploration). Event-related spectral power and coherence perturbations were evaluated within the beta 1 band (14–18 Hz). They were then related to a subjective cognitive-load estimation required by the explorations [namely, perceived levels of difficulty (PLD)]. We found complementary cues for sensory substitution and spatial processing in both groups: both blind and sighted subjects showed, while exploring, late power decreases and early power increases, potentially associated with motor programming and touch, respectively. The latter involved occipital areas only for blind subjects (long-term plasticity) and only during active exploration, thus supporting tactile-to-visual sensory substitution. In both groups, coherences emerged among the fronto-central, centro-parietal, and occipito-temporal derivations associated with visuo-spatial processing. This seems in accordance with mental map construction involving spatial processing, sensory-motor processing, and working memory. The observed involvement of the occipital regions suggests that a substitution process also occurs in sighted subjects. Only during explorations did coherence correlate positively with PLD for both groups and in derivations, which can be related to visuo-spatial processing, supporting the

  6. Correlation of neural activity with behavioral kinematics reveals distinct sensory encoding and evidence accumulation processes during active tactile sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delis, Ioannis; Dmochowski, Jacek P; Sajda, Paul; Wang, Qi

    2018-03-23

    Many real-world decisions rely on active sensing, a dynamic process for directing our sensors (e.g. eyes or fingers) across a stimulus to maximize information gain. Though ecologically pervasive, limited work has focused on identifying neural correlates of the active sensing process. In tactile perception, we often make decisions about an object/surface by actively exploring its shape/texture. Here we investigate the neural correlates of active tactile decision-making by simultaneously measuring electroencephalography (EEG) and finger kinematics while subjects interrogated a haptic surface to make perceptual judgments. Since sensorimotor behavior underlies decision formation in active sensing tasks, we hypothesized that the neural correlates of decision-related processes would be detectable by relating active sensing to neural activity. Novel brain-behavior correlation analysis revealed that three distinct EEG components, localizing to right-lateralized occipital cortex (LOC), middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and supplementary motor area (SMA), respectively, were coupled with active sensing as their activity significantly correlated with finger kinematics. To probe the functional role of these components, we fit their single-trial-couplings to decision-making performance using a hierarchical-drift-diffusion-model (HDDM), revealing that the LOC modulated the encoding of the tactile stimulus whereas the MFG predicted the rate of information integration towards a choice. Interestingly, the MFG disappeared from components uncovered from control subjects performing active sensing but not required to make perceptual decisions. By uncovering the neural correlates of distinct stimulus encoding and evidence accumulation processes, this study delineated, for the first time, the functional role of cortical areas in active tactile decision-making. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Neuronal responses to tactile stimuli and tactile sensations evoked by microstimulation in the human thalamic principal somatic sensory nucleus (ventral caudal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Anne-Christine; Chien, Jui-Hong; Greenspan, Joel D; Garonzik, Ira; Weiss, Nirit; Ohara, Shinji; Lenz, Frederick Arthur

    2016-06-01

    The normal organization and plasticity of the cutaneous core of the thalamic principal somatosensory nucleus (ventral caudal, Vc) have been studied by single-neuron recordings and microstimulation in patients undergoing awake stereotactic operations for essential tremor (ET) without apparent somatic sensory abnormality and in patients with dystonia or chronic pain secondary to major nervous system injury. In patients with ET, most Vc neurons responded to one of the four stimuli, each of which optimally activates one mechanoreceptor type. Sensations evoked by microstimulation were similar to those evoked by the optimal stimulus only among rapidly adapting neurons. In patients with ET, Vc was highly segmented somatotopically, and vibration, movement, pressure, and sharp sensations were usually evoked by microstimulation at separate sites in Vc. In patients with conditions including spinal cord transection, amputation, or dystonia, RFs were mismatched with projected fields more commonly than in patients with ET. The representation of the border of the anesthetic area (e.g., stump) or of the dystonic limb was much larger than that of the same part of the body in patients with ET. This review describes the organization and reorganization of human Vc neuronal activity in nervous system injury and dystonia and then proposes basic mechanisms. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  8. Sensory processing disorders – diagnostic and therapeutic controversies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta R. Borkowska

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the current state of knowledge regarding the controversial issue of sensory integration dysfunction/sensory processing disorder. Symptoms are defined as impairments in the accurate reception and registering of stimuli, differentiation of stimulus intensity, and adequate reactivity to stimulation. They can be of specific character and occur in isolation and can also be a nonspecific element of a clinical picture of another disease entity. Psychophysiological and neuroimaging studies confirm the existence of both a distinct group of children with symptoms of sensory processing disorder diagnosed based on descriptions of behaviours listed in questionnaires and of a specific neurobiological basis of this disorder. In clinical practice, it is of key importance to determine whether behavioural problems observed in children are caused by disorders other than sensory processing disorders. Results of meta-analyses regarding sensory integration therapy are inconclusive and do not allow this form of treatment to be considered fact-based. Future studies with high methodological standards are necessary in order to verify the effectiveness of different forms of sensory integration therapy. Parents should be informed about the existing limitations.

  9. Perceiving space and optical cues via a visuo-tactile sensory substitution system: a methodological approach for training of blind subjects for navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segond, Hervé; Weiss, Déborah; Kawalec, Magdalena; Sampaio, Eliana

    2013-01-01

    A methodological approach to perceptual learning was used to allow both early blind subjects (experimental group) and blindfolded sighted subjects (control group) to experience optical information and spatial phenomena, on the basis of visuo-tactile information transmitted by a 64-taxel pneumatic sensory substitution device. The learning process allowed the subjects to develop abilities in spatial localisation, shape recognition (with generalisation to different points of view), and monocular depth cue interpretation. During the training phase, early blind people initially experienced more difficulties than blindfolded sighted subjects (having previous perceptual experience of perspective) with interpreting and using monocular depth cues. The amelioration of the performance for all blind subjects during training sessions and the quite similar level of performance reached by two groups in the final navigation tasks suggested that early blind people were able to develop and apply cognitive understanding of depth cues. Both groups showed generalisation of the learning from the initial phases to cue identification in the maze, and subjectively experienced shapes facing them. Subjects' performance depended not only on their perceptual experience but also on their previous spatial competencies.

  10. Bodily illusions disrupt tactile sensations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amour, Sarah; Pritchett, Lisa M; Harris, Laurence R

    2015-02-01

    To accurately interpret tactile information, the brain needs to have an accurate representation of the body to which to refer the sensations. Despite this, body representation has only recently been incorporated into the study of tactile perception. Here, we investigate whether distortions of body representation affect tactile sensations. We perceptually altered the length of the arm and the width of the waist using a tendon vibration illusion and measured spatial acuity and sensitivity. Surprisingly, we found reduction in both tactile acuity and sensitivity thresholds when the arm or waist was perceptually altered, which indicates a general disruption of low-level tactile processing. We postulate that the disruptive changes correspond to the preliminary stage as the body representation starts to change and may give new insights into sensory processing in people with long-term or sudden abnormal body representation such as are found in eating disorders or following amputation.

  11. Tactile exploration of virtual objects for blind and sighted people: the role of beta 1 EEG band in sensory substitution and supramodal mental mapping

    OpenAIRE

    Campus, C.; Brayda, L.; De Carli, F.; Chellali, R.; Famà, F.; Bruzzo, C.; Lucagrossi, L.; Rodriguez, G.

    2012-01-01

    The neural correlates of exploration and cognitive mapping in blindness remain elusive. The role of visuo-spatial pathways in blind vs. sighted subjects is still under debate. In this preliminary study, we investigate, as a possible estimation of the activity in the visuo-spatial pathways, the EEG patterns of blind and blindfolded-sighted subjects during the active tactile construction of cognitive maps from virtual objects compared with rest and passive tactile stimulation. Ten blind and ten...

  12. Tactile modulation of hippocampal place fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gener, Thomas; Perez-Mendez, Lorena; Sanchez-Vives, Maria V

    2013-12-01

    Neural correlates of spatial representation can be found in the activity of the hippocampal place cells. These neurons are characterized by firing whenever the animal is located in a particular area of the space, the place field. Place fields are modulated by sensory cues, such as visual, auditory, or olfactory cues, being the influence of visual inputs the most thoroughly studied. Tactile information gathered by the whiskers has a prominent representation in the rat cerebral cortex. However, the influence of whisker-detected tactile cues on place fields remains an open question. Here we studied place fields in an enriched tactile environment where the remaining sensory cues were occluded. First, place cells were recorded before and after blockade of tactile transmission by means of lidocaine applied on the whisker pad. Following tactile deprivation, the majority of place cells decreased their firing rate and their place fields expanded. We next rotated the tactile cues and 90% of place fields rotated with them. Our results demonstrate that tactile information is integrated into place cells at least in a tactile-enriched arena and when other sensory cues are not available. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Sensory Substitution and Multimodal Mental Imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nanay, Bence

    2017-09-01

    Many philosophers use findings about sensory substitution devices in the grand debate about how we should individuate the senses. The big question is this: Is "vision" assisted by (tactile) sensory substitution really vision? Or is it tactile perception? Or some sui generis novel form of perception? My claim is that sensory substitution assisted "vision" is neither vision nor tactile perception, because it is not perception at all. It is mental imagery: visual mental imagery triggered by tactile sensory stimulation. But it is a special form of mental imagery that is triggered by corresponding sensory stimulation in a different sense modality, which I call "multimodal mental imagery."

  14. Novel Tactile Sensor Technology and Smart Tactile Sensing Systems: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Liang; Ge, Chang; Wang, Z Jane; Cretu, Edmond; Li, Xiaoou

    2017-11-17

    During the last decades, smart tactile sensing systems based on different sensing techniques have been developed due to their high potential in industry and biomedical engineering. However, smart tactile sensing technologies and systems are still in their infancy, as many technological and system issues remain unresolved and require strong interdisciplinary efforts to address them. This paper provides an overview of smart tactile sensing systems, with a focus on signal processing technologies used to interpret the measured information from tactile sensors and/or sensors for other sensory modalities. The tactile sensing transduction and principles, fabrication and structures are also discussed with their merits and demerits. Finally, the challenges that tactile sensing technology needs to overcome are highlighted.

  15. Novel Tactile Sensor Technology and Smart Tactile Sensing Systems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Zou

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available During the last decades, smart tactile sensing systems based on different sensing techniques have been developed due to their high potential in industry and biomedical engineering. However, smart tactile sensing technologies and systems are still in their infancy, as many technological and system issues remain unresolved and require strong interdisciplinary efforts to address them. This paper provides an overview of smart tactile sensing systems, with a focus on signal processing technologies used to interpret the measured information from tactile sensors and/or sensors for other sensory modalities. The tactile sensing transduction and principles, fabrication and structures are also discussed with their merits and demerits. Finally, the challenges that tactile sensing technology needs to overcome are highlighted.

  16. A diagnostic model incorporating P50 sensory gating and neuropsychological tests for schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-Chi Shan

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Endophenotypes in schizophrenia research is a contemporary approach to studying this heterogeneous mental illness, and several candidate neurophysiological markers (e.g. P50 sensory gating and neuropsychological tests (e.g. Continuous Performance Test (CPT and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST have been proposed. However, the clinical utility of a single marker appears to be limited. In the present study, we aimed to construct a diagnostic model incorporating P50 sensory gating with other neuropsychological tests in order to improve the clinical utility. METHODS: We recruited clinically stable outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria of schizophrenia and age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Participants underwent P50 sensory gating experimental sessions and batteries of neuropsychological tests, including CPT, WCST and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Third Edition (WAIS-III. RESULTS: A total of 106 schizophrenia patients and 74 healthy controls were enrolled. Compared with healthy controls, the patient group had significantly a larger S2 amplitude, and thus poorer P50 gating ratio (gating ratio = S2/S1. In addition, schizophrenia patients had a poorer performance on neuropsychological tests. We then developed a diagnostic model by using multivariable logistic regression analysis to differentiate patients from healthy controls. The final model included the following covariates: abnormal P50 gating (defined as P50 gating ratio >0.4, three subscales derived from the WAIS-III (Arithmetic, Block Design, and Performance IQ, sensitivity index from CPT and smoking status. This model had an adequate accuracy (concordant percentage = 90.4%; c-statistic = 0.904; Hosmer-Lemeshow Goodness-of-Fit Test, p = 0.64>0.05. CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest study to date using P50 sensory gating in subjects of Chinese ethnicity and the first to use P50 sensory gating along with other neuropsychological tests

  17. Tactile Aids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohtaramossadat Homayuni

    1996-04-01

    Full Text Available Tactile aids, which translate sound waves into vibrations that can be felt by the skin, have been used for decades by people with severe/profound hearing loss to enhance speech/language development and improve speechreading.The development of tactile aids dates from the efforts of Goults and his co-workers in the 1920s; Although The power supply was too voluminous and it was difficult to carry specially by children, it was too huge and heavy to be carried outside the laboratories and its application was restricted to the experimental usage. Nowadays great advances have been performed in producing this instrument and its numerous models is available in markets around the world.

  18. Tactile friction of topical formulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skedung, L; Buraczewska-Norin, I; Dawood, N; Rutland, M W; Ringstad, L

    2016-02-01

    The tactile perception is essential for all types of topical formulations (cosmetic, pharmaceutical, medical device) and the possibility to predict the sensorial response by using instrumental methods instead of sensory testing would save time and cost at an early stage product development. Here, we report on an instrumental evaluation method using tactile friction measurements to estimate perceptual attributes of topical formulations. Friction was measured between an index finger and an artificial skin substrate after application of formulations using a force sensor. Both model formulations of liquid crystalline phase structures with significantly different tactile properties, as well as commercial pharmaceutical moisturizing creams being more tactile-similar, were investigated. Friction coefficients were calculated as the ratio of the friction force to the applied load. The structures of the model formulations and phase transitions as a result of water evaporation were identified using optical microscopy. The friction device could distinguish friction coefficients between the phase structures, as well as the commercial creams after spreading and absorption into the substrate. In addition, phase transitions resulting in alterations in the feel of the formulations could be detected. A correlation was established between skin hydration and friction coefficient, where hydrated skin gave rise to higher friction. Also a link between skin smoothening and finger friction was established for the commercial moisturizing creams, although further investigations are needed to analyse this and correlations with other sensorial attributes in more detail. The present investigation shows that tactile friction measurements have potential as an alternative or complement in the evaluation of perception of topical formulations. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Tactile defensiveness and stereotyped behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranek, G T; Foster, L G; Berkson, G

    1997-02-01

    This study explores the constructs of stereotyped behaviors (e.g., repetitive motor patterns, object manipulations, behavioral rigidities) and tactile defensiveness as relevant to occupational therapy theory and practice and attempts to test their purported relationships in children with developmental disabilities. Twenty-eight children with developmental disabilities and autism were assessed on eight factors of stereotyped behavior via a questionnaire and by four measures of tactile defensiveness. The subjects' scores from the questionnaire were correlated with their scores on the tactile defensiveness measures to see what, if any, relationship among these behaviors exists. Significant relationships emerged from the data, indicating that subjects with higher levels of tactile defensiveness were also more likely to evidence rigid or inflexible behaviors, repetitive verbalizations, visual stereotypes, and abnormal focused affections that are often associated with autism. No significant association was found between motor and object stereotypes and tactile defensiveness. These relationships could not be explained solely by maturational factors. The results suggest that clinicians should include observations of stereotyped behaviors, particularly behavioral rigidities, in conjunction with assessments of sensory defensiveness because these are related phenomena that may pose unique challenges for children with developmental disabilities and autism. Further study is needed to determine the causal mechanisms responsible for these relationships.

  20. Use of a forced-choice test of tactile discrimination in the evaluation of functional sensory loss: a report of 3 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greve, Kevin W; Bianchini, Kevin J; Ameduri, Clifford J

    2003-08-01

    The loss of sensation is not an uncommon associated finding after injury to the peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. However, the sensory examination is prone to the influence of nonphysiologic factors, and one cannot use it to determine whether functional sensory loss reflects unconscious or intentional symptom production. This distinction has important implications for differential diagnosis and for decision making in the context of workers' compensation claims and personal injury litigation. We present 3 cases of patients with chronic pain and nondermatomal patterns of loss of fine-touch sensation, whose sensory loss was examined by a sensory forced-choice symptom validity test. Their below-chance scores showed intentionally produced sensory symptoms. The use of this methodology in differential diagnosis is discussed.

  1. Diagnostic Accuracy of Quantitative Sensory Testing to Discriminate Inflammatory Toothache and Intraoral Neuropathic Pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porporatti, André Luís; Costa, Yuri Martins; Stuginski-Barbosa, Juliana; Bonjardim, Leonardo Rigoldi; Duarte, Marco Antônio Hungaro; Conti, Paulo César Rodrigues

    2015-10-01

    A differential diagnosis between inflammatory toothache (IT) and intraoral neuropathic pain is challenging. The aim of this diagnostic study was to quantify somatosensory function of subjects with IT (acute pulpitis) and atypical odontalgia (AO, intraoral neuropathic pain) and healthy volunteers and to quantify how accurately quantitative sensory testing (QST) discriminates an IT or AO diagnosis. The sample consisted of 60 subjects equally divided (n = 20) into 3 groups: (1) IT, (2) AO, and (3) control. A sequence of 4 QST methods was performed over the dentoalveolar mucosa in the apical maxillar or mandibular area: mechanical detection threshold, pain detection threshold (PDT), dynamic mechanical allodynia, and temporal summation. One-way analysis of variance, Tukey post hoc analyses, and z score transformation were applied to the data. In addition, the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and diagnostic odds ratio of the QST methods were calculated (α = 5%). Somatosensory abnormalities were found for the AO group, which is consistent with a low detection threshold to touch and pain and the presence of mechanical allodynia. For the IT group, no somatosensory abnormality was observed when compared with the control group. The most accurate QST to discriminate the diagnostic differences between IT and healthy individuals is the PDT. The diagnostic differences between AO and healthy individuals and between IT and AO are best discriminated with the mechanical detection threshold, PDT, and dynamic mechanical allodynia. The proposed QST methods may aid in the differential diagnosis between IT and AO with strong accuracy and may be used as complementary diagnostic tests. Copyright © 2015 American Association of Endodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Tactile Perception in Adults with Autism: A Multidimensional Psychophysical Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cascio, Carissa; McGlone, Francis; Folger, Stephen; Tannan, Vinay; Baranek, Grace; Pelphrey, Kevin A.; Essick, Gregory

    2008-01-01

    Although sensory problems, including unusual tactile sensitivity, are heavily associated with autism, there is a dearth of rigorous psychophysical research. We compared tactile sensation in adults with autism to controls on the palm and forearm, the latter innervated by low-threshold unmyelinated afferents subserving a social/affiliative…

  3. Generation of tactile maps for artificial skin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon McGregor

    Full Text Available Prior research has shown that representations of retinal surfaces can be learned from the intrinsic structure of visual sensory data in neural simulations, in robots, as well as by animals. Furthermore, representations of cochlear (frequency surfaces can be learned from auditory data in neural simulations. Advances in hardware technology have allowed the development of artificial skin for robots, realising a new sensory modality which differs in important respects from vision and audition in its sensorimotor characteristics. This provides an opportunity to further investigate ordered sensory map formation using computational tools. We show that it is possible to learn representations of non-trivial tactile surfaces, which require topologically and geometrically involved three-dimensional embeddings. Our method automatically constructs a somatotopic map corresponding to the configuration of tactile sensors on a rigid body, using only intrinsic properties of the tactile data. The additional complexities involved in processing the tactile modality require the development of a novel multi-dimensional scaling algorithm. This algorithm, ANISOMAP, extends previous methods and outperforms them, producing high-quality reconstructions of tactile surfaces in both simulation and hardware tests. In addition, the reconstruction turns out to be robust to unanticipated hardware failure.

  4. Sensory and cognitive neurophysiology in rats, Part 1: Controlled tactile stimulation and micro-ECoG recordings in freely moving animals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dimitriadis, G.; Fransen, A.M.M.; Maris, E.G.G.

    2014-01-01

    Background: We have developed a setup for rats that allows for controlled sensory input to an animal engaged in a task while recording both electrophysiological signals and behavioral output. New method: We record electrophysiological signals using a novel high-density micro-electrocorticography

  5. Diagnostic Accuracy of Clinical Methods for Detection of Diabetic Sensory Neuropathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arshad, A. R.; Alvi, K. Y.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To determine the accuracy of clinical methods for detection of sensory neuropathy as compared to biothesiometry. Study Design: Cross-sectional analytical study. Place and Duration of Study: 1 Mountain Medical Battalion, Azad Kashmir, from October 2013 to September 2014. Methodology: Patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled by convenience sampling. Exclusion criteria included other identifiable causes of neuropathy, extensive ulceration of feet, amputated feet, those on treatment for neuropathy and unwilling patients. Average of 3 vibration perception threshold values measured with a biothesiometer on distal hallux was calculated. Ten gm monofilament was used to examine touch sensation over dorsal surfaces of great toes. Vibration sensation was checked over the tips of great toes using 128Hz tuning fork. Ankle jerks were checked bilaterally. Result: Neuropathy (vibration perception threshold > 25 volts) was present in 34 (21.12 percentage) out of 161 patients and 93 (57.76 percentage) were symptomatic. Measures of diagnostic accuracy for monofilament, tuning fork and ankle jerks were: sensitivity 41.18 percentage, 55.88 percentage and 64.71 percentage; specificity 92.91 percentage, 93.70 percentage and 80.31 percentage; positive predictive value (PPV) 60.87 percentage, 70.37 percentage and 46.81 percentage; negative predictive value (NPV) 85.51 percentage, 88.81 percentage and 89.47 percentage; and, diagnostic accuracy 81.99 percentage, 85.71 percentage and 77.02 percentage, respectively. Values for any 1 positive sign, any 2 positive signs or all 3 positive signs were: sensitivity 35.29 percentage, 14.71 percentage and 32.35 percentage; specificity 81.89 percentage, 93.70 percentage and 99.21 percentage; PPV 34.29 percentage, 38.46 percentage and 91.67 percentage; NPV 82.54 percentage, 80.41 percentage and 84.56 percentage; and, diagnostic accuracy 72.05 percentage, 77.02 percentage and 85.09 percentage, respectively. Conclusion: Clinical methods are

  6. Tactile Evaluation Feedback System for Multi-Layered Structure Inspired by Human Tactile Perception Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iza Husna Mohamad Hashim

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Tactile sensation is one type of valuable feedback in evaluating a product. Conventionally, sensory evaluation is used to get direct subjective responses from the consumers, in order to improve the product’s quality. However, this method is a time-consuming and costly process. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel tactile evaluation system that can give tactile feedback from a sensor’s output. The main concept of this system is hierarchically layering the tactile sensation, which is inspired by the flow of human perception. The tactile sensation is classified from low-order of tactile sensation (LTS to high-order of tactile sensation (HTS, and also to preference. Here, LTS will be correlated with physical measures. Furthermore, the physical measures that are used to correlate with LTS are selected based on four main aspects of haptic information (roughness, compliance, coldness, and slipperiness, which are perceived through human tactile sensors. By using statistical analysis, the correlation between each hierarchy was obtained, and the preference was derived in terms of physical measures. A verification test was conducted by using unknown samples to determine the reliability of the system. The results showed that the system developed was capable of estimating preference with an accuracy of approximately 80%.

  7. Tactile Evaluation Feedback System for Multi-Layered Structure Inspired by Human Tactile Perception Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashim, Iza Husna Mohamad; Kumamoto, Shogo; Takemura, Kenjiro; Maeno, Takashi; Okuda, Shin; Mori, Yukio

    2017-11-11

    Tactile sensation is one type of valuable feedback in evaluating a product. Conventionally, sensory evaluation is used to get direct subjective responses from the consumers, in order to improve the product's quality. However, this method is a time-consuming and costly process. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel tactile evaluation system that can give tactile feedback from a sensor's output. The main concept of this system is hierarchically layering the tactile sensation, which is inspired by the flow of human perception. The tactile sensation is classified from low-order of tactile sensation (LTS) to high-order of tactile sensation (HTS), and also to preference. Here, LTS will be correlated with physical measures. Furthermore, the physical measures that are used to correlate with LTS are selected based on four main aspects of haptic information (roughness, compliance, coldness, and slipperiness), which are perceived through human tactile sensors. By using statistical analysis, the correlation between each hierarchy was obtained, and the preference was derived in terms of physical measures. A verification test was conducted by using unknown samples to determine the reliability of the system. The results showed that the system developed was capable of estimating preference with an accuracy of approximately 80%.

  8. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica eGori

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial-bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gori et al., 2014. To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile-feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject’s forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal-feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial. The no-feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially coherent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality.

  9. About Face: Evaluating and Managing Tactile Impairment at the Time of Autism Diagnosis

    OpenAIRE

    Silva, Louisa M. T.; Schalock, Mark; Gabrielsen, Kristen R.

    2015-01-01

    Evaluation for sensory impairment is a routine part of autism diagnosis. Sensory impairment of hearing, vision, or touch results in developmental delay and must be addressed before delay can resolve. Recent studies confirm that tactile impairment is present in autism and can be effectively treated with a tactile stimulation protocol. The research suggests a change in management at the time of autism diagnosis to include evaluation and treatment of tactile impairment. Here we validate screenin...

  10. Sensory and cognitive neurophysiology in rats, Part 1: Controlled tactile stimulation and micro-ECoG recordings in freely moving animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitriadis, George; Fransen, Anne M M; Maris, Eric

    2014-07-30

    We have developed a setup for rats that allows for controlled sensory input to an animal engaged in a task while recording both electrophysiological signals and behavioral output. We record electrophysiological signals using a novel high-density micro-electrocorticography (micro-ECoG) grid that covers almost the whole somatosensory system. We dealt with the well-known difficulty that the rat uses its whisker system in an active (motor-controlled) way to explore its environment by designing a head-mounted device that stimulates the rat's snout in a way unaffected by whisker movements. We replicate the spatial specificity of early evoked responses in somatosensory and auditory cortex. In a companion paper (Cognitive Neurophysiology in Rats, Part 2: Validation and Demonstration) we validate our setup and show for the first time that the ECoG can be used to record evoked responses in a signal that reflects neural output (spiking activity). Compared with high-density wire recordings, micro-ECoG offers a much more stable signal without readjustments, and a much better scalability. Compared with head-fixed preparations, our head-mounted stimulator allows to stay closer to the rat's natural way of collecting sensory information. For perceptual and cognitive research, our setup provides a unique combination of possibilities that cannot be achieved in other setups for rodents. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Tactile object exploration using cursor navigation sensors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraft, Dirk; Bierbaum, Alexander; Kjaergaard, Morten

    2009-01-01

    In robotic applications tactile sensor systems serve the purpose of localizing a contact point and measuring contact forces. We have investigated the applicability of a sensorial device commonly used in cursor navigation technology for tactile sensing in robotics. We show the potential of this se......In robotic applications tactile sensor systems serve the purpose of localizing a contact point and measuring contact forces. We have investigated the applicability of a sensorial device commonly used in cursor navigation technology for tactile sensing in robotics. We show the potential...... of this sensor for active haptic exploration. More specifically, we present experiments and results which demonstrate the extraction of relevant object properties such as local shape, weight and elasticity using this technology. Besides its low price due to mass production and its modularity, an interesting...... aspect of this sensor is that beside a localization of contact points and measurement of the contact normal force also shear forces can be measured. This is relevant for many applications such as surface normal estimation and weight measurements. Scalable tactile sensor arrays have been developed...

  12. Learning tactile skills through curious exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo ePape

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We present curiosity-driven, autonomous acquisition of tactile exploratory skills on a biomimetic robot finger equipped with an array of microelectromechanical touch sensors. Instead of building tailored algorithms for solving a specific tactile task, we employ a more general curiosity-driven reinforcement learning approach that autonomously learns a set of motor skills in absence of an explicit teacher signal. In this approach, the acquisition of skills is driven by the information content of the sensory input signals relative to a learner that aims at representing sensory inputs using fewer and fewer computational resources. We show that, from initially random exploration of its environment, the robotic system autonomously develops a small set of basic motor skills that lead to different kinds of tactile input. Next, the system learns how to exploit the learned motor skills to solve supervised texture classification tasks. Our approach demonstrates the feasibility of autonomous acquisition of tactile skills on physical robotic platforms through curiosity-driven reinforcement learning, overcomes typical difficulties of engineered solutions for active tactile exploration and underactuated control, and provides a basis for studying developmental learning through intrinsic motivation in robots.

  13. Inducing circular vection with tactile stimulation encircling the waist

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tinga, A.M.; Jansen, C.; Smagt, M.J. van der; Nijboer, T.C.W.; Erp, J.B.F. van

    2018-01-01

    In general, moving sensory stimuli (visual and auditory) can induce illusory sensations of self-motion (i.e. vection) in the direction opposite of the sensory stimulation. The aim of the current study was to examine whether tactile stimulation encircling the waist could induce circular vection

  14. Autism spectrum disorder in the scope of tactile processing

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    Mark Mikkelsen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensory processing abnormalities are among the most common behavioral phenotypes seen in autism spectrum disorder (ASD, typically characterized by either over- or under-responsiveness to stimulation. In this review, we focus on tactile processing dysfunction in ASD. We firstly review clinical studies wherein sensitivity to tactile stimuli has traditionally been assessed by self-, parent- and experimenter-reports. We also discuss recent investigations using psychophysical paradigms that gauge individual tactile thresholds. These more experimentally rigorous studies allow for more objective assessments of tactile abnormalities in ASD. However, little is understood about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these abnormalities, or the link between tactile abnormalities and ASD symptoms. Neurobiological research that has been conducted has pointed toward dysfunction in the excitation/inhibition balance of the central nervous system of those with ASD. This review covers recent efforts that have investigated tactile dysfunction in ASD from clinical and behavioral perspectives, and some of the efforts to link these to neurobiology. On the whole, findings are inconsistent, which can be ascribed to the subjectivity of clinical assessments, the heterogeneity of ASD cohorts, and the diversity of tactile sensitivity measures. Future endeavors into understanding tactile processing differences in ASD will greatly benefit from controlled experiments driven by neurobiological hypotheses. Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Psychophysics, Review, Touch, Somatosensory, Tactile processing

  15. Comparison of LEP and QST and their contribution to standard sensory diagnostic assessment of spinal lesions: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geber, Christian; Baumgärtner, Ulf; Fechir, Marcel; Vogt, Thomas; Birklein, Frank; Treede, Rolf-Detlef

    2011-06-01

    This study evaluates the additional use of laser-evoked potentials (LEP) and quantitative sensory testing (QST) in the sensory assessment of spinal lesions. Four consecutive patients with spinal lesions verified by MRI and clinical evidence for mild spinothalamic tract involvement were included. The electrophysiological workup [somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) and LEP] was compared to QST. Electrophysiology and QST were reassessed after about 6 months. LEP detected impaired spinothalamic tract function in 7/8 examinations. QST pointed to spinothalamic tract lesions by loss of thermal function (3/8); most frequent positive sensory signs (3/8) were paradoxical heat sensations. LEP and QST results were concordant in 6/8 examinations. SEPs were abnormal in 2/8 examinations. Congruent results between SEP and both LEP and QST were obtained in 3/8 examinations. LEP detected more deficits than any single QST parameter or their combination but additional QST allows the detection of positive sensory signs. The diagnostic gain of SEP was limited.

  16. Endoscopic vs. tactile evaluation of subgingival calculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, Joy B; Lenton, Patricia A; Lunos, Scott A; Blue, Christine M

    2014-08-01

    Endoscopic technology has been developed to facilitate imagery for use during diagnostic and therapeutic phases of periodontal care. The purpose of this study was to compare the level of subgingival calculus detection using a periodontal endoscope with that of conventional tactile explorer in periodontitis subjects. A convenience sample of 26 subjects with moderate periodontitis in at least 2 quadrants was recruited from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry to undergo quadrant scaling and root planing. One quadrant from each subject was randomized for tactile calculus detection alone and the other quadrant for tactile detection plus the Perioscope ™ (Perioscopy Inc., Oakland, Cali). A calculus index on a 0 to 3 score was performed at baseline and at 2 post-scaling and root planing visits. Sites where calculus was detected at visit 1 were retreated. T-tests were used to determine within-subject differences between Perioscope™ and tactile measures, and changes in measures between visits. Significantly more calculus was detected using the Perioscope™ vs. tactile explorer for all 3 subject visits (pcalculus detection from baseline to visit 1 were statistically significant for both the Perioscope™ and tactile quadrants (pcalculus detection from visit 1 to visit 2 was only significant for the Perioscope™ quadrant (pcalculus at this visit. It was concluded that the addition of a visual component to calculus detection via the Perioscope™ was most helpful in the re-evaluation phase of periodontal therapy. Copyright © 2014 The American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

  17. Tactile Working Memory Outside our Hands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takako Yoshida

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The haptic perception of 2D images is believed to make heavy demands on working memory. During active exploration, we need to store not only the current sensory information, but also to integrate this with kinesthetic information of the hand and fingers in order to generate a coherent percept. The question that arises is how much tactile memory we have for tactile stimuli that are no longer in contact with the skin during active touch? We examined working memory using a tactile change detection task with active exploration. Each trial contained two stimulation arrays. Participants engaged in unconstrained active tactile exploration of an array of vibrotactile stimulators. In half of the trials, one of the vibrating tactors that was active in the first stimulation turned off and another started vibrating in the second stimulation. Participants had to report whether the arrays were the same or different. Performance was near-perfect when up to two tactors were used and dropped linearly as the number of the vibrating tactors increased. These results suggest that the tactile working memory off the hand is limited and there is little or no memory integration across hand movements.

  18. Bayesian Alternation During Tactile Augmentation

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    Caspar Mathias Goeke

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available A large number of studies suggest that the integration of multisensory signals by humans is well described by Bayesian principles. However, there are very few reports about cue combination between a native and an augmented sense. In particular, we asked the question whether adult participants are able to integrate an augmented sensory cue with existing native sensory information. Hence for the purpose of this study we build a tactile augmentation device. Consequently, we compared different hypotheses of how untrained adult participants combine information from a native and an augmented sense. In a two-interval forced choice (2 IFC task, while subjects were blindfolded and seated on a rotating platform, our sensory augmentation device translated information on whole body yaw rotation to tactile stimulation. Three conditions were realized: tactile stimulation only (augmented condition, rotation only (native condition, and both augmented and native information (bimodal condition. Participants had to choose one out of two consecutive rotations with higher angular rotation. For the analysis, we fitted the participants’ responses with a probit model and calculated the just notable difference (JND. Then we compared several models for predicting bimodal from unimodal responses. An objective Bayesian alternation model yielded a better prediction (χred2 = 1.67 than the Bayesian integration model (χred2= 4.34. Slightly higher accuracy showed a non-Bayesian winner takes all model (χred2= 1.64, which either used only native or only augmented values per subject for prediction. However the performance of the Bayesian alternation model could be substantially improved (χred2= 1.09 utilizing subjective weights obtained by a questionnaire. As a result, the subjective Bayesian alternation model predicted bimodal performance most accurately among all tested models. These results suggest that information from augmented and existing sensory modalities in

  19. About Face: Evaluating and Managing Tactile Impairment at the Time of Autism Diagnosis

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    Louisa M. T. Silva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation for sensory impairment is a routine part of autism diagnosis. Sensory impairment of hearing, vision, or touch results in developmental delay and must be addressed before delay can resolve. Recent studies confirm that tactile impairment is present in autism and can be effectively treated with a tactile stimulation protocol. The research suggests a change in management at the time of autism diagnosis to include evaluation and treatment of tactile impairment. Here we validate screening and management tool for tactile impairment, the Autism Touch and Self-Regulation Checklist, in 404 typical and autistic preschool children. The tool assesses tactile impairment by location and severity. Autistic children were distinguished by mixed pain and numbness on multiple areas including the face and mouth (F=412.1 (1,402;p<.000. Oral-facial tactile impairment interferes with the tactile stimulus to orienting. We hypothesized that oral-facial tactile impairment and difficulty orienting are predictive of ASD and that severity of tactile impairment is predictive of severity of ASD. Questions evaluating oral-facial and orienting responses correctly predicted 91% of the autism group. Severity of tactile impairment correctly predicted 81% of mild versus severe ASD. Results underscore the importance of evaluating and treating tactile impairment at the time of autism diagnosis.

  20. Attention modulates sensory suppression during back movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hulle, Lore; Juravle, Georgiana; Spence, Charles; Crombez, Geert; Van Damme, Stefaan

    2013-06-01

    Tactile perception is often impaired during movement. The present study investigated whether such sensory suppression also occurs during back movements, and whether this would be modulated by attention. In two tactile detection experiments, participants simultaneously engaged in a movement task, in which they executed a back-bending movement, and a perceptual task, consisting of the detection of subtle tactile stimuli administered to their upper or lower back. The focus of participants' attention was manipulated by raising the probability that one of the back locations would be stimulated. The results revealed that tactile detection was suppressed during the execution of the back movements. Furthermore, the results of Experiment 2 revealed that when the stimulus was always presented to the attended location, tactile suppression was substantially reduced, suggesting that sensory suppression can be modulated by top-down attentional processes. The potential of this paradigm for studying tactile information processing in clinical populations is discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Merkel disc is a serotonergic synapse in the epidermis for transmitting tactile signals in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Weipang; Kanda, Hirosato; Ikeda, Ryo; Ling, Jennifer; DeBerry, Jennifer J; Gu, Jianguo G

    2016-09-13

    The evolution of sensory systems has let mammals develop complicated tactile end organs to enable sophisticated sensory tasks, including social interaction, environmental exploration, and tactile discrimination. The Merkel disc, a main type of tactile end organ consisting of Merkel cells (MCs) and Aβ-afferent endings, are highly abundant in fingertips, touch domes, and whisker hair follicles of mammals. The Merkel disc has high tactile acuity for an object's physical features, such as texture, shape, and edges. Mechanisms underlying the tactile function of Merkel discs are obscured as to how MCs transmit tactile signals to Aβ-afferent endings leading to tactile sensations. Using mouse whisker hair follicles, we show herein that tactile stimuli are transduced by MCs into excitatory signals that trigger vesicular serotonin release from MCs. We identify that both ionotropic and metabotropic 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors are expressed on whisker Aβ-afferent endings and that their activation by serotonin released from MCs initiates Aβ-afferent impulses. Moreover, we demonstrate that these ionotropic and metabotropic 5-HT receptors have a synergistic effect that is critical to both electrophysiological and behavioral tactile responses. These findings elucidate that the Merkel disc is a unique serotonergic synapse located in the epidermis and plays a key role in tactile transmission. The epidermal serotonergic synapse may have important clinical implications in sensory dysfunctions, such as the loss of tactile sensitivity and tactile allodynia seen in patients who have diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and undergo chemotherapy. It may also have implications in the exaggerated tactile sensations induced by recreational drugs that act on serotoninergic synapses.

  2. Beats, Flesh, and Grain : Sonic Tactility and Affect in Electronic Dance Music

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia, Luis-Manuel

    2015-01-01

    This essay sets out to explore the tactilization of sound in electronic dance music (EDM), which offers an important sensory-affective bridge between touch, sonic experience, and an expansive sense of connection in dancing crowds. EDM events tend to engender spaces of heightened tactility and

  3. Tactile acuity is disrupted in osteoarthritis but is unrelated to disruptions in motor imagery performance.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stanton, T.R.; Lin, C.W.; Bray, H.; Smeets, R.J.P.; Taylor, D.; Law, R.Y.; Moseley, G.L.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether tactile acuity is disrupted in people with knee OA and to determine whether tactile acuity, a clinical signature of primary sensory cortex representation, is related to motor imagery performance (MIP; evaluates working body schema) and pain. METHODS: Experiment 1:

  4. Audio-tactile integration and the influence of musical training.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Kuchenbuch

    Full Text Available Perception of our environment is a multisensory experience; information from different sensory systems like the auditory, visual and tactile is constantly integrated. Complex tasks that require high temporal and spatial precision of multisensory integration put strong demands on the underlying networks but it is largely unknown how task experience shapes multisensory processing. Long-term musical training is an excellent model for brain plasticity because it shapes the human brain at functional and structural levels, affecting a network of brain areas. In the present study we used magnetoencephalography (MEG to investigate how audio-tactile perception is integrated in the human brain and if musicians show enhancement of the corresponding activation compared to non-musicians. Using a paradigm that allowed the investigation of combined and separate auditory and tactile processing, we found a multisensory incongruency response, generated in frontal, cingulate and cerebellar regions, an auditory mismatch response generated mainly in the auditory cortex and a tactile mismatch response generated in frontal and cerebellar regions. The influence of musical training was seen in the audio-tactile as well as in the auditory condition, indicating enhanced higher-order processing in musicians, while the sources of the tactile MMN were not influenced by long-term musical training. Consistent with the predictive coding model, more basic, bottom-up sensory processing was relatively stable and less affected by expertise, whereas areas for top-down models of multisensory expectancies were modulated by training.

  5. Audio-tactile integration and the influence of musical training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchenbuch, Anja; Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Herholz, Sibylle C; Pantev, Christo

    2014-01-01

    Perception of our environment is a multisensory experience; information from different sensory systems like the auditory, visual and tactile is constantly integrated. Complex tasks that require high temporal and spatial precision of multisensory integration put strong demands on the underlying networks but it is largely unknown how task experience shapes multisensory processing. Long-term musical training is an excellent model for brain plasticity because it shapes the human brain at functional and structural levels, affecting a network of brain areas. In the present study we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate how audio-tactile perception is integrated in the human brain and if musicians show enhancement of the corresponding activation compared to non-musicians. Using a paradigm that allowed the investigation of combined and separate auditory and tactile processing, we found a multisensory incongruency response, generated in frontal, cingulate and cerebellar regions, an auditory mismatch response generated mainly in the auditory cortex and a tactile mismatch response generated in frontal and cerebellar regions. The influence of musical training was seen in the audio-tactile as well as in the auditory condition, indicating enhanced higher-order processing in musicians, while the sources of the tactile MMN were not influenced by long-term musical training. Consistent with the predictive coding model, more basic, bottom-up sensory processing was relatively stable and less affected by expertise, whereas areas for top-down models of multisensory expectancies were modulated by training.

  6. Fundamental study on formulation design of skin care products by modeling of tactile sensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akiyama, Yoko; Mishima, Fumihito; Nishijima, Shigehiro

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study is to construct a method to quantify and formulate the human tactile sensation. We have tried to indicate the sensory scores of tactile sensation as a combination of the physical values of skin care products. Consequently, the extracted principle factors of the sensory properties could be related to the physical values by multiple regression analysis. For the next step, we investigated the physical mechanism of tactile sensation, and proposed a method to formulate the sensory properties. A method to formulate the sensory properties of skin care products was constructed based on the relation between sensory values, principal factors, physical values and composition. The method was verified by sensory evaluation.

  7. Tactility and the body in early Chinese medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Elisabeth

    2005-03-01

    If visual inspection of corpses was central to the development of anatomy in modern Europe, one may ask which of the senses was important for the emergence of the predominant currents of scholarly medical knowledge and practice in third- and second-century B.C.E. China? This article argues that it was tactile perception prompted by a tactile exploration of living bodies. The evidence, derived from a close reading of the Mawangdui medical manuscripts, the 105th chapter of the Records of the Historian, and selected passages from the Huang Di's Inner Canon, points to three important trends: first, the tactile exploration of the extremities led to a rich vocabulary of compound words for pain as localized in specific body parts; second, the tactile exploration of the mai gave rise to an even richer vocabulary on qualities of touch in pulse diagnostics; and third, the tactile exploration of the abdomen led to the assessment of the quality of the internal viscera with words that generally were used for describing the tactile quality of skin and flesh. This finding may appear surprising in the light of later developments during the dynastic history of Chinese medicine where tactile exploration of abdomen and extremities would appear unseemly. The author suggests that extensive tactile explorations of the body were possible before Confucius' teachings became a predominant aspect of state ideology.

  8. Force control in the absence of visual and tactile feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mugge, W.; Abbink, D.A.; Schouten, Alfred Christiaan; van der Helm, F.C.T.; Arendzen, J.H.; Meskers, C.G.M.

    2013-01-01

    Motor control tasks like stance or object handling require sensory feedback from proprioception, vision and touch. The distinction between tactile and proprioceptive sensors is not frequently made in dynamic motor control tasks, and if so, mostly based on signal latency. We previously found that

  9. Rectal sensory threshold for pain is a diagnostic marker of irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halac, Ugur; Noble, Angela; Faure, Christophe

    2010-01-01

    To evaluate the diagnostic value of the rectal sensory threshold for pain (RSTP) in children and adolescents with chronic abdominal pain. Fifty-one patients (25 girls; median age 14.2 years; range 8.4-17.6) with abdominal pain >2 months underwent a series of rectal distensions with an electronic barostat. RSTP and viscerosomatic referrals were assessed. Three months after the barostat, the final diagnosis was documented. Thirty-five patients had a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID) (irritable bowel syndrome or functional abdominal pain), and 16 had an organic disease. RSTP was lower in the FGID group than in the organic disease group (25.4mm Hg vs 37.1mm Hg; P = .0002). At the cutoff of 30mm Hg, the RSTP measurement for the diagnosis of FGID had a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 77%. Both groups similarly reported aberrant viscerosomatic projections. In children, RSTP is a diagnostic marker of irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain. Viscerosomatic referrals are similar in children with FGID and organic diseases.

  10. Towards the Tactile Internet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Szabó, Dávid; Gulyás, András; Fitzek, Frank

    2015-01-01

    5G communication networks enable the steering and control of Internet of Things and therefore require extreme low latency communication referred to as the tactile Internet. In this paper we show that the massive use of network coding throughout the network significantly improves latency and reduce...... the frequency of packet re-transmission, so an architecture built around network coding may be a feasible road towards realizing the tactile internet vision. Our contribution is threefold: (i) we show how network coding improves latency and reduces packet re-transmission with respect to other coding schemes...

  11. The phase of prestimulus alpha oscillations affects tactile perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai, Lei; Ro, Tony

    2014-03-01

    Previous studies have shown that neural oscillations in the 8- to 12-Hz range influence sensory perception. In the current study, we examined whether both the power and phase of these mu/alpha oscillations predict successful conscious tactile perception. Near-threshold tactile stimuli were applied to the left hand while electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was recorded over the contralateral right somatosensory cortex. We found a significant inverted U-shaped relationship between prestimulus mu/alpha power and detection rate, suggesting that there is an intermediate level of alpha power that is optimal for tactile perception. We also found a significant difference in phase angle concentration at stimulus onset that predicted whether the upcoming tactile stimulus was perceived or missed. As has been shown in the visual system, these findings suggest that these mu/alpha oscillations measured over somatosensory areas exert a strong inhibitory control on tactile perception and that pulsed inhibition by these oscillations shapes the state of brain activity necessary for conscious perception. They further suggest that these common phasic processing mechanisms across different sensory modalities and brain regions may reflect a common underlying encoding principle in perceptual processing that leads to momentary windows of perceptual awareness.

  12. O aprendizado da utilização da substituição sensorial visuo-tátil por pessoas com deficiência visual: primeiras experiências e estratégias metodológicas The learning of the use of the tactile-vision sensory substitution by people with visual disability: first experiences and methodological strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virgínia Kastrup

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available O sistema de substituição tátil-visual (TVSS é uma tecnologia assistiva criada para ajudar deficientes visuais a perceberem aspectos visuais de seu ambiente através do tato e contribuir para sua inclusão social. Para melhor entender o processo de aprendizagem dessa tecnologia, quatro participantes cegos foram treinados com o Brainport®, a última versão do TVSS, onde imagens visuais transformadas são exploradas pela língua. O artigo objetiva de investigar o estágio inicial desse processo de aprendizagem, em termos tanto do desempenho dos participantes quanto da qualidade de sua experiência. O treinamento, conduzido de acordo com um método clínico-pedagógico, produziu dados em terceira pessoa e em primeira pessoa. Os dados foram obtidos através de registros de desempenho e de entrevistas de explicitação. Os resultados mostram que as maiores dificuldades surgidas foram relativas ao acoplamento sensório-motor, aos movimentos do corpo e da cabeça e à dissonância entre as expectativas e a qualidade da experiência perceptiva.The tactile-vision-substitution-system (TVSS is an assistive technology designed to aid the visually impaired in perceiving visual aspects of their environment located beyond touch. In order to better understand the learning process of that assistive aid, we trained four blind participants with the Brainport®, the last version of the TVSS, where the transformed visual images are explored by the tongue. More specifically, this article aims to investigate the initial stage of this learning process, in terms both of participants' performance and their qualitative experience. The training, conducted according to the clinical-pedagogic method, produced data both from the first-person and the third-person point of view. Data were gathered through records of participants' performance and explanation interviews. Results show that the main difficulties arising during the process concerned sensory-motor coupling

  13. A Tactile Carina Nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grice, Noreen A.; Mutchler, M.

    2010-01-01

    Astronomy was once considered a science restricted to fully sighted participants. But in the past two decades, accessible books with large print/Braille and touchable pictures have brought astronomy and space science to the hands and mind's eye of students, regardless of their visual ability. A new universally-designed tactile image featuring the Hubble mosaic of the Carina Nebula is being presented at this conference. The original dataset was obtained with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) hydrogen-alpha filter in 2005. It became an instant icon after being infused with additional color information from ground-based CTIO data, and released as Hubble's 17th anniversary image. Our tactile Carina Nebula promotes multi-mode learning about the entire life-cycle of stars, which is dramatically illustrated in this Hubble mosaic. When combined with descriptive text in print and Braille, the visual and tactile components seamlessly reach both sighted and blind populations. Specific touchable features of the tactile image identify the shapes and orientations of objects in the Carina Nebula that include star-forming regions, jets, pillars, dark and light globules, star clusters, shocks/bubbles, the Keyhole Nebula, and stellar death (Eta Carinae). Visit our poster paper to touch the Carina Nebula!

  14. An Adaptation-Induced Repulsion Illusion in Tactile Spatial Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lux Li

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Following focal sensory adaptation, the perceived separation between visual stimuli that straddle the adapted region is often exaggerated. For instance, in the tilt aftereffect illusion, adaptation to tilted lines causes subsequently viewed lines with nearby orientations to be perceptually repelled from the adapted orientation. Repulsion illusions in the nonvisual senses have been less studied. Here, we investigated whether adaptation induces a repulsion illusion in tactile spatial perception. In a two-interval forced-choice task, participants compared the perceived separation between two point-stimuli applied on the forearms successively. Separation distance was constant on one arm (the reference and varied on the other arm (the comparison. In Experiment 1, we took three consecutive baseline measurements, verifying that in the absence of manipulation, participants’ distance perception was unbiased across arms and stable across experimental blocks. In Experiment 2, we vibrated a region of skin on the reference arm, verifying that this focally reduced tactile sensitivity, as indicated by elevated monofilament detection thresholds. In Experiment 3, we applied vibration between the two reference points in our distance perception protocol and discovered that this caused an illusory increase in the separation between the points. We conclude that focal adaptation induces a repulsion aftereffect illusion in tactile spatial perception. The illusion provides clues as to how the tactile system represents spatial information. The analogous repulsion aftereffects caused by adaptation in different stimulus domains and sensory systems may point to fundamentally similar strategies for dynamic sensory coding.

  15. Left hand tactile agnosia after posterior callosal lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balsamo, Maddalena; Trojano, Luigi; Giamundo, Arcangelo; Grossi, Dario

    2008-09-01

    We report a patient with a hemorrhagic lesion encroaching upon the posterior third of the corpus callosum but sparing the splenium. She showed marked difficulties in recognizing objects and shapes perceived through her left hand, while she could appreciate elementary sensorial features of items tactually presented to the same hand flawlessly. This picture, corresponding to classical descriptions of unilateral associative tactile agnosia, was associated with finger agnosia of the left hand. This very unusual case report can be interpreted as an instance of disconnection syndrome, and allows a discussion of mechanisms involved in tactile object recognition.

  16. A case of tactile agnosia with a lesion restricted to the post-central gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estañol, Bruno; Baizabal-Carvallo, José Fidel; Sentíes-Madrid, Horacio

    2008-01-01

    Tactile agnosia has been described after lesions of the primary sensory cortex but the exact location and extension of those lesions is not clear. We report the clinical features and imaging findings in a patient with an acute ischemic stroke restricted to the primary sensory area (S1). A 73-year-old man had a sudden onset of a left alien hand, without left hemiparesis. Neurological examination showed intact primary sensory functions, but impaired recognition of shape, size (macrogeometrical) and texture (microgeometrical) of objects; damage confined to the post-central gyrus, sparing the posterior parietal cortex was demonstrated on MRI. An embolic occlusion of the anterior parietal artery was suspected as mechanism of stroke. Tactile agnosia with impaired microgeometrical and macrogeometrical features' recognition can result from a single lesion in the primary sensory cortex (S1) in the right parietal hemisphere, sparing other regions of the cerebral cortex which presumably participate in tactile object recognition.

  17. Merkel cells transduce and encode tactile stimuli to drive Aβ-afferent impulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Ryo; Cha, Myeounghoon; Ling, Jennifer; Jia, Zhanfeng; Coyle, Dennis; Gu, Jianguo G.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Sensory systems for detecting tactile stimuli have evolved from touch-sensing nerves in invertebrates to complicated tactile end-organs in mammals. Merkel discs are tactile end-organs consisting of Merkel cells and Aβ-afferent nerve endings, and are localized in fingertips, whisker hair follicles and other touch-sensitive spots. Merkel discs transduce touch into slowly adapting impulses to enable tactile discrimination, but their transduction and encoding mechanisms remain unknown. Using rat whisker hair follicles, we show that Merkel cells rather than Aβ-afferent nerve endings are primary sites of tactile transduction, and identify the Piezo2 ion channel as the Merkel cell mechanical transducer. Piezo2 transduces tactile stimuli into Ca2+-action potentials in Merkel cells, which drive Aβ-afferent nerve endings to fire slowly adapting impulses. We further demonstrate that Piezo2 and Ca2+-action potentials in Merkel cells are required for behavioral tactile responses. Our findings provide insights into how tactile end-organs function and have clinical implications for tactile dysfunctions. PMID:24746027

  18. Tactile Data Entry System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    The patent-pending Glove-Enabled Computer Operations (GECO) design leverages extravehicular activity (EVA) glove design features as platforms for instrumentation and tactile feedback, enabling the gloves to function as human-computer interface devices. Flexible sensors in each finger enable control inputs that can be mapped to any number of functions (e.g., a mouse click, a keyboard strike, or a button press). Tracking of hand motion is interpreted alternatively as movement of a mouse (change in cursor position on a graphical user interface) or a change in hand position on a virtual keyboard. Programmable vibro-tactile actuators aligned with each finger enrich the interface by creating the haptic sensations associated with control inputs, such as recoil of a button press.

  19. Compliant Tactile Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Jara, Eduardo R.

    2011-01-01

    Tactile sensors are currently being designed to sense interactions with human hands or pen-like interfaces. They are generally embedded in screens, keyboards, mousepads, and pushbuttons. However, they are not well fitted to sense interactions with all kinds of objects. A novel sensor was originally designed to investigate robotics manipulation where not only the contact with an object needs to be detected, but also where the object needs to be held and manipulated. This tactile sensor has been designed with features that allow it to sense a large variety of objects in human environments. The sensor is capable of detecting forces coming from any direction. As a result, this sensor delivers a force vector with three components. In contrast to most of the tactile sensors that are flat, this one sticks out from the surface so that it is likely to come in contact with objects. The sensor conforms to the object with which it interacts. This augments the contact's surface, consequently reducing the stress applied to the object. This feature makes the sensor ideal for grabbing objects and other applications that require compliance with objects. The operational range of the sensor allows it to operate well with objects found in peoples' daily life. The fabrication of this sensor is simple and inexpensive because of its compact mechanical configuration and reduced electronics. These features are convenient for mass production of individual sensors as well as dense arrays. The biologically inspired tactile sensor is sensitive to both normal and lateral forces, providing better feedback to the host robot about the object to be grabbed. It has a high sensitivity, enabling its use in manipulation fingers, which typically have low mechanical impedance in order to be very compliant. The construction of the sensor is simple, using inexpensive technologies like silicon rubber molding and standard stock electronics.

  20. Synthetic and Bio-Artificial Tactile Sensing: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Chiara Carrozza

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the state of the art of artificial tactile sensing, with a particular focus on bio-hybrid and fully-biological approaches. To this aim, the study of physiology of the human sense of touch and of the coding mechanisms of tactile information is a significant starting point, which is briefly explored in this review. Then, the progress towards the development of an artificial sense of touch are investigated. Artificial tactile sensing is analysed with respect to the possible approaches to fabricate the outer interface layer: synthetic skin versus bio-artificial skin. With particular respect to the synthetic skin approach, a brief overview is provided on various technologies and transduction principles that can be integrated beneath the skin layer. Then, the main focus moves to approaches characterized by the use of bio-artificial skin as an outer layer of the artificial sensory system. Within this design solution for the skin, bio-hybrid and fully-biological tactile sensing systems are thoroughly presented: while significant results have been reported for the development of tissue engineered skins, the development of mechanotransduction units and their integration is a recent trend that is still lagging behind, therefore requiring research efforts and investments. In the last part of the paper, application domains and perspectives of the reviewed tactile sensing technologies are discussed.

  1. Verification and clarification of patterns of sensory integrative dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mailloux, Zoe; Mulligan, Shelley; Roley, Susanne Smith; Blanche, Erna; Cermak, Sharon; Coleman, Gina Geppert; Bodison, Stefanie; Lane, Christianne Joy

    2011-01-01

    Building on established relationships between the constructs of sensory integration in typical and special needs populations, in this retrospective study we examined patterns of sensory integrative dysfunction in 273 children ages 4-9 who had received occupational therapy evaluations in two private practice settings. Test results on the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests, portions of the Sensory Processing Measure representing tactile overresponsiveness, and parent report of attention and activity level were included in the analyses. Exploratory factor analysis identified patterns similar to those found in early studies by Ayres (1965, 1966a, 1966b, 1969, 1972b, 1977, & 1989), namely Visuodyspraxia and Somatodyspraxia, Vestibular and Proprioceptive Bilateral Integration and Sequencing, Tactile and Visual Discrimination, and Tactile Defensiveness and Attention. Findings reinforce associations between constructs of sensory integration and assist with understanding sensory integration disorders that may affect childhood occupation. Limitations include the potential for subjective interpretation in factor analysis and inability to adjust measures available in charts in a retrospective research.

  2. Perceived duration of visual and tactile stimuli depends on perceived speed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice eTomassini

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available It is known that the perceived duration of visual stimuli is strongly influenced by speed: faster moving stimuli appear to last longer. To test whether this is a general property of sensory systems we asked participants to reproduce the duration of visual and tactile gratings, and visuo-tactile gratings moving at a variable speed (3.5 – 15 cm/s for three different durations (400, 600 and 800 ms. For both modalities, the apparent duration of the stimulus increased strongly with stimulus speed, more so for tactile than for visual stimuli. In addition, visual stimuli were perceived to last approximately 200 ms longer than tactile stimuli. The apparent duration of visuo-tactile stimuli lay between the unimodal estimates, as the Bayesian account predicts, but the bimodal precision of the reproduction did not show the theoretical improvement. A cross-modal speed-matching task revealed that visual stimuli were perceived to move faster than tactile stimuli. To test whether the large difference in the perceived duration of visual and tactile stimuli resulted from the difference in their perceived speed, we repeated the time reproduction task with visual and tactile stimuli matched in apparent speed. This reduced, but did not completely eliminate the difference in apparent duration. These results show that for both vision and touch, perceived duration depends on speed, pointing to common strategies of time perception.

  3. Audio-Tactile Integration and the Influence of Musical Training

    OpenAIRE

    Kuchenbuch, Anja; Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Herholz, Sibylle C.; Pantev, Christo

    2014-01-01

    Perception of our environment is a multisensory experience; information from different sensory systems like the auditory, visual and tactile is constantly integrated. Complex tasks that require high temporal and spatial precision of multisensory integration put strong demands on the underlying networks but it is largely unknown how task experience shapes multisensory processing. Long-term musical training is an excellent model for brain plasticity because it shapes the human brain at function...

  4. Tactile-STAR: A Novel Tactile STimulator And Recorder System for Evaluating and Improving Tactile Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballardini, Giulia; Carlini, Giorgio; Giannoni, Psiche; Scheidt, Robert A; Nisky, Ilana; Casadio, Maura

    2018-01-01

    Many neurological diseases impair the motor and somatosensory systems. While several different technologies are used in clinical practice to assess and improve motor functions, somatosensation is evaluated subjectively with qualitative clinical scales. Treatment of somatosensory deficits has received limited attention. To bridge the gap between the assessment and training of motor vs. somatosensory abilities, we designed, developed, and tested a novel, low-cost, two-component (bimanual) mechatronic system targeting tactile somatosensation: the Tactile-STAR -a tactile stimulator and recorder. The stimulator is an actuated pantograph structure driven by two servomotors, with an end-effector covered by a rubber material that can apply two different types of skin stimulation: brush and stretch. The stimulator has a modular design, and can be used to test the tactile perception in different parts of the body such as the hand, arm, leg, big toe, etc. The recorder is a passive pantograph that can measure hand motion using two potentiometers. The recorder can serve multiple purposes: participants can move its handle to match the direction and amplitude of the tactile stimulator, or they can use it as a master manipulator to control the tactile stimulator as a slave. Our ultimate goal is to assess and affect tactile acuity and somatosensory deficits. To demonstrate the feasibility of our novel system, we tested the Tactile-STAR with 16 healthy individuals and with three stroke survivors using the skin-brush stimulation. We verified that the system enables the mapping of tactile perception on the hand in both populations. We also tested the extent to which 30 min of training in healthy individuals led to an improvement of tactile perception. The results provide a first demonstration of the ability of this new system to characterize tactile perception in healthy individuals, as well as a quantification of the magnitude and pattern of tactile impairment in a small cohort of

  5. A critical experimental study of the classical tactile threshold theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medina Leonel E

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The tactile sense is being used in a variety of applications involving tactile human-machine interfaces. In a significant number of publications the classical threshold concept plays a central role in modelling and explaining psychophysical experimental results such as in stochastic resonance (SR phenomena. In SR, noise enhances detection of sub-threshold stimuli and the phenomenon is explained stating that the required amplitude to exceed the sensory threshold barrier can be reached by adding noise to a sub-threshold stimulus. We designed an experiment to test the validity of the classical vibrotactile threshold. Using a second choice experiment, we show that individuals can order sensorial events below the level known as the classical threshold. If the observer's sensorial system is not activated by stimuli below the threshold, then a second choice could not be above the chance level. Nevertheless, our experimental results are above that chance level contradicting the definition of the classical tactile threshold. Results We performed a three alternative forced choice detection experiment on 6 subjects asking them first and second choices. In each trial, only one of the intervals contained a stimulus and the others contained only noise. According to the classical threshold assumptions, a correct second choice response corresponds to a guess attempt with a statistical frequency of 50%. Results show an average of 67.35% (STD = 1.41% for the second choice response that is not explained by the classical threshold definition. Additionally, for low stimulus amplitudes, second choice correct detection is above chance level for any detectability level. Conclusions Using a second choice experiment, we show that individuals can order sensorial events below the level known as a classical threshold. If the observer's sensorial system is not activated by stimuli below the threshold, then a second choice could not be above the chance

  6. Topographic generalization of tactile perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrar, Vanessa; Spence, Charles; Makin, Tamar R

    2014-02-01

    Perceptual learning can improve our sensory abilities. Understanding its underlying mechanisms, in particular, when perceptual learning generalizes, has become a focus of research and controversy. Specifically, there is little consensus regarding the extent to which tactile perceptual learning generalizes across fingers. We measured tactile orientation discrimination abilities on 4 fingers (index and middle fingers of both hands), using psychophysical measures, before and after 4 training sessions on 1 finger. Given the somatotopic organization of the hand representation in the somatosensory cortex, the topography of the cortical areas underlying tactile perceptual learning can be inferred from the pattern of generalization across fingers; only fingers sharing cortical representation with the trained finger ought to improve with it. Following training, performance improved not only for the trained finger but also for its adjacent and homologous fingers. Although these fingers were not exposed to training, they nevertheless demonstrated similar levels of learning as the trained finger. Conversely, the performance of the finger that was neither adjacent nor homologous to the trained finger was unaffected by training, despite the fact that our procedure was designed to enhance generalization, as described in recent visual perceptual learning research. This pattern of improved performance is compatible with previous reports of neuronal receptive fields (RFs) in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) spanning adjacent and homologous digits. We conclude that perceptual learning rooted in low-level cortex can still generalize, and suggest potential applications for the neurorehabilitation of syndromes associated with maladaptive plasticity in SI. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  7. Nanowire FET Based Neural Element for Robotic Tactile Sensing Skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Taube Navaraj

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents novel Neural Nanowire Field Effect Transistors (υ-NWFETs based hardware-implementable neural network (HNN approach for tactile data processing in electronic skin (e-skin. The viability of Si nanowires (NWs as the active material for υ-NWFETs in HNN is explored through modeling and demonstrated by fabricating the first device. Using υ-NWFETs to realize HNNs is an interesting approach as by printing NWs on large area flexible substrates it will be possible to develop a bendable tactile skin with distributed neural elements (for local data processing, as in biological skin in the backplane. The modeling and simulation of υ-NWFET based devices show that the overlapping areas between individual gates and the floating gate determines the initial synaptic weights of the neural network - thus validating the working of υ-NWFETs as the building block for HNN. The simulation has been further extended to υ-NWFET based circuits and neuronal computation system and this has been validated by interfacing it with a transparent tactile skin prototype (comprising of 6 × 6 ITO based capacitive tactile sensors array integrated on the palm of a 3D printed robotic hand. In this regard, a tactile data coding system is presented to detect touch gesture and the direction of touch. Following these simulation studies, a four-gated υ-NWFET is fabricated with Pt/Ti metal stack for gates, source and drain, Ni floating gate, and Al2O3 high-k dielectric layer. The current-voltage characteristics of fabricated υ-NWFET devices confirm the dependence of turn-off voltages on the (synaptic weight of each gate. The presented υ-NWFET approach is promising for a neuro-robotic tactile sensory system with distributed computing as well as numerous futuristic applications such as prosthetics, and electroceuticals.

  8. The tactile movement aftereffect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollins, M; Favorov, O

    1994-01-01

    The existence of a tactile movement aftereffect was established in a series of experiments on the palmar surface of the hand and fingers of psychophysical observers. During adaptation, observers cupped their hand around a moving drum for up to 3 min; following this period of stimulation, they typically reported an aftereffect consisting of movement sensations located on and deep to the skin, and lasting for up to 1 min. Preliminary experiments comparing a number of stimulus materials mounted on the drum demonstrated that a surface approximating a low-spatial-frequency square wave, with a smooth microtexture, was especially effective at inducing the aftereffect; this adapting stimulus was therefore used throughout the two main experiments. In Experiment 1, the vividness of the aftereffect produced by 2 min of adaptation was determined under three test conditions: with the hand (1) remaining on the now stationary drum; (2) in contact with a soft, textured surface; or (3) suspended in air. Subjects' free magnitude estimates of the peak vividness of the aftereffect were not significantly different across conditions; each subject experienced the aftereffect at least once under each condition. Thus the tactile movement aftereffect does not seem to depend critically on the ponditions of stimulation that obtain while it is being experienced. In Experiment 2, the vividness and duration of the aftereffect were measured as a function of the duration of the adapting stimulus. Both measures increased steadily over the range of durations explored (30-180 sec). In its dependence on adapting duration, the aftereffect resembles the waterfall illusion in vision. An explanation for the tactile movement aftereffect is proposed, based on the model of cortical dynamics of Whitsel et al. (1989, 1991). With assumed modest variation of one parameter across individuals, this application of the model is able to account both for the data of the majority of subjects, who experienced the

  9. Independent Attention Mechanisms Control the Activation of Tactile and Visual Working Memory Representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin

    2018-05-01

    Working memory (WM) is limited in capacity, but it is controversial whether these capacity limitations are domain-general or are generated independently within separate modality-specific memory systems. These alternative accounts were tested in bimodal visual/tactile WM tasks. In Experiment 1, participants memorized the locations of simultaneously presented task-relevant visual and tactile stimuli. Visual and tactile WM load was manipulated independently (one, two, or three items per modality), and one modality was unpredictably tested after each trial. To track the activation of visual and tactile WM representations during the retention interval, the visual contralateral delay activity (CDA) and tactile CDA (tCDA) were measured over visual and somatosensory cortex, respectively. CDA and tCDA amplitudes were selectively affected by WM load in the corresponding (tactile or visual) modality. The CDA parametrically increased when visual load increased from one to two and to three items. The tCDA was enhanced when tactile load increased from one to two items and showed no further enhancement for three tactile items. Critically, these load effects were strictly modality-specific, as substantiated by Bayesian statistics. Increasing tactile load did not affect the visual CDA, and increasing visual load did not modulate the tCDA. Task performance at memory test was also unaffected by WM load in the other (untested) modality. This was confirmed in a second behavioral experiment where tactile and visual loads were either two or four items, unimodal baseline conditions were included, and participants performed a color change detection task in the visual modality. These results show that WM capacity is not limited by a domain-general mechanism that operates across sensory modalities. They suggest instead that WM storage is mediated by distributed modality-specific control mechanisms that are activated independently and in parallel during multisensory WM.

  10. Tactile score a knowledge media for tactile sense

    CERN Document Server

    Suzuki, Yasuhiro

    2014-01-01

    This book deals with one of the most novel advances in natural computing, namely, in the field of tactile sense analysis. Massage, which provides relaxation and stimulation for human beings, is analyzed in this book for the first time by encoding the motions and tactile senses involved. The target audience is not limited to researchers who are interested in natural computing but also includes those working in ergonomic design, biomedical engineering, Kansei engineering, and cognitive science.

  11. Effect of verbal persuasion on self-efficacy for pain-related diagnostic sensory testing in individuals with chronic neck pain and healthy controls - a randomized, controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderlund, Anne; Sterling, Michele

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in cold pain threshold (CTh), pressure pain threshold (PPT), cold pain tolerance (CPTo) tests, and the level of self-efficacy when self-efficacy for diagnostic sensory testing was manipulated by verbal persuasion before a testing situation in persons with neck pain and in healthy controls. A randomized experimental design was used. Twenty-one healthy volunteers and 22 individuals with either traumatic or nontraumatic chronic neck pain were recruited to participate in the study. The intervention consisted of two experimental verbal persuasion conditions: Increase self-efficacy and Decrease self-efficacy. The PPT was measured using a pressure algometer, the CTh was measured using a thermo test system, and CPTo was measured by submerging the participant's hand in ice water up to the elbow joint. On three occasions, the participants reported their self-efficacy level in performing the sensory tests. In the chronic neck pain group, there were no differences in pain threshold or tolerance. There was a difference in the self-efficacy level after verbal persuasion between the experimental conditions. In the healthy control group, the CThs increased following the condition that aimed to increase self-efficacy. No other differences were observed in the healthy controls. A short verbal persuasion in the form of manipulative instructions seems to have a marginal effect on the individual's self-efficacy levels in the chronic neck pain group and a slight influence on the results of sensory testing in healthy controls.

  12. Supramodal theta, gamma, and sustained fields predict modality-specific modulations of alpha and beta oscillations during visual and tactile working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ede, F.L. van; Jensen, O.; Maris, E.G.G.

    2017-01-01

    Flexible control over currently relevant sensory representations is an essential feature of primate cognition. We investigated the neurophysiological bases of such flexible control in humans during an intermodal working memory task in which participants retained visual or tactile sequences. Using

  13. A clinician-administered observation and corresponding caregiver interview capturing DSM-5 sensory reactivity symptoms in children with ASD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siper, Paige M; Kolevzon, Alexander; Wang, A Ting; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Tavassoli, Teresa

    2017-06-01

    Sensory reactivity is a new criterion for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). However, there is no consensus on how to reliably measure sensory reactivity, particularly in minimally verbal individuals. The current study is an initial validation of the Sensory Assessment for Neurodevelopmental Disorders (SAND), a novel clinician-administered observation and corresponding caregiver interview that captures sensory symptoms based on DSM-5 criteria for ASD. Eighty children between the ages of 2 and 12 participated in this study; 44 children with ASD and 36 typically developing (TD) children. Sensory reactivity symptoms were measured using the SAND and the already validated Short Sensory Profile (SSP). Initial psychometric properties of the SAND were examined including reliability, validity, sensitivity and specificity. Children with ASD showed significantly more sensory reactivity symptoms compared to TD children across sensory domains (visual, tactile, and auditory) and within sensory subtypes (hyperreactivity, hyporeactivity and seeking). The SAND showed strong internal consistency, inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability, high sensitivity (95.5%) and specificity (91.7%), and strong convergent validity with the SSP. The SAND provides a novel method to characterize sensory reactivity symptoms based on DSM-5 criteria for ASD. This is the first known sensory assessment that combines a clinician-administered observation and caregiver interview to optimally capture sensory phenotypes characteristic of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. The SAND offers a beneficial new tool for both research and clinical purposes and has the potential to meaningfully enhance gold-standard assessment of ASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1133-1140. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Spatial auditory attention is modulated by tactile priming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus

    2005-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that cross-modal processing affects perception at a variety of neuronal levels. In this study, event-related brain responses were recorded via whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). Spatial auditory attention was directed via tactile pre-cues (primes) to one of four locations in the peripersonal space (left and right hand versus face). Auditory stimuli were white noise bursts, convoluted with head-related transfer functions, which ensured spatial perception of the four locations. Tactile primes (200-300 ms prior to acoustic onset) were applied randomly to one of these locations. Attentional load was controlled by three different visual distraction tasks. The auditory P50m (about 50 ms after stimulus onset) showed a significant "proximity" effect (larger responses to face stimulation as well as a "contralaterality" effect between side of stimulation and hemisphere). The tactile primes essentially reduced both the P50m and N100m components. However, facial tactile pre-stimulation yielded an enhanced ipsilateral N100m. These results show that earlier responses are mainly governed by exogenous stimulus properties whereas cross-sensory interaction is spatially selective at a later (endogenous) processing stage.

  15. Tactile Stimulation and Consumer Response.

    OpenAIRE

    Hornik, Jacob

    1992-01-01

    Tactile behavior is a basic communication form as well as an expression of interpersonal involvement. This article presents three studies offering evidence for the positive role of casual interpersonal touch on consumer behavior. More specifically, it provides initial support for the view that tactile stimulation in various consumer behavior situations enhances the positive feeling for and evaluation of both the external stimuli and the touching source. Further, customers touched by a request...

  16. Effectiveness of auditory and tactile crossmodal cues in a dual-task visual and auditory scenario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Kevin; Kass, Steven J; Blalock, Lisa Durrance; Brill, J Christopher

    2017-05-01

    In this study, we examined how spatially informative auditory and tactile cues affected participants' performance on a visual search task while they simultaneously performed a secondary auditory task. Visual search task performance was assessed via reaction time and accuracy. Tactile and auditory cues provided the approximate location of the visual target within the search display. The inclusion of tactile and auditory cues improved performance in comparison to the no-cue baseline conditions. In comparison to the no-cue conditions, both tactile and auditory cues resulted in faster response times in the visual search only (single task) and visual-auditory (dual-task) conditions. However, the effectiveness of auditory and tactile cueing for visual task accuracy was shown to be dependent on task-type condition. Crossmodal cueing remains a viable strategy for improving task performance without increasing attentional load within a singular sensory modality. Practitioner Summary: Crossmodal cueing with dual-task performance has not been widely explored, yet has practical applications. We examined the effects of auditory and tactile crossmodal cues on visual search performance, with and without a secondary auditory task. Tactile cues aided visual search accuracy when also engaged in a secondary auditory task, whereas auditory cues did not.

  17. Feeling music: integration of auditory and tactile inputs in musical meter perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Juan; Gamble, Darik; Sarnlertsophon, Kristine; Wang, Xiaoqin; Hsiao, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Musicians often say that they not only hear, but also "feel" music. To explore the contribution of tactile information in "feeling" musical rhythm, we investigated the degree that auditory and tactile inputs are integrated in humans performing a musical meter recognition task. Subjects discriminated between two types of sequences, 'duple' (march-like rhythms) and 'triple' (waltz-like rhythms) presented in three conditions: 1) Unimodal inputs (auditory or tactile alone), 2) Various combinations of bimodal inputs, where sequences were distributed between the auditory and tactile channels such that a single channel did not produce coherent meter percepts, and 3) Simultaneously presented bimodal inputs where the two channels contained congruent or incongruent meter cues. We first show that meter is perceived similarly well (70%-85%) when tactile or auditory cues are presented alone. We next show in the bimodal experiments that auditory and tactile cues are integrated to produce coherent meter percepts. Performance is high (70%-90%) when all of the metrically important notes are assigned to one channel and is reduced to 60% when half of these notes are assigned to one channel. When the important notes are presented simultaneously to both channels, congruent cues enhance meter recognition (90%). Performance drops dramatically when subjects were presented with incongruent auditory cues (10%), as opposed to incongruent tactile cues (60%), demonstrating that auditory input dominates meter perception. We believe that these results are the first demonstration of cross-modal sensory grouping between any two senses.

  18. Neural correlates of tactile perception during pre-, peri-, and post-movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juravle, Georgiana; Heed, Tobias; Spence, Charles; Röder, Brigitte

    2016-05-01

    Tactile information is differentially processed over the various phases of goal-directed movements. Here, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the neural correlates of tactile and visual information processing during movement. Participants performed goal-directed reaches for an object placed centrally on the table in front of them. Tactile and visual stimulation (100 ms) was presented in separate trials during the different phases of the movement (i.e. preparation, execution, and post-movement). These stimuli were independently delivered to either the moving or resting hand. In a control condition, the participants only performed the movement, while omission (i.e. movement-only) ERPs were recorded. Participants were instructed to ignore the presence or absence of any sensory events and to concentrate solely on the execution of the movement. Enhanced ERPs were observed 80-200 ms after tactile stimulation, as well as 100-250 ms after visual stimulation: These modulations were greatest during the execution of the goal-directed movement, and they were effector based (i.e. significantly more negative for stimuli presented to the moving hand). Furthermore, ERPs revealed enhanced sensory processing during goal-directed movements for visual stimuli as well. Such enhanced processing of both tactile and visual information during the execution phase suggests that incoming sensory information is continuously monitored for a potential adjustment of the current motor plan. Furthermore, the results reported here also highlight a tight coupling between spatial attention and the execution of motor actions.

  19. The Effect of Tactile Cues on Auditory Stream Segregation Ability of Musicians and Nonmusicians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Slater, Kyle D.; Marozeau, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    Difficulty perceiving music is often cited as one of the main problems facing hearing-impaired listeners. It has been suggested that musical enjoyment could be enhanced if sound information absent due to impairment is transmitted via other sensory modalities such as vision or touch. In this study...... the random melody. Tactile cues were applied to the listener’s fingers on half of the blocks. Results showed that tactile cues can significantly improve the melodic segregation ability in both musician and nonmusician groups in challenging listening conditions. Overall, the musician group performance...... was always better; however, the magnitude of improvement with the introduction of tactile cues was similar in both groups. This study suggests that hearing-impaired listeners could potentially benefit from a system transmitting such information via a tactile modality...

  20. Tactile search for change has less memory than visual search for change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Takako; Yamaguchi, Ayumi; Tsutsui, Hideomi; Wake, Tenji

    2015-05-01

    Haptic perception of a 2D image is thought to make heavy demands on working memory. During active exploration, humans need to store the latest local sensory information and integrate it with kinesthetic information from hand and finger locations in order to generate a coherent perception. This tactile integration has not been studied as extensively as visual shape integration. In the current study, we compared working-memory capacity for tactile exploration to that of visual exploration as measured in change-detection tasks. We found smaller memory capacity during tactile exploration (approximately 1 item) compared with visual exploration (2-10 items). These differences generalized to position memory and could not be attributed to insufficient stimulus-exposure durations, acuity differences between modalities, or uncertainty over the position of items. This low capacity for tactile memory suggests that the haptic system is almost amnesic when outside the fingertips and that there is little or no cross-position integration.

  1. Contralateral tactile masking between forearms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amour, Sarah; Harris, Laurence R

    2014-03-01

    Masking effects have been demonstrated in which tactile sensitivity is affected when one touch is close to another on the body surface. Such effects are likely a result of local lateral inhibitory circuits that sharpen the spatial tuning of a given tactile receptor. Mutually inhibitory pathways have also been demonstrated between cortical tactile maps of the two halves of the body. Occasional reports have indicated that touches on one hand or forearm can affect tactile sensitivity at contralateral locations. Here, we measure the spatial tuning and effect of posture on this contralateral masking effect. Tactile sensitivity was measured on one forearm, while vibrotactile masking stimulation was applied to the opposite arm. Results were compared to sensitivity while vibrotactile stimulation was applied to a control site on the right shoulder. Sensitivity on the forearm was reduced by over 3 dB when the arms were touching and by 0.52 dB when they were held parallel. The masking effect depended on the position of the masking stimulus. Its effectiveness fell off by 1 STD when the stimulus was 29 % of arm length from the corresponding contralateral point. This long-range inhibitory effect in the tactile system suggests a surprisingly intimate relationship between the two sides of the body.

  2. Implications of Sensory Stimulation in Self-Destructive Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edelson, Stephen M.

    1984-01-01

    The author extends the self stimulatory theory of self destructive behavior in autistic, schizophrenic, and mentally retarded individuals to suggest that damage of the skin's nerve structure lowers the tactile sensory threshold for physical input and enables individuals to obtain sensory stimulation by repeatedly depressing the damaged area. (CL)

  3. Virtual environment tactile system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renzi, Ronald

    1996-01-01

    A method for providing a realistic sense of touch in virtual reality by means of programmable actuator assemblies is disclosed. Each tactile actuator assembly consists of a number of individual actuators whose movement is controlled by a computer and associated drive electronics. When an actuator is energized, the rare earth magnet and the associated contactor, incorporated within the actuator, are set in motion by the opposing electromagnetic field of a surrounding coil. The magnet pushes the contactor forward to contact the skin resulting in the sensation of touch. When the electromagnetic field is turned off, the rare earth magnet and the contactor return to their neutral positions due to the magnetic equilibrium caused by the interaction with the ferrous outer sleeve. The small size and flexible nature of the actuator assemblies permit incorporation into a glove, boot or body suit. The actuator has additional applications, such as, for example, as an accelerometer, an actuator for precisely controlled actuations or to simulate the sensation of braille letters.

  4. Preferential processing of tactile events under conditions of divided attention: Effects of divided attention on reaction time

    OpenAIRE

    Hanson, James V. M.; Whitaker, David; Heron, James

    2009-01-01

    Differences in transduction and transmission latencies of visual, auditory and tactile events cause corresponding differences in simple reaction time. As reaction time is usually measured in unimodal blocks, it is unclear whether such latency differences also apply when observers monitor multiple sensory channels. We investigate this by comparing reaction time when attention is focussed on a single modality, and when attention is divided between multiple modalities. Results show that tactile ...

  5. Psychophysical evaluation of a variable friction tactile interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samur, Evren; Colgate, J. Edward; Peshkin, Michael A.

    2009-02-01

    This study explores the haptic rendering capabilities of a variable friction tactile interface through psychophysical experiments. In order to obtain a deeper understanding of the sensory resolution associated with the Tactile Pattern Display (TPaD), friction discrimination experiments are conducted. During the experiments, subjects are asked to explore the glass surface of the TPaD using their bare index fingers, to feel the friction on the surface, and to compare the slipperiness of two stimuli, displayed in sequential order. The fingertip position data is collected by an infrared frame and normal and translational forces applied by the finger are measured by force sensors attached to the TPaD. The recorded data is used to calculate the coefficient of friction between the fingertip and the TPaD. The experiments determine the just noticeable difference (JND) of friction coefficient for humans interacting with the TPaD.

  6. Sensory perception in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Caroline E; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2017-11-01

    Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental condition, and little is known about its neurobiology. Much of autism research has focused on the social, communication and cognitive difficulties associated with the condition. However, the recent revision of the diagnostic criteria for autism has brought another key domain of autistic experience into focus: sensory processing. Here, we review the properties of sensory processing in autism and discuss recent computational and neurobiological insights arising from attention to these behaviours. We argue that sensory traits have important implications for the development of animal and computational models of the condition. Finally, we consider how difficulties in sensory processing may relate to the other domains of behaviour that characterize autism.

  7. Optical-to-Tactile Translator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langevin, Maurice L. (Inventor); Moynihan, Philip I. (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    An optical-to-tactile translator provides an aid for the visually impaired by translating a near-field scene to a tactile signal corresponding to said near-field scene. An optical sensor using a plurality of active pixel sensors (APS) converts the optical image within the near-field scene to a digital signal. The digital signal is then processed by a microprocessor and a simple shape signal is generated based on the digital signal. The shape signal is then communicated to a tactile transmitter where the shape signal is converted into a tactile signal using a series of contacts. The shape signal may be an outline of the significant shapes determined in the near-field scene, or the shape signal may comprise a simple symbolic representation of common items encountered repeatedly. The user is thus made aware of the unseen near-field scene, including potential obstacles and dangers, through a series of tactile contacts. In a preferred embodiment, a range determining device such as those commonly found on auto-focusing cameras is included to limit the distance that the optical sensor interprets the near-field scene.

  8. Recent Progress in Technologies for Tactile Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xuguang; Xue, Ning; Li, Tong; Liu, Chang

    2018-01-01

    Over the last two decades, considerable scientific and technological efforts have been devoted to developing tactile sensing based on a variety of transducing mechanisms, with prospective applications in many fields such as human–machine interaction, intelligent robot tactile control and feedback, and tactile sensorized minimally invasive surgery. This paper starts with an introduction of human tactile systems, followed by a presentation of the basic demands of tactile sensors. State-of-the-art tactile sensors are reviewed in terms of their diverse sensing mechanisms, design consideration, and material selection. Subsequently, typical performances of the sensors, along with their advantages and disadvantages, are compared and analyzed. Two major potential applications of tactile sensing systems are discussed in detail. Lastly, we propose prospective research directions and market trends of tactile sensing systems. PMID:29565835

  9. Characterization and diagnostic evaluation of chronic polyneuropathies induced by oxaliplatin and docetaxel comparing skin biopsy to quantitative sensory testing and nerve conduction studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krøigård, T; Schrøder, H D; Qvortrup, C

    2014-01-01

    was to characterize the neuropathies with regard to symptoms, neurological signs and objective evidence of damage to the structure and function of the peripheral nerves. Furthermore, the diagnostic values of skin biopsy, quantitative sensory testing (QST) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) were compared. METHODS......: Patients complaining of neuropathy symptoms at least 3 months after completion of treatment with oxaliplatin (n = 20) or docetaxel (n = 20) were recruited from the Department of Oncology or using hospital records. Neuropathy scores were determined along with the intraepidermal nerve fibre density in skin....... Mechanical detection threshold was most often affected in the QST. NCS, QTS and skin biopsy were abnormal in 11, 13 and 17 and 7, 11 and 15 of the oxaliplatin-treated patients and docetaxel-treated patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy after oxaliplatin or docetaxel...

  10. Exploration of the Effectiveness of Tactile Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldajani, Neda F.

    2016-01-01

    This paper introduces the tactile method and aims to explore the effectiveness of using tactile methods with students who are blind and visually impaired. Although there was limited research about using this strategy, all of the research agrees that using tactile is one of the best ways for students who are blind and visually impaired to be…

  11. High Resolution Flexible Tactile Sensors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Bilberg, Arne

    2011-01-01

    both spatial distribution of pressure and dynamic events such as contact, release of contact and slip. Data acquisition and object recognition applications are described and it is proposed that such a sensor could be used in robotic grippers to improve object recognition, manipulation of objects......This paper describes the development of a tactile sensor for robotics inspired by the human sense of touch. It consists of two parts: a static tactile array sensor based on piezoresistive rubber and a dynamic sensor based on piezoelectric PVDF film. The combination of these two layers addresses...

  12. Diagnostics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Donné, A.J.H.; Costley, A.E.; Barnsley, R.

    2007-01-01

    of the measurements—time and spatial resolutions, etc—will in some cases be more stringent. Many of the measurements will be used in the real time control of the plasma driving a requirement for very high reliability in the systems (diagnostics) that provide the measurements. The implementation of diagnostic systems...... on ITER is a substantial challenge. Because of the harsh environment (high levels of neutron and gamma fluxes, neutron heating, particle bombardment) diagnostic system selection and design has to cope with a range of phenomena not previously encountered in diagnostic design. Extensive design and R......&D is needed to prepare the systems. In some cases the environmental difficulties are so severe that new diagnostic techniques are required. The starting point in the development of diagnostics for ITER is to define the measurement requirements and develop their justification. It is necessary to include all...

  13. Variation in the autism candidate gene GABRB3 modulates tactile sensitivity in typically developing children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tavassoli Teresa

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autism spectrum conditions have a strong genetic component. Atypical sensory sensitivities are one of the core but neglected features of autism spectrum conditions. GABRB3 is a well-characterised candidate gene for autism spectrum conditions. In mice, heterozygous Gabrb3 deletion is associated with increased tactile sensitivity. However, no study has examined if tactile sensitivity is associated with GABRB3 genetic variation in humans. To test this, we conducted two pilot genetic association studies in the general population, analysing two phenotypic measures of tactile sensitivity (a parent-report and a behavioural measure for association with 43 SNPs in GABRB3. Findings Across both tactile sensitivity measures, three SNPs (rs11636966, rs8023959 and rs2162241 were nominally associated with both phenotypes, providing a measure of internal validation. Parent-report scores were nominally associated with six SNPs (P Conclusions This is the first human study to show an association between GABRB3 variation and tactile sensitivity. This provides support for the evidence from animal models implicating the role of GABRB3 variation in the atypical sensory sensitivity in autism spectrum conditions. Future research is underway to directly test this association in cases of autism spectrum conditions.

  14. Tactile information processing in primate hand somatosensory cortex (S1) during passive arm movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Weiguo; Francis, Joseph Thachil

    2013-11-01

    Motor output mostly depends on sensory input, which also can be affected by action. To further our understanding of how tactile information is processed in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in dynamic environments, we recorded neural responses to tactile stimulation of the hand in three awake monkeys under arm/hand passive movement and rest. We found that neurons generally responded to tactile stimulation under both conditions and were modulated by movement: with a higher baseline firing rate, a suppressed peak rate, and a smaller dynamic range during passive movement than during rest, while the area under the response curve was stable across these two states. By using an information theory-based method, the mutual information between tactile stimulation and neural responses was quantified with rate and spatial coding models under the two conditions. The two potential encoding models showed different contributions depending on behavioral contexts. Tactile information encoded with rate coding from individual units was lower than spatial coding of unit pairs, especially during movement; however, spatial coding had redundant information between unit pairs. Passive movement regulated the mutual information, and such regulation might play different roles depending on the encoding strategies used. The underlying mechanisms of our observation most likely come from a bottom-up strategy, where neurons in S1 were regulated through the activation of the peripheral tactile/proprioceptive receptors and the interactions between these different types of information.

  15. A Prototype Tactile Sensor Array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-09-15

    Active Touch Sensing. Technical Report, MIT Artificial Inteligence Laboratory, 1981. (9] Larcombe, M. Carbon Fibre Tactile Sensors. Technical Report...thesis, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1981. [13] Purbrick, John A. A Force Transducer Employing Conductive Silicone Rubber. Technical Report, MIT Artificial

  16. Magnetic Nanocomposite Cilia Tactile Sensor

    KAUST Repository

    Alfadhel, Ahmed; Kosel, Jü rgen

    2015-01-01

    A multifunctional biomimetic nanocomposite tactile sensor is developed that can detect shear and vertical forces, feel texture, and measure flow with extremely low power consumption. The sensor's high performance is maintained within a wide operating range that can be easily adjusted. The concept works on rigid and flexible substrates and the sensors can be used in air or water without any modifications.

  17. Magnetic Nanocomposite Cilia Tactile Sensor

    KAUST Repository

    Alfadhel, Ahmed

    2015-10-21

    A multifunctional biomimetic nanocomposite tactile sensor is developed that can detect shear and vertical forces, feel texture, and measure flow with extremely low power consumption. The sensor\\'s high performance is maintained within a wide operating range that can be easily adjusted. The concept works on rigid and flexible substrates and the sensors can be used in air or water without any modifications.

  18. Anticipation increases tactile stimulus processing in the ipsilateral primary somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ede, Freek; de Lange, Floris P; Maris, Eric

    2014-10-01

    Stimulus anticipation improves perception. To account for this improvement, we investigated how stimulus processing is altered by anticipation. In contrast to a large body of previous work, we employed a demanding perceptual task and investigated sensory responses that occur beyond early evoked activity in contralateral primary sensory areas: Stimulus-induced modulations of neural oscillations. For this, we recorded magnetoencephalography in 19 humans while they performed a cued tactile identification task involving the identification of either a proximal or a distal stimulation on the fingertips. We varied the cue-target interval between 0 and 1000 ms such that tactile targets occurred at various degrees of anticipation. This allowed us to investigate the influence of anticipation on stimulus processing in a parametric fashion. We observed that anticipation increases the stimulus-induced response (suppression of beta-band oscillations) originating from the ipsilateral primary somatosensory cortex. This occurs in the period in which the tactile memory trace is analyzed and is correlated with the anticipation-induced improvement in tactile perception. We propose that this ipsilateral response indicates distributed processing across bilateral primary sensory cortices, of which the extent increases with anticipation. This constitutes a new and potentially important mechanism contributing to perception and its improvement following anticipation. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Restoring tactile awareness through the rubber hand illusion in cervical spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenggenhager, Bigna; Scivoletto, Giorgio; Molinari, Marco; Pazzaglia, Mariella

    2013-10-01

    Bodily sensations are an important component of corporeal awareness. Spinal cord injury can leave affected body parts insentient and unmoving, leading to specific disturbances in the mental representation of one's own body and the sense of self. Here, we explored how illusions induced by multisensory stimulation influence immediate sensory signals and tactile awareness in patients with spinal cord injuries. The rubber hand illusion paradigm was applied to 2 patients with chronic and complete spinal cord injury of the sixth cervical spine, with severe somatosensory impairments in 2 of 5 fingers. Both patients experienced a strong illusion of ownership of the rubber hand during synchronous, but not asynchronous, stroking. They also, spontaneously reported basic tactile sensations in their previously numb fingers. Tactile awareness from seeing the rubber hand was enhanced by progressively increasing the stimulation duration. Multisensory illusions directly and specifically modulate the reemergence of sensory memories and enhance tactile sensation, despite (or as a result of) prior deafferentation. When sensory inputs are lost, and are later illusorily regained, the brain updates a coherent body image even several years after the body has become permanently unable to feel. This particular example of neural plasticity represents a significant opportunity to strengthen the sense of the self and the feelings of embodiment in patients with spinal cord injury.

  20. Vision affects tactile target and distractor processing even when space is task-irrelevant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann-Katrin eWesslein

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The human brain is adapted to integrate the information from multiple sensory modalities into coherent, robust representations of the objects and events in the external world. A large body of empirical research has demonstrated the ubiquitous nature of the interactions that take place between vision and touch, with the former typically dominating over the latter. Many studies have investigated the influence of visual stimuli on the processing of tactile stimuli (and vice versa. Other studies, meanwhile, have investigated the effect of directing a participant’s gaze either toward or else away from the body-part receiving the target tactile stimulation. Other studies, by contrast, have compared performance in those conditions in which the participant’s eyes have been open versus closed. We start by reviewing the research that has been published to date demonstrating the influence of vision on the processing of tactile targets, that is, on those stimuli that have to be attended or responded to. We outline that many – but not all – of the visuotactile interactions that have been observed to date may be attributable to the direction of spatial attention. We then move on to focus on the crossmodal influence of vision, as well as of the direction of gaze, on the processing of tactile distractors. We highlight the results of those studies demonstrating the influence of vision, rather than gaze direction (i.e., the direction of overt spatial attention, on tactile distractor processing (e.g., tactile variants of the negative-priming or flanker task. The conclusion is that no matter how vision of a tactile distractor is engaged, the result would appear to be the same, namely that tactile distractors are processed more thoroughly.

  1. Tactile Stimulation of the Face and the Production of Facial Expressions Activate Neurons in the Primate Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Clayton P; Zimmerman, Prisca E; Fuglevand, Andrew J; Gothard, Katalin M

    2016-01-01

    The majority of neurophysiological studies that have explored the role of the primate amygdala in the evaluation of social signals have relied on visual stimuli such as images of facial expressions. Vision, however, is not the only sensory modality that carries social signals. Both humans and nonhuman primates exchange emotionally meaningful social signals through touch. Indeed, social grooming in nonhuman primates and caressing touch in humans is critical for building lasting and reassuring social bonds. To determine the role of the amygdala in processing touch, we recorded the responses of single neurons in the macaque amygdala while we applied tactile stimuli to the face. We found that one-third of the recorded neurons responded to tactile stimulation. Although we recorded exclusively from the right amygdala, the receptive fields of 98% of the neurons were bilateral. A fraction of these tactile neurons were monitored during the production of facial expressions and during facial movements elicited occasionally by touch stimuli. Firing rates arising during the production of facial expressions were similar to those elicited by tactile stimulation. In a subset of cells, combining tactile stimulation with facial movement further augmented the firing rates. This suggests that tactile neurons in the amygdala receive input from skin mechanoceptors that are activated by touch and by compressions and stretches of the facial skin during the contraction of the underlying muscles. Tactile neurons in the amygdala may play a role in extracting the valence of touch stimuli and/or monitoring the facial expressions of self during social interactions.

  2. Correlations between motor and sensory functions in upper limb chronic hemiparetics after stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais Botossi Scalha

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Describe the somatosensory function of the affected upper limb of hemiparetic stroke patients and investigate the correlations between measurements of motor and sensory functions in tasks with and without visual deprivation. METHOD: We applied the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA, Nottingham Sensory Assessment (NSA, and several motor and sensory tests: Paper manipulation (PM, Motor Sequences (MS, Reaching and grasping (RG Tests Functional (TF, Tactile Discrimination (TD, Weight Discrimination (WD and Tactile Recognition of Objects (RO. RESULTS: We found moderate correlations between the FMA motor subscale and the tactile sensation score of the NSA. Additionally, the FMA sensitivity was correlated with the NSA total; and performance on the WD test items correlated with the NSA. CONCLUSION: There was a correlation between the sensory and motor functions of the upper limb in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients. Additionally, there was a greater reliance on visual information to compensate for lost sensory-motor skills.

  3. City Walks and Tactile Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mădălina Diaconu

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is an attempt to develop categories of the pedestrian’s tactile and kinaesthetic experience of the city. The beginning emphasizes the haptic qualities of surfaces and textures, which can be “palpated” visually or experienced by walking. Also the lived city is three-dimensional; its corporeal depth is discussed here in relation to the invisible sewers, protuberant profiles, and the formal diversity of roofscapes. A central role is ascribed in the present analysis to the formal similarities between the representation of the city by walking through it and the representation of the tactile form of objects. Additional aspects of the “tactile” experience of the city in a broad sense concern the feeling of their rhythms and the exposure to weather conditions. Finally, several aspects of contingency converge in the visible age of architectural works, which record traces of individual and collective histories.

  4. Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterr, Annette; Green, Lisa; Elbert, Thomas

    2003-05-01

    In a previous experiment, we observed that blind Braille readers produce errors when asked to identify on which finger of one hand a light tactile stimulus had occurred. With the present study, we aimed to specify the characteristics of this perceptual error in blind and sighted participants. The experiment confirmed that blind Braille readers mislocalised tactile stimuli more often than sighted controls, and that the localisation errors occurred significantly more often at the right reading hand than at the non-reading hand. Most importantly, we discovered that the reading fingers showed the smallest error frequency, but the highest rate of stimulus attribution. The dissociation of perceiving and locating tactile stimuli in the blind suggests altered tactile information processing. Neuroplasticity, changes in tactile attention mechanisms as well as the idea that blind persons may employ different strategies for tactile exploration and object localisation are discussed as possible explanations for the results obtained.

  5. Short-term visual deprivation does not enhance passive tactile spatial acuity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Wong

    Full Text Available An important unresolved question in sensory neuroscience is whether, and if so with what time course, tactile perception is enhanced by visual deprivation. In three experiments involving 158 normally sighted human participants, we assessed whether tactile spatial acuity improves with short-term visual deprivation over periods ranging from under 10 to over 110 minutes. We used an automated, precisely controlled two-interval forced-choice grating orientation task to assess each participant's ability to discern the orientation of square-wave gratings pressed against the stationary index finger pad of the dominant hand. A two-down one-up staircase (Experiment 1 or a Bayesian adaptive procedure (Experiments 2 and 3 was used to determine the groove width of the grating whose orientation each participant could reliably discriminate. The experiments consistently showed that tactile grating orientation discrimination does not improve with short-term visual deprivation. In fact, we found that tactile performance degraded slightly but significantly upon a brief period of visual deprivation (Experiment 1 and did not improve over periods of up to 110 minutes of deprivation (Experiments 2 and 3. The results additionally showed that grating orientation discrimination tends to improve upon repeated testing, and confirmed that women significantly outperform men on the grating orientation task. We conclude that, contrary to two recent reports but consistent with an earlier literature, passive tactile spatial acuity is not enhanced by short-term visual deprivation. Our findings have important theoretical and practical implications. On the theoretical side, the findings set limits on the time course over which neural mechanisms such as crossmodal plasticity may operate to drive sensory changes; on the practical side, the findings suggest that researchers who compare tactile acuity of blind and sighted participants should not blindfold the sighted participants.

  6. An Extreme Learning Machine-Based Neuromorphic Tactile Sensing System for Texture Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasouli, Mahdi; Chen, Yi; Basu, Arindam; Kukreja, Sunil L; Thakor, Nitish V

    2018-04-01

    Despite significant advances in computational algorithms and development of tactile sensors, artificial tactile sensing is strikingly less efficient and capable than the human tactile perception. Inspired by efficiency of biological systems, we aim to develop a neuromorphic system for tactile pattern recognition. We particularly target texture recognition as it is one of the most necessary and challenging tasks for artificial sensory systems. Our system consists of a piezoresistive fabric material as the sensor to emulate skin, an interface that produces spike patterns to mimic neural signals from mechanoreceptors, and an extreme learning machine (ELM) chip to analyze spiking activity. Benefiting from intrinsic advantages of biologically inspired event-driven systems and massively parallel and energy-efficient processing capabilities of the ELM chip, the proposed architecture offers a fast and energy-efficient alternative for processing tactile information. Moreover, it provides the opportunity for the development of low-cost tactile modules for large-area applications by integration of sensors and processing circuits. We demonstrate the recognition capability of our system in a texture discrimination task, where it achieves a classification accuracy of 92% for categorization of ten graded textures. Our results confirm that there exists a tradeoff between response time and classification accuracy (and information transfer rate). A faster decision can be achieved at early time steps or by using a shorter time window. This, however, results in deterioration of the classification accuracy and information transfer rate. We further observe that there exists a tradeoff between the classification accuracy and the input spike rate (and thus energy consumption). Our work substantiates the importance of development of efficient sparse codes for encoding sensory data to improve the energy efficiency. These results have a significance for a wide range of wearable, robotic

  7. Tactile display landing safety and precision improvements for the Space Shuttle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, John M.

    A tactile display belt using 24 electro-mechanical tactile transducers (tactors) was used to determine if a modified tactile display system, known as the Tactile Situation Awareness System (TSAS) improved the safety and precision of a complex spacecraft (i.e. the Space Shuttle Orbiter) in guided precision approaches and landings. The goal was to determine if tactile cues enhance safety and mission performance through reduced workload, increased situational awareness (SA), and an improved operational capability by increasing secondary cognitive workload capacity and human-machine interface efficiency and effectiveness. Using both qualitative and quantitative measures such as NASA's Justiz Numerical Measure and Synwork1 scores, an Overall Workload (OW) measure, the Cooper-Harper rating scale, and the China Lake Situational Awareness scale, plus Pre- and Post-Flight Surveys, the data show that tactile displays decrease OW, improve SA, counteract fatigue, and provide superior warning and monitoring capacity for dynamic, off-nominal, high concurrent workload scenarios involving complex, cognitive, and multi-sensory critical scenarios. Use of TSAS for maintaining guided precision approaches and landings was generally intuitive, reduced training times, and improved task learning effects. Ultimately, the use of a homogeneous, experienced, and statistically robust population of test pilots demonstrated that the use of tactile displays for Space Shuttle approaches and landings with degraded vehicle systems, weather, and environmental conditions produced substantial improvements in safety, consistency, reliability, and ease of operations under demanding conditions. Recommendations for further analysis and study are provided in order to leverage the results from this research and further explore the potential to reduce the risk of spaceflight and aerospace operations in general.

  8. Inert gas narcosis has no influence on thermo-tactile sensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovljević, Miroljub; Vidmar, Gaj; Mekjavic, Igor B

    2012-05-01

    Contribution of skin thermal sensors under inert gas narcosis to the raising hypothermia is not known. Such information is vital for understanding the impact of narcosis on behavioural thermoregulation, diver safety and judgment of thermal (dis)comfort in the hyperbaric environment. So this study aimed at establishing the effects of normoxic concentration of 30% nitrous oxide (N(2)O) on thermo-tactile threshold sensation by studying 16 subjects [eight females and eight males; eight sensitive (S) and eight non-sensitive (NS) to N(2)O]. Their mean (SD) age was 22.1 (1.8) years, weight 72.8 (15.3) kg, height 1.75 (0.10) m and body mass index 23.8 (3.8) kg m(-2). Quantitative thermo-tactile sensory testing was performed on forearm, upper arm and thigh under two experimental conditions: breathing air (air trial) and breathing normoxic mixture of 30% N(2)O (N(2)O trial) in the mixed sequence. Difference in thermo-tactile sensitivity thresholds between two groups of subjects in two experimental conditions was analysed by 3-way mixed-model analysis of covariance. There were no statistically significant differences in thermo-tactile thresholds either between the Air and N(2)O trials, or between S and NS groups, or between females and males, or with respect to body mass index. Some clinically insignificant lowering of thermo-tactile thresholds occurred only for warm thermo-tactile thresholds on upper arm and thigh. The results indicated that normoxic mixture of 30% N(2)O had no influence on thermo-tactile sensation in normothermia.

  9. Active Prior Tactile Knowledge Transfer for Learning Tactual Properties of New Objects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Di Feng

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Reusing the tactile knowledge of some previously-explored objects (prior objects helps us to easily recognize the tactual properties of new objects. In this paper, we enable a robotic arm equipped with multi-modal artificial skin, like humans, to actively transfer the prior tactile exploratory action experiences when it learns the detailed physical properties of new objects. These experiences, or prior tactile knowledge, are built by the feature observations that the robot perceives from multiple sensory modalities, when it applies the pressing, sliding, and static contact movements on objects with different action parameters. We call our method Active Prior Tactile Knowledge Transfer (APTKT, and systematically evaluated its performance by several experiments. Results show that the robot improved the discrimination accuracy by around 10 % when it used only one training sample with the feature observations of prior objects. By further incorporating the predictions from the observation models of prior objects as auxiliary features, our method improved the discrimination accuracy by over 20 % . The results also show that the proposed method is robust against transferring irrelevant prior tactile knowledge (negative knowledge transfer.

  10. A Feeling for Numbers: Shared Metric for Symbolic and Tactile Numerosities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eKrause

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for an approximate analogue system of numbers has been provided by the finding that the comparison of two numerals takes longer and is more error prone if the semantic distance between the numbers becomes smaller (so-called numerical distance effect. Recent embodied theories suggest that analogue number representations are based on previous sensory experiences and constitute therefore a common magnitude metric shared by multiple domains. Here we demonstrate the existence of a cross-modal semantic distance effect between symbolic and tactile numerosities. Participants received tactile stimulations of different amounts of fingers while reading Arabic digits and indicated verbally whether the amount of stimulated fingers was different from the simultaneously presented digit or not. The larger the semantic distance was between the two numerosities, the faster and more accurate participants made their judgements. This cross-modal numerosity distance effect suggests a direct connection between tactile sensations and the concept of numerical magnitude. A second experiment replicated the interaction between symbolic and tactile numerosities and showed that this effect is not modulated by the participants' finger counting habits. Taken together, our data provide novel evidence for a shared metric for symbolic and tactile numerosites as an instance of an embodied representation of numbers.

  11. Tactile acuity and lumbopelvic motor control in patients with back pain and healthy controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luomajoki, H; Moseley, G L

    2011-04-01

    Voluntary lumbopelvic control is compromised in patients with back pain. Loss of proprioceptive acuity is one contributor to decreased control. Several reasons for decreased proprioceptive acuity have been proposed, but the integrity of cortical body maps has been overlooked. We investigated whether tactile acuity, a clear clinical signature of primary sensory cortex organisation, relates to lumbopelvic control in people with back pain. Forty-five patients with back pain and 45 age- and sex-matched healthy controls participated in this cross-sectional study. Tactile acuity at the back was assessed using two-point discrimination (TPD) threshold in vertical and horizontal directions. Voluntary motor control was assessed using an established battery of clinical tests. Patients performed worse on the voluntary lumbopelvic tasks than healthy controls did (p<0.001). TPD threshold was larger in patients (mean (SD)=61 (13) mm) than in healthy controls (44 (10) mm). Moreover, larger TPD threshold was positively related to worse performance on the voluntary lumbopelvic tasks (Pearson's r=0.49; p<0.001). Tactile acuity, a clear clinical signature of primary sensory cortex organisation, relates to voluntary lumbopelvic control. This relationship raises the possibility that the former contributes to the latter, in which case training tactile acuity may aid recovery and assist in achieving normal motor performance after back injury.

  12. Tactile thermal oral stimulation increases the cortical representation of swallowing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suntrup Sonja

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dysphagia is a leading complication in stroke patients causing aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition and increased mortality. Current strategies of swallowing therapy involve on the one hand modification of eating behaviour or swallowing technique and on the other hand facilitation of swallowing with the use of pharyngeal sensory stimulation. Thermal tactile oral stimulation (TTOS is an established method to treat patients with neurogenic dysphagia especially if caused by sensory deficits. Little is known about the possible mechanisms by which this interventional therapy may work. We employed whole-head MEG to study changes in cortical activation during self-paced volitional swallowing in fifteen healthy subjects with and without TTOS. Data were analyzed by means of synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM and the group analysis of individual SAM data was performed using a permutation test. Results Compared to the normal swallowing task a significantly increased bilateral cortical activation was seen after oropharyngeal stimulation. Analysis of the chronological changes during swallowing suggests facilitation of both the oral and the pharyngeal phase of deglutition. Conclusion In the present study functional cortical changes elicited by oral sensory stimulation could be demonstrated. We suggest that these results reflect short-term cortical plasticity of sensory swallowing areas. These findings facilitate our understanding of the role of cortical reorganization in dysphagia treatment and recovery.

  13. Effect of mechanical tactile noise on amplitude of visual evoked potentials: multisensory stochastic resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez-Balbuena, Ignacio; Huidobro, Nayeli; Silva, Mayte; Flores, Amira; Trenado, Carlos; Quintanar, Luis; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Kristeva, Rumyana; Manjarrez, Elias

    2015-10-01

    The present investigation documents the electrophysiological occurrence of multisensory stochastic resonance in the human visual pathway elicited by tactile noise. We define multisensory stochastic resonance of brain evoked potentials as the phenomenon in which an intermediate level of input noise of one sensory modality enhances the brain evoked response of another sensory modality. Here we examined this phenomenon in visual evoked potentials (VEPs) modulated by the addition of tactile noise. Specifically, we examined whether a particular level of mechanical Gaussian noise applied to the index finger can improve the amplitude of the VEP. We compared the amplitude of the positive P100 VEP component between zero noise (ZN), optimal noise (ON), and high mechanical noise (HN). The data disclosed an inverted U-like graph for all the subjects, thus demonstrating the occurrence of a multisensory stochastic resonance in the P100 VEP. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  14. The Design of Tactile Thematic Symbols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Megan M.; Lobben, Amy K.

    2011-01-01

    The study reported here investigated the design and legibility of tactile thematic maps, focusing on symbolization and the comprehension of spatial patterns on the maps. The results indicate that discriminable and effective tactile thematic maps can be produced using classed data with a microcapsule paper production method. The participants…

  15. TACTILE SENSING FOR OBJECT IDENTIFICATION

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Marian, Nicolae; Bilberg, Arne

    2009-01-01

    The artificial sense of touch is a research area that can be considered still in demand, compared with the human dexterity of grasping a wide variety of shapes and sizes, perform complex tasks, and switch between grasps in response to changing task requirements. For handling unknown objects...... in unstructured environments, tactile sensing can provide more than valuable to complementary vision information about mechanical properties such as recognition and characterization, force, pressure, torque, compliance, friction, and mass as well as object shape, texture, position and pose. In this paper, we...

  16. Analysis of sensory processing in preterm infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral, Thais Invenção; da Silva, Louise Gracelli Pereira; Martinez, Cláudia Maria Simões; Tudella, Eloisa

    2016-12-01

    Premature birth suggests condition of biological vulnerability, predisposing to neurological injuries, requiring hospitalization in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, which, while contributing to increase the survival rates, expose infants to sensory stimuli harmful to the immature organism. To evaluate the sensory processing at 4 and 6months' corrected age. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study with a sample of 30 infants divided into an experimental group composed of preterm infants (n=15), and a control group composed of full-term infants (n=15). The infants were assessed using the Test of Sensory Functions in Infants. The preterm infants showed poor performance in the total score of the test in reactivity to tactile deep pressure and reactivity to vestibular stimulation. When groups were compared, significant differences in the total score (p=0.0113) and in the reactivity to tactile deep pressure (psensory processing. These changes were most evident in reactivity to tactile deep pressure and vestibular stimulation. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  17. Tactile Gap Detection Deteriorates during Bimanual Symmetrical Movements under Mirror Visual Feedback.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet H Bultitude

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that incongruence between signals for motor intention and sensory input can cause pain and other sensory abnormalities. This claim is supported by reports that moving in an environment of induced sensorimotor conflict leads to elevated pain and sensory symptoms in those with certain painful conditions. Similar procedures can lead to reports of anomalous sensations in healthy volunteers too. In the present study, we used mirror visual feedback to investigate the effects of sensorimotor incongruence on responses to stimuli that arise from sources external to the body, in particular, touch. Incongruence between the sensory and motor signals for the right arm was manipulated by having the participants make symmetrical or asymmetrical movements while watching a reflection of their left arm in a parasagittal mirror, or the left hand surface of a similarly positioned opaque board. In contrast to our prediction, sensitivity to the presence of gaps in tactile stimulation of the right forearm was not reduced when participants made asymmetrical movements during mirror visual feedback, as compared to when they made symmetrical or asymmetrical movements with no visual feedback. Instead, sensitivity was reduced when participants made symmetrical movements during mirror visual feedback relative to the other three conditions. We suggest that small discrepancies between sensory and motor information, as they occur during mirror visual feedback with symmetrical movements, can impair tactile processing. In contrast, asymmetrical movements with mirror visual feedback may not impact tactile processing because the larger discrepancies between sensory and motor information may prevent the integration of these sources of information. These results contrast with previous reports of anomalous sensations during exposure to both low and high sensorimotor conflict, but are nevertheless in agreement with a forward model interpretation of perceptual

  18. Audio-Tactile Integration in Congenitally and Late Deaf Cochlear Implant Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava, Elena; Bottari, Davide; Villwock, Agnes; Fengler, Ineke; Büchner, Andreas; Lenarz, Thomas; Röder, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    Several studies conducted in mammals and humans have shown that multisensory processing may be impaired following congenital sensory loss and in particular if no experience is achieved within specific early developmental time windows known as sensitive periods. In this study we investigated whether basic multisensory abilities are impaired in hearing-restored individuals with deafness acquired at different stages of development. To this aim, we tested congenitally and late deaf cochlear implant (CI) recipients, age-matched with two groups of hearing controls, on an audio-tactile redundancy paradigm, in which reaction times to unimodal and crossmodal redundant signals were measured. Our results showed that both congenitally and late deaf CI recipients were able to integrate audio-tactile stimuli, suggesting that congenital and acquired deafness does not prevent the development and recovery of basic multisensory processing. However, we found that congenitally deaf CI recipients had a lower multisensory gain compared to their matched controls, which may be explained by their faster responses to tactile stimuli. We discuss this finding in the context of reorganisation of the sensory systems following sensory loss and the possibility that these changes cannot be “rewired” through auditory reafferentation. PMID:24918766

  19. Audio-tactile integration in congenitally and late deaf cochlear implant users.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Nava

    Full Text Available Several studies conducted in mammals and humans have shown that multisensory processing may be impaired following congenital sensory loss and in particular if no experience is achieved within specific early developmental time windows known as sensitive periods. In this study we investigated whether basic multisensory abilities are impaired in hearing-restored individuals with deafness acquired at different stages of development. To this aim, we tested congenitally and late deaf cochlear implant (CI recipients, age-matched with two groups of hearing controls, on an audio-tactile redundancy paradigm, in which reaction times to unimodal and crossmodal redundant signals were measured. Our results showed that both congenitally and late deaf CI recipients were able to integrate audio-tactile stimuli, suggesting that congenital and acquired deafness does not prevent the development and recovery of basic multisensory processing. However, we found that congenitally deaf CI recipients had a lower multisensory gain compared to their matched controls, which may be explained by their faster responses to tactile stimuli. We discuss this finding in the context of reorganisation of the sensory systems following sensory loss and the possibility that these changes cannot be "rewired" through auditory reafferentation.

  20. Accelerating Early Language Development with Multi-Sensory Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorn, Piia M.; Kakkuri, Irma; Karvonen, Pirkko; Leppanen, Paavo H. T.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports the outcome of a multi-sensory intervention on infant language skills. A programme titled "Rhyming Game and Exercise Club", which included kinaesthetic-tactile mother-child rhyming games performed in natural joint attention situations, was intended to accelerate Finnish six- to eight-month-old infants' language development. The…

  1. Tactile stimulation interventions: influence of stimulation parameters on sensorimotor behavior and neurophysiological correlates in healthy and clinical samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parianen Lesemann, Franca H; Reuter, Eva-Maria; Godde, Ben

    2015-04-01

    The pure exposure to extensive tactile stimulation, without the requirement of attention or active training, has been revealed to enhance sensorimotor functioning presumably due to an induction of plasticity in the somatosensory cortex. The induced effects, including increased tactile acuity and manual dexterity have repeatedly been observed in basic as well as clinical research. However, results vary greatly in respect to the strength and direction of the effects on the behavioral and on the brain level. Multiple evidences show that differences in the stimulation protocols (e.g., two vs. multiple stimulation sites) and parameters (e.g., duration, frequency, and amplitude) might contribute to this variability of effects. Nevertheless, stimulation protocols have not been comprehensively compared yet. Identifying favorable parameters for tactile stimulation interventions is especially important because of its possible application as a treatment option for patients suffering from sensory loss, maladaptive plasticity, or certain forms of motor impairment. This review aims to compare the effects of different tactile stimulation protocols and to assess possible implications for tactile interventions. Our goal is to identify ways of optimizing stimulation protocols to improve sensorimotor performance. To this end, we reviewed research on tactile stimulation in the healthy population, with a focus on the effectiveness of the applied parameters regarding psychophysiological measures. We discuss the association of stimulation-induced changes on the behavioral level with alterations in neural representations and response characteristics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Vertically stacked nanocellulose tactile sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Minhyun; Kim, Kyungkwan; Kim, Bumjin; Lee, Kwang-Jae; Kang, Jae-Wook; Jeon, Sanghun

    2017-11-16

    Paper-based electronic devices are attracting considerable attention, because the paper platform has unique attributes such as flexibility and eco-friendliness. Here we report on what is claimed to be the firstly fully integrated vertically-stacked nanocellulose-based tactile sensor, which is capable of simultaneously sensing temperature and pressure. The pressure and temperature sensors are operated using different principles and are stacked vertically, thereby minimizing the interference effect. For the pressure sensor, which utilizes the piezoresistance principle under pressure, the conducting electrode was inkjet printed on the TEMPO-oxidized-nanocellulose patterned with micro-sized pyramids, and the counter electrode was placed on the nanocellulose film. The pressure sensor has a high sensitivity over a wide range (500 Pa-3 kPa) and a high durability of 10 4 loading/unloading cycles. The temperature sensor combines various materials such as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to form a thermocouple on the upper nanocellulose layer. The thermoelectric-based temperature sensors generate a thermoelectric voltage output of 1.7 mV for a temperature difference of 125 K. Our 5 × 5 tactile sensor arrays show a fast response, negligible interference, and durable sensing performance.

  3. Tactile allodynia in patients with lumbar radicular pain (sciatica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defrin, Ruth; Devor, Marshall; Brill, Silviu

    2014-12-01

    We report a novel symptom in many patients with low back pain (LBP) that sheds new light on the underlying pain mechanism. By means of quantitative sensory testing, we compared patients with radicular LBP (sciatica), axial LBP (LBP without radiation into the leg), and healthy controls, searching for cutaneous allodynia in response to weak tactile and cooling stimuli on the leg and low back. Most patients with radicular pain (~60%) reported static and dynamic tactile allodynia, as well as cooling allodynia, on the leg, often extending into the foot. Some also reported allodynia on the low back. In axial LBP, allodynia was almost exclusively on the back. The degree of dynamic tactile allodynia correlated with the degree of background pain. The presence of allodynia suggests that the peripheral nerve generators of background leg and back pain have also induced central sensitization. The distal (foot) location of the allodynia in patients who have it indicates that the nociceptive drive that maintains the central sensitization arises paraspinally (ectopically) in injured ventral ramus afferents; this is not an instance of somatic referred pain. The presence of central sensitization also provides the first cogent account of shooting pain in sciatica as a wave of activity sweeping vectorially across the width of the sensitized dorsal horn. Finally, the results endorse leg allodynia as a pain biomarker in animal research on LBP, which is commonly used but has not been previously validated. In addition to informing the underlying mechanism of LBP, bedside mapping of allodynia might have practical implications for prognosis and treatment. How can you tell whether pain radiating into the leg in a patient with sciatica is neuropathic, ie, due to nerve injury? Copyright © 2014 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. The Tactile Modality: A Review of Tactile Sensitivity and Human Tactile Interfaces

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Myles, Kimberly; Binseel, Mary S

    2007-01-01

    .... Because humans have a limited capacity to receive, hold in working memory, and cognitively process information taken from the environment, the use of one sensory modality to convey information within...

  5. Development of flexible array tactile sensors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Marian, Nicolae; Bilberg, Arne

    2010-01-01

    time data acquisition system scans all the cells and converts electrical resistance to tactile pressure maps. We validate that this information can be used to improve grasping and perform object recognition. Key words: piezoresistivity, tactile, sensor, pressure, robotics......In this paper we describe the development of an array tactile sensor for use in robotic grippers based on a flexible piezoresistive material. We start by comparing different cell structures in terms of output characteristics and we construct an array of cells in a row and columns layout. A real...

  6. Visual illusion of tool use recalibrates tactile perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Luke E.; Longo, Matthew R.; Saygin, Ayse P.

    2018-01-01

    Brief use of a tool recalibrates multisensory representations of the user’s body, a phenomenon called tool embodiment. Despite two decades of research, little is known about its boundary conditions. It has been widely argued that embodiment requires active tool use, suggesting a critical role for somatosensory and motor feedback. The present study used a visual illusion to cast doubt on this view. We used a mirror-based setup to induce a visual experience of tool use with an arm that was in fact stationary. Following illusory tool use, tactile perception was recalibrated on this stationary arm, and with equal magnitude as physical use. Recalibration was not found following illusory passive tool holding, and could not be accounted for by sensory conflict or general interhemispheric plasticity. These results suggest visual tool-use signals play a critical role in driving tool embodiment. PMID:28196765

  7. Relative contributions of visual and auditory spatial representations to tactile localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noel, Jean-Paul; Wallace, Mark

    2016-02-01

    Spatial localization of touch is critically dependent upon coordinate transformation between different reference frames, which must ultimately allow for alignment between somatotopic and external representations of space. Although prior work has shown an important role for cues such as body posture in influencing the spatial localization of touch, the relative contributions of the different sensory systems to this process are unknown. In the current study, we had participants perform a tactile temporal order judgment (TOJ) under different body postures and conditions of sensory deprivation. Specifically, participants performed non-speeded judgments about the order of two tactile stimuli presented in rapid succession on their ankles during conditions in which their legs were either uncrossed or crossed (and thus bringing somatotopic and external reference frames into conflict). These judgments were made in the absence of 1) visual, 2) auditory, or 3) combined audio-visual spatial information by blindfolding and/or placing participants in an anechoic chamber. As expected, results revealed that tactile temporal acuity was poorer under crossed than uncrossed leg postures. Intriguingly, results also revealed that auditory and audio-visual deprivation exacerbated the difference in tactile temporal acuity between uncrossed to crossed leg postures, an effect not seen for visual-only deprivation. Furthermore, the effects under combined audio-visual deprivation were greater than those seen for auditory deprivation. Collectively, these results indicate that mechanisms governing the alignment between somatotopic and external reference frames extend beyond those imposed by body posture to include spatial features conveyed by the auditory and visual modalities - with a heavier weighting of auditory than visual spatial information. Thus, sensory modalities conveying exteroceptive spatial information contribute to judgments regarding the localization of touch. Copyright © 2016

  8. Hysteresis as an Implicit Prior in Tactile Spatial Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, Sabrina D.; Bitzer, Sebastian; Nierhaus, Till; Kalberlah, Christian; Preusser, Sven; Neumann, Jane; Nikulin, Vadim V.; van der Meer, Elke; Villringer, Arno; Pleger, Burkhard

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual decisions not only depend on the incoming information from sensory systems but constitute a combination of current sensory evidence and internally accumulated information from past encounters. Although recent evidence emphasizes the fundamental role of prior knowledge for perceptual decision making, only few studies have quantified the relevance of such priors on perceptual decisions and examined their interplay with other decision-relevant factors, such as the stimulus properties. In the present study we asked whether hysteresis, describing the stability of a percept despite a change in stimulus property and known to occur at perceptual thresholds, also acts as a form of an implicit prior in tactile spatial decision making, supporting the stability of a decision across successively presented random stimuli (i.e., decision hysteresis). We applied a variant of the classical 2-point discrimination task and found that hysteresis influenced perceptual decision making: Participants were more likely to decide ‘same’ rather than ‘different’ on successively presented pin distances. In a direct comparison between the influence of applied pin distances (explicit stimulus property) and hysteresis, we found that on average, stimulus property explained significantly more variance of participants’ decisions than hysteresis. However, when focusing on pin distances at threshold, we found a trend for hysteresis to explain more variance. Furthermore, the less variance was explained by the pin distance on a given decision, the more variance was explained by hysteresis, and vice versa. Our findings suggest that hysteresis acts as an implicit prior in tactile spatial decision making that becomes increasingly important when explicit stimulus properties provide decreasing evidence. PMID:24587045

  9. Sensory Feedback for Lower Extremity Prostheses Incorporating Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and...map and characterize the sensory capabilities of lower extremity Targeted Reinnervation (TR) sites under tactile stimulation , and (2) Measure the...descent machine; developed new tactile stimulators that we expect to use in later stages of this project; and completed baseline studies to calibrate

  10. Tactile Data Entry System, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Building on our successful Phase I Tactile Data Entry program, Barron Associates proposes development of a Glove-Enabled Computer Operations (GECO) system to permit...

  11. Functional and Structural Neuroplasticity Induced by Short-Term Tactile Training Based on Braille Reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debowska, Weronika; Wolak, Tomasz; Nowicka, Anna; Kozak, Anna; Szwed, Marcin; Kossut, Malgorzata

    2016-01-01

    Neuroplastic changes induced by sensory learning have been recognized within the cortices of specific modalities as well as within higher ordered multimodal areas. The interplay between these areas is not fully understood, particularly in the case of somatosensory learning. Here we examined functional and structural changes induced by short-term tactile training based of Braille reading, a task that requires both significant tactile expertise and mapping of tactile input onto multimodal representations. Subjects with normal vision were trained for 3 weeks to read Braille exclusively by touch and scanned before and after training, while performing a same-different discrimination task on Braille characters and meaningless characters. Functional and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging sequences were used to assess resulting changes. The strongest training-induced effect was found in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), where we observed bilateral augmentation in activity accompanied by an increase in fractional anisotropy (FA) within the contralateral SI. Increases of white matter fractional anisotropy were also observed in the secondary somatosensory area (SII) and the thalamus. Outside of somatosensory system, changes in both structure and function were found in i.e., the fusiform gyrus, the medial frontal gyri and the inferior parietal lobule. Our results provide evidence for functional remodeling of the somatosensory pathway and higher ordered multimodal brain areas occurring as a result of short-lasting tactile learning, and add to them a novel picture of extensive white matter plasticity.

  12. The effect of perceptual load on tactile spatial attention: Evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherri, Elena; Berreby, Fiona

    2017-10-15

    To investigate whether tactile spatial attention is modulated by perceptual load, behavioural and electrophysiological measures were recorded during two spatial cuing tasks in which the difficulty of the target/non-target discrimination was varied (High and Low load tasks). Moreover, to study whether attentional modulations by load are sensitive to the availability of visual information, the High and Low load tasks were carried out under both illuminated and darkness conditions. ERPs to cued and uncued non-targets were compared as a function of task (High vs. Low load) and illumination condition (Light vs. Darkness). Results revealed that the locus of tactile spatial attention was determined by a complex interaction between perceptual load and illumination conditions during sensory-specific stages of processing. In the Darkness, earlier effects of attention were present in the High load than in the Low load task, while no difference between tasks emerged in the Light. By contrast, increased load was associated with stronger attention effects during later post-perceptual processing stages regardless of illumination conditions. These findings demonstrate that ERP correlates of tactile spatial attention are strongly affected by the perceptual load of the target/non-target discrimination. However, differences between illumination conditions show that the impact of load on tactile attention depends on the presence of visual information. Perceptual load is one of the many factors that contribute to determine the effects of spatial selectivity in touch. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Prefrontal cortex and somatosensory cortex in tactile crossmodal association: an independent component analysis of ERP recordings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixuan Ku

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Our previous studies on scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs showed that somatosensory N140 evoked by a tactile vibration in working memory tasks was enhanced when human subjects expected a coming visual stimulus that had been paired with the tactile stimulus. The results suggested that such enhancement represented the cortical activities involved in tactile-visual crossmodal association. In the present study, we further hypothesized that the enhancement represented the neural activities in somatosensory and frontal cortices in the crossmodal association. By applying independent component analysis (ICA to the ERP data, we found independent components (ICs located in the medial prefrontal cortex (around the anterior cingulate cortex, ACC and the primary somatosensory cortex (SI. The activity represented by the IC in SI cortex showed enhancement in expectation of the visual stimulus. Such differential activity thus suggested the participation of SI cortex in the task-related crossmodal association. Further, the coherence analysis and the Granger causality spectral analysis of the ICs showed that SI cortex appeared to cooperate with ACC in attention and perception of the tactile stimulus in crossmodal association. The results of our study support with new evidence an important idea in cortical neurophysiology: higher cognitive operations develop from the modality-specific sensory cortices (in the present study, SI cortex that are involved in sensation and perception of various stimuli.

  14. A Review of Smart Materials in Tactile Actuators for Information Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Xie

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available As the largest organ in the human body, the skin provides the important sensory channel for humans to receive external stimulations based on touch. By the information perceived through touch, people can feel and guess the properties of objects, like weight, temperature, textures, and motion, etc. In fact, those properties are nerve stimuli to our brain received by different kinds of receptors in the skin. Mechanical, electrical, and thermal stimuli can stimulate these receptors and cause different information to be conveyed through the nerves. Technologies for actuators to provide mechanical, electrical or thermal stimuli have been developed. These include static or vibrational actuation, electrostatic stimulation, focused ultrasound, and more. Smart materials, such as piezoelectric materials, carbon nanotubes, and shape memory alloys, play important roles in providing actuation for tactile sensation. This paper aims to review the background biological knowledge of human tactile sensing, to give an understanding of how we sense and interact with the world through the sense of touch, as well as the conventional and state-of-the-art technologies of tactile actuators for tactile feedback delivery.

  15. Discrimination of Dynamic Tactile Contact by Temporally Precise Event Sensing in Spiking Neuromorphic Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Wang Wei; Kukreja, Sunil L; Thakor, Nitish V

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a neuromorphic tactile encoding methodology that utilizes a temporally precise event-based representation of sensory signals. We introduce a novel concept where touch signals are characterized as patterns of millisecond precise binary events to denote pressure changes. This approach is amenable to a sparse signal representation and enables the extraction of relevant features from thousands of sensing elements with sub-millisecond temporal precision. We also proposed measures adopted from computational neuroscience to study the information content within the spiking representations of artificial tactile signals. Implemented on a state-of-the-art 4096 element tactile sensor array with 5.2 kHz sampling frequency, we demonstrate the classification of transient impact events while utilizing 20 times less communication bandwidth compared to frame based representations. Spiking sensor responses to a large library of contact conditions were also synthesized using finite element simulations, illustrating an 8-fold improvement in information content and a 4-fold reduction in classification latency when millisecond-precise temporal structures are available. Our research represents a significant advance, demonstrating that a neuromorphic spatiotemporal representation of touch is well suited to rapid identification of critical contact events, making it suitable for dynamic tactile sensing in robotic and prosthetic applications.

  16. Generalization of a tactile stimulus in horses.

    OpenAIRE

    Dougherty, D M; Lewis, P

    1993-01-01

    Using horses, we investigated the control of operant behavior by a tactile stimulus (the training stimulus) and the generalization of behavior to six other similar test stimuli. In a stall, the experimenters mounted a response panel in the doorway. Located on this panel were a response lever and a grain dispenser. The experimenters secured a tactile-stimulus belt to the horse's back. The stimulus belt was constructed by mounting seven solenoids along a piece of burlap in a manner that allowed...

  17. Pure associative tactile agnosia for the left hand: clinical and anatomo-functional correlations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veronelli, Laura; Ginex, Valeria; Dinacci, Daria; Cappa, Stefano F; Corbo, Massimo

    2014-09-01

    Associative tactile agnosia (TA) is defined as the inability to associate information about object sensory properties derived through tactile modality with previously acquired knowledge about object identity. The impairment is often described after a lesion involving the parietal cortex (Caselli, 1997; Platz, 1996). We report the case of SA, a right-handed 61-year-old man affected by first ever right hemispheric hemorrhagic stroke. The neurological examination was normal, excluding major somaesthetic and motor impairment; a brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed the presence of a right subacute hemorrhagic lesion limited to the post-central and supra-marginal gyri. A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation detected a selective inability to name objects when handled with the left hand in the absence of other cognitive deficits. A series of experiments were conducted in order to assess each stage of tactile recognition processing using the same stimulus sets: materials, 3D geometrical shapes, real objects and letters. SA and seven matched controls underwent the same experimental tasks during four sessions in consecutive days. Tactile discrimination, recognition, pantomime, drawing after haptic exploration out of vision and tactile-visual matching abilities were assessed. In addition, we looked for the presence of a supra-modal impairment of spatial perception and of specific difficulties in programming exploratory movements during recognition. Tactile discrimination was intact for all the stimuli tested. In contrast, SA was able neither to recognize nor to pantomime real objects manipulated with the left hand out of vision, while he identified them with the right hand without hesitations. Tactile-visual matching was intact. Furthermore, SA was able to grossly reproduce the global shape in drawings but failed to extract details of objects after left-hand manipulation, and he could not identify objects after looking at his own drawings. This case

  18. Touch sensitive electrorheological fluid based tactile display

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanju; Davidson, Rob; Taylor, Paul

    2005-12-01

    A tactile display is programmable device whose controlled surface is intended to be investigated by human touch. It has a great number of potential applications in the field of virtual reality and elsewhere. In this research, a 5 × 5 tactile display array including electrorheological (ER) fluid has been developed and investigated. Force responses of the tactile display array have been measured while a probe was moved across the upper surface. The purpose of this was to simulate the action of touch performed by human finger. Experimental results show that the sensed surface information could be controlled effectively by adjusting the voltage activation pattern imposed on the tactels. The performance of the tactile display is durable and repeatable. The touch sensitivity of this ER fluid based tactile display array has also been investigated in this research. The results show that it is possible to sense the touching force normal to the display's surface by monitoring the change of current passing through the ER fluid. These encouraging results are helpful for constructing a new type of tactile display based on ER fluid which can act as both sensor and actuator at the same time.

  19. Emerging Role of Sensory Perception in Aging and Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riera, Celine E; Dillin, Andrew

    2016-05-01

    Sensory perception comprises gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) modalities as well as somatosensory (pain, heat, and tactile mechanosensory) inputs, which are detected by a multitude of sensory receptors. These sensory receptors are contained in specialized ciliated neurons where they detect changes in environmental conditions and participate in behavioral decisions ranging from food choice to avoiding harmful conditions, thus insuring basic survival in metazoans. Recent genetic studies, however, indicate that sensory perception plays additional physiological functions, notably influencing energy homeostatic processes and longevity through neuronal circuits originating from sensory tissues. Here we review how these findings are redefining metabolic signaling and establish a prominent role of sensory neuroendocrine processes in controlling health span and lifespan, with a goal of translating this knowledge towards managing age-associated diseases. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Autism: Tactile Perception and Emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pernon, E.; Pry, R.; Baghdadli, A.

    2007-01-01

    Background: For many years, and especially since Waynbaum and Wallon, psychology and psychopathology have dealt with cognitive perception, but have had little to do with the affective qualities of perception. Our aim was to study the influence of the sensory environment on people with autism. Method: Several experiments were carried out using…

  1. Purposeful Goal-Directed Movements Give Rise to Higher Tactile Discrimination Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgiana Juravle

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Tactile perception is inhibited during goal-directed reaching movements (sensory suppression. Here, participants performed simple reaching or exploratory movements (where contact with the table surface was maintained. We measured tactile discrimination thresholds for vibratory stimuli delivered to participants' wrists while executing the movement, and while at rest. Moreover, we measured discrimination performance (in a same vs. different task for the materials covering the table surface, during the execution of the different movements. The threshold and discrimination tasks could be performed either singly or together, both under active movement and passive conditions (ie, no movement required, but with tactile stimulation. Thresholds measured at rest were significantly lower than thresholds measured during both active movements and passive touches. This provides a clear indication of sensory suppression during movement execution. Moreover, the discrimination data revealed main effects of task (single vs. dual, movement execution type (passive vs. active, and movement type (reach vs. exploration: Discrimination performance was significantly higher under conditions of single-tasking, active movements, as well as exploratory movements. Therefore, active movement of the hand with the purpose of gaining tactual information about the surface of the table gives rise to enhanced performance, thus suggesting that we feel more when we need to; It would appear that tactual information is prioritized when relevant for the movement being executed.

  2. Behavioral impact of unisensory and multisensory audio-tactile events: pros and cons for interlimb coordination in juggling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Zelic

    Full Text Available Recent behavioral neuroscience research revealed that elementary reactive behavior can be improved in the case of cross-modal sensory interactions thanks to underlying multisensory integration mechanisms. Can this benefit be generalized to an ongoing coordination of movements under severe physical constraints? We choose a juggling task to examine this question. A central issue well-known in juggling lies in establishing and maintaining a specific temporal coordination among balls, hands, eyes and posture. Here, we tested whether providing additional timing information about the balls and hands motions by using external sound and tactile periodic stimulations, the later presented at the wrists, improved the behavior of jugglers. One specific combination of auditory and tactile metronome led to a decrease of the spatiotemporal variability of the juggler's performance: a simple sound associated to left and right tactile cues presented antiphase to each other, which corresponded to the temporal pattern of hands movement in the juggling task. A contrario, no improvements were obtained in the case of other auditory and tactile combinations. We even found a degraded performance when tactile events were presented alone. The nervous system thus appears able to integrate in efficient way environmental information brought by different sensory modalities, but only if the information specified matches specific features of the coordination pattern. We discuss the possible implications of these results for the understanding of the neuronal integration process implied in audio-tactile interaction in the context of complex voluntary movement, and considering the well-known gating effect of movement on vibrotactile perception.

  3. Behavioral Impact of Unisensory and Multisensory Audio-Tactile Events: Pros and Cons for Interlimb Coordination in Juggling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelic, Gregory; Mottet, Denis; Lagarde, Julien

    2012-01-01

    Recent behavioral neuroscience research revealed that elementary reactive behavior can be improved in the case of cross-modal sensory interactions thanks to underlying multisensory integration mechanisms. Can this benefit be generalized to an ongoing coordination of movements under severe physical constraints? We choose a juggling task to examine this question. A central issue well-known in juggling lies in establishing and maintaining a specific temporal coordination among balls, hands, eyes and posture. Here, we tested whether providing additional timing information about the balls and hands motions by using external sound and tactile periodic stimulations, the later presented at the wrists, improved the behavior of jugglers. One specific combination of auditory and tactile metronome led to a decrease of the spatiotemporal variability of the juggler's performance: a simple sound associated to left and right tactile cues presented antiphase to each other, which corresponded to the temporal pattern of hands movement in the juggling task. A contrario, no improvements were obtained in the case of other auditory and tactile combinations. We even found a degraded performance when tactile events were presented alone. The nervous system thus appears able to integrate in efficient way environmental information brought by different sensory modalities, but only if the information specified matches specific features of the coordination pattern. We discuss the possible implications of these results for the understanding of the neuronal integration process implied in audio-tactile interaction in the context of complex voluntary movement, and considering the well-known gating effect of movement on vibrotactile perception. PMID:22384211

  4. Action preparation modulates sensory perception in unseen personal space: An electrophysiological investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Job, Xavier E; de Fockert, Jan W; van Velzen, José

    2016-08-01

    Behavioural and electrophysiological evidence has demonstrated that preparation of goal-directed actions modulates sensory perception at the goal location before the action is executed. However, previous studies have focused on sensory perception in areas of peripersonal space. The present study investigated visual and tactile sensory processing at the goal location of upcoming movements towards the body, much of which is not visible, as well as visible peripersonal space. A motor task cued participants to prepare a reaching movement towards goals either in peripersonal space in front of them or personal space on the upper chest. In order to assess modulations of sensory perception during movement preparation, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in response to task-irrelevant visual and tactile probe stimuli delivered randomly at one of the goal locations of the movements. In line with previous neurophysiological findings, movement preparation modulated visual processing at the goal of a movement in peripersonal space. Movement preparation also modulated somatosensory processing at the movement goal in personal space. The findings demonstrate that tactile perception in personal space is subject to similar top-down sensory modulation by motor preparation as observed for visual stimuli presented in peripersonal space. These findings show for the first time that the principles and mechanisms underlying adaptive modulation of sensory processing in the context of action extend to tactile perception in unseen personal space. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Heterogeneous sensory processing in persistent postherniotomy pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aasvang, Eske Kvanner; Brandsborg, Birgitte; Jensen, Troels Staehelin

    2010-01-01

    hinders evaluation of potential subgroups for further investigation and/or treatment allocation. Thus we used a standardized QST protocol to evaluate sensory functions in PPP and pain-free control patients, to allow individual sensory characterization of pain patients from calculated Z-values. Seventy PPP...... patients with pain related impairment of everyday activities were compared with normative data from 40 pain-free postherniotomy patients operated>1 year previously. Z-values showed a large variation in sensory disturbances ranging from pronounced detection hypoesthesia (Z=6, cold) to pain hyperalgesia (Z......=-8, pressure). Hyperalgesia for various modalities were found in 80% of patients, with pressure hyperalgesia in approximately 65%, and cutaneous (mechanical or thermal) hyperalgesia in approximately 35% of patients. The paradoxical combination of tactile hypoesthesia and hyperalgesia was seen...

  6. Ambiguity in Tactile Apparent Motion Perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuela Liaci

    Full Text Available In von Schiller's Stroboscopic Alternative Motion (SAM stimulus two visually presented diagonal dot pairs, located on the corners of an imaginary rectangle, alternate with each other and induce either horizontal, vertical or, rarely, rotational motion percepts. SAM motion perception can be described by a psychometric function of the dot aspect ratio ("AR", i.e. the relation between vertical and horizontal dot distances. Further, with equal horizontal and vertical dot distances (AR = 1 perception is biased towards vertical motion. In a series of five experiments, we presented tactile SAM versions and studied the role of AR and of different reference frames for the perception of tactile apparent motion.We presented tactile SAM stimuli and varied the ARs, while participants reported the perceived motion directions. Pairs of vibration stimulators were attached to the participants' forearms and stimulator distances were varied within and between forearms. We compared straight and rotated forearm conditions with each other in order to disentangle the roles of exogenous and endogenous reference frames.Increasing the tactile SAM's AR biased perception towards vertical motion, but the effect was weak compared to the visual modality. We found no horizontal disambiguation, even for very small tactile ARs. A forearm rotation by 90° kept the vertical bias, even though it was now coupled with small ARs. A 45° rotation condition with crossed forearms, however, evoked a strong horizontal motion bias.Existing approaches to explain the visual SAM bias fail to explain the current tactile results. Particularly puzzling is the strong horizontal bias in the crossed-forearm conditions. In the case of tactile apparent motion, there seem to be no fixed priority rule for perceptual disambiguation. Rather the weighting of available evidence seems to depend on the degree of stimulus ambiguity, the current situation and on the perceptual strategy of the individual

  7. Similar effects of attention directed to acoustic and tactile stimuli on prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elden, Ake; Flaten, Magne A

    2003-09-01

    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is assumed to index automatic and controlled processing. In three experiments (n= 32, 22, and 30) participants were asked to judge the duration of a prepulse in comparison with a stimulus presented 4000 ms before the prepulse. A distracter was presented simultaneously with the prepulse to increase the cognitive demands of the task. PPI was assessed at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of 30-150 ms, and 420 ms. The prepulse was either a tone (60 dB) or a tactile stimulus (21 kPa), and startle was elicited by 95 dB white noise. Directing attention to the prepulse increased PPI at SOAs of 60 ms and longer in all experiments, but the sensory modality to which attention was directed played only a minor role. We conclude that directing attention to both acoustic and tactile prepulses increased PPI.

  8. Air and Bone Conduction Thresholds of Deaf and Normal Hearing Subjects before and during the Elimination of Cutaneous-Tactile Interference with Anesthesia. Final Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nober, E. Harris

    The study investigated whether low frequency air and bone thresholds elicited at high intensity levels from deaf children with a sensory-neural diagnosis reflect valid auditory sensitivity or are mediated through cutaneous-tactile receptors. Subjects were five totally deaf (mean age 17.0) yielding vibrotactile thresholds but with no air and bone…

  9. Cognitive and tactile factors affecting human haptic performance in later life.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Kalisch

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Vision and haptics are the key modalities by which humans perceive objects and interact with their environment in a target-oriented manner. Both modalities share higher-order neural resources and the mechanisms required for object exploration. Compared to vision, the understanding of haptic information processing is still rudimentary. Although it is known that haptic performance, similar to many other skills, decreases in old age, the underlying mechanisms are not clear. It is yet to be determined to what extent this decrease is related to the age-related loss of tactile acuity or cognitive capacity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the haptic performance of 81 older adults by means of a cross-modal object recognition test. Additionally, we assessed the subjects' tactile acuity with an apparatus-based two-point discrimination paradigm, and their cognitive performance by means of the non-verbal Raven-Standard-Progressive matrices test. As expected, there was a significant age-related decline in performance on all 3 tests. With the exception of tactile acuity, this decline was found to be more distinct in female subjects. Correlation analyses revealed a strong relationship between haptic and cognitive performance for all subjects. Tactile performance, on the contrary, was only significantly correlated with male subjects' haptic performance. CONCLUSIONS: Haptic object recognition is a demanding task in old age, especially when it comes to the exploration of complex, unfamiliar objects. Our data support a disproportionately higher impact of cognition on haptic performance as compared to the impact of tactile acuity. Our findings are in agreement with studies reporting an increase in co-variation between individual sensory performance and general cognitive functioning in old age.

  10. Agreeable smellers and sensitive neurotics--correlations among personality traits and sensory thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croy, Ilona; Springborn, Maria; Lötsch, Jörn; Johnston, Amy N B; Hummel, Thomas

    2011-04-27

    Correlations between personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds were examined. Participants (N = 124) completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI) and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants was revealed. It is postulated that varied sensory processing may influence an individual's perception of the environment; particularly their perception of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality.

  11. Agreeable Smellers and Sensitive Neurotics – Correlations among Personality Traits and Sensory Thresholds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croy, Ilona; Springborn, Maria; Lötsch, Jörn; Johnston, Amy N. B.; Hummel, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Correlations between personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds were examined. Participants (N = 124) completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI) and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants was revealed. It is postulated that varied sensory processing may influence an individual's perception of the environment; particularly their perception of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality. PMID:21556139

  12. Agreeable smellers and sensitive neurotics--correlations among personality traits and sensory thresholds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona Croy

    Full Text Available Correlations between personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds were examined. Participants (N = 124 completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants was revealed. It is postulated that varied sensory processing may influence an individual's perception of the environment; particularly their perception of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality.

  13. High-Speed Tactile Sensing for Array-Type Tactile Sensor and Object Manipulation Based on Tactile Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wataru Fukui

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We have developed a universal robot hand with tactile and other sensors. An array-type tactile sensor is crucial for dexterous manipulation of objects using a robotic hand, since this sensor can measure the pressure distribution on finger pads. The sensor has a very high resolution, and the shape of a grasped object can be classified by using this sensor. The more the number of measurement points provided, the higher the accuracy of the classification, but with a corresponding lengthening of the measurement cycle. In this paper, the problem of slow response time is resolved by using software for an array-type tactile sensor with high resolution that emulates the human sensor system. The validity of the proposed method is demonstrated through experiments.

  14. Robotic Tactile Sensing Technologies and System

    CERN Document Server

    Dahiya, Ravinder S

    2013-01-01

    Future robots are expected to work closely and interact safely with real-world objects and humans alike. Sense of touch is important in this context, as it helps estimate properties such as shape, texture, hardness, material type and many more; provides action related information, such as slip detection; and helps carrying out actions such as rolling an object between fingers without dropping it. This book presents an in-depth description of the solutions available for gathering tactile data, obtaining aforementioned tactile information from the data and effectively using the same in various robotic tasks. Better integration of tactile sensors on a robot’s body is prerequisite for the effective utilization of tactile data. For this reason, the hardware, software and application related issues (and resulting trade-offs) that must be considered to make tactile sensing an effective component of robotic platforms are discussed in-depth.To this end, human touch sensing has also been explored. The design hints co...

  15. Recruitment of occipital cortex during sensory substitution training linked to subjective experience of seeing in people with blindness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomás Ortiz

    Full Text Available Over three months of intensive training with a tactile stimulation device, 18 blind and 10 blindfolded seeing subjects improved in their ability to identify geometric figures by touch. Seven blind subjects spontaneously reported 'visual qualia', the subjective sensation of seeing flashes of light congruent with tactile stimuli. In the latter subjects tactile stimulation evoked activation of occipital cortex on electroencephalography (EEG. None of the blind subjects who failed to experience visual qualia, despite identical tactile stimulation training, showed EEG recruitment of occipital cortex. None of the blindfolded seeing humans reported visual-like sensations during tactile stimulation. These findings support the notion that the conscious experience of seeing is linked to the activation of occipital brain regions in people with blindness. Moreover, the findings indicate that provision of visual information can be achieved through non-visual sensory modalities which may help to minimize the disability of blind individuals, affording them some degree of object recognition and navigation aid.

  16. Recruitment of occipital cortex during sensory substitution training linked to subjective experience of seeing in people with blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Tomás; Poch, Joaquín; Santos, Juan M; Requena, Carmen; Martínez, Ana M; Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Turrero, Agustín; Barcia, Juan; Nogales, Ramón; Calvo, Agustín; Martínez, José M; Córdoba, José L; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2011-01-01

    Over three months of intensive training with a tactile stimulation device, 18 blind and 10 blindfolded seeing subjects improved in their ability to identify geometric figures by touch. Seven blind subjects spontaneously reported 'visual qualia', the subjective sensation of seeing flashes of light congruent with tactile stimuli. In the latter subjects tactile stimulation evoked activation of occipital cortex on electroencephalography (EEG). None of the blind subjects who failed to experience visual qualia, despite identical tactile stimulation training, showed EEG recruitment of occipital cortex. None of the blindfolded seeing humans reported visual-like sensations during tactile stimulation. These findings support the notion that the conscious experience of seeing is linked to the activation of occipital brain regions in people with blindness. Moreover, the findings indicate that provision of visual information can be achieved through non-visual sensory modalities which may help to minimize the disability of blind individuals, affording them some degree of object recognition and navigation aid.

  17. Tactile-dependant corticomotor facilitation is influenced by discrimination performance in seniors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tremblay François

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Active contraction leads to facilitation of motor responses evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. In small hand muscles, motor facilitation is known to be also influenced by the nature of the task. Recently, we showed that corticomotor facilitation was selectively enhanced when young participants actively discriminated tactile symbols with the tip of their index or little finger. This tactile-dependant motor facilitation reflected, for the large part, attentional influences associated with performing tactile discrimination, since execution of a concomitant distraction task abolished facilitation. In the present report, we extend these observations to examine the influence of age on the ability to produce extra motor facilitation when the hand is used for sensory exploration. Methods Corticomotor excitability was tested in 16 healthy seniors (58-83 years while they actively moved their right index finger over a surface under two task conditions. In the tactile discrimination (TD condition, participants attended to the spatial location of two tactile symbols on the explored surface, while in the non discrimination (ND condition, participants simply moved their finger over a blank surface. Changes in amplitude, in latency and in the silent period (SP duration were measured from recordings of motor evoked potentials (MEP in the right first dorsal interosseous muscle in response to TMS of the left motor cortex. Results Healthy seniors exhibited widely varying levels of performance with the TD task, older age being associated with lower accuracy and vice-versa. Large inter-individual variations were also observed in terms of tactile-specific corticomotor facilitation. Regrouping seniors into higher (n = 6 and lower performance groups (n = 10 revealed a significant task by performance interaction. This latter interaction reflected differences between higher and lower performance groups; tactile-related facilitation being

  18. Magnetic Tactile Sensor for Braille Reading

    KAUST Repository

    Alfadhel, Ahmed

    2016-04-27

    We report a biomimetic magnetic tactile sensor for Braille characters reading. The sensor consists of magnetic nanocomposite artificial cilia implemented on magnetic micro sensors. The nanocomposite is produced from the highly elastic polydimethylsiloxane and iron nanowires that exhibit a permanent magnetic behavior. This design enables remote operation and does not require an additional magnetic field to magnetize the nanowires. The highly elastic nanocomposite is easy to pattern, corrosion resistant and thermally stable. The tactile sensors can detect vertical and shear forces, which allows recognizing small changes in surface texture, as in the case of Braille dots. The 6 dots of a braille cell are read from top to bottom with a tactile sensor array consisting of 4 elements and 1 mm long nanocomposite cilia.

  19. Development of a Tactile Sensor Array

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marian, Nicolae; Drimus, Alin; Bilberg, Arne

    2010-01-01

    Flexible grasping robots are needed for enabling automated, profitable and competitive production of small batch sizes including complex handling processes of often fragile objects. This development will create new conditions for value-adding activities in the production of the future world....... The paper describes the related research work we have developed for sensor design, exploration and control for a robot gripping system, in order to analyze normal forces applied on the tactile pixels for gripping force control and generate tactile images for gripping positioning and object recognition....... Section 1 gives an introduction of principles and technologies in tactile sensing for robot grippers. Section 2 presents the sensor cell (taxel) and array design and characterization. Section 3 introduces object recognition and shape analysis ideas showing a few preliminary examples, where geometrical...

  20. Magnetic Tactile Sensor for Braille Reading

    KAUST Repository

    Alfadhel, Ahmed; Khan, Mohammed; Cardoso, Susana; Kosel, Jü rgen

    2016-01-01

    We report a biomimetic magnetic tactile sensor for Braille characters reading. The sensor consists of magnetic nanocomposite artificial cilia implemented on magnetic micro sensors. The nanocomposite is produced from the highly elastic polydimethylsiloxane and iron nanowires that exhibit a permanent magnetic behavior. This design enables remote operation and does not require an additional magnetic field to magnetize the nanowires. The highly elastic nanocomposite is easy to pattern, corrosion resistant and thermally stable. The tactile sensors can detect vertical and shear forces, which allows recognizing small changes in surface texture, as in the case of Braille dots. The 6 dots of a braille cell are read from top to bottom with a tactile sensor array consisting of 4 elements and 1 mm long nanocomposite cilia.

  1. Unmyelinated tactile cutaneous nerves signal erotic sensations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jönsson, Emma H; Backlund Wasling, Helena; Wagnbeck, Vicktoria; Dimitriadis, Menelaos; Georgiadis, Janniko R; Olausson, Håkan; Croy, Ilona

    2015-06-01

    Intrapersonal touch is a powerful tool for communicating emotions and can among many things evoke feelings of eroticism and sexual arousal. The peripheral neural mechanisms of erotic touch signaling have been less studied. C tactile afferents (unmyelinated low-threshold mechanoreceptors), known to underpin pleasant aspects of touch processing, have been posited to play an important role. In two studies, we investigated the relationship between C tactile activation and the perception of erotic and pleasant touch, using tactile brushing stimulation. In total, 66 healthy subjects (37 women, age range 19-51 years) were examined. In study 1 (n = 20), five different stroking velocities were applied to the forearm and the inner thigh. The participants answered questions about partnership, mood, and touch. In study 2 (n = 46), the same five stroking velocities were applied to the forearm. The participants answered questions about partnership, touch, and sexuality. Both touch eroticism and pleasantness were rated significantly higher for C tactile optimal velocities compared with suboptimal velocities. No difference was found between the ratings of the thigh and the forearm. The velocity-dependent rating curves of pleasantness, intensity, and eroticism differed from each other. Pleasantness was best explained by a quadratic fit, intensity by a linear fit, and eroticism by both. A linear transformation of pleasantness and intensity predicted the observed eroticism ratings reliably. Eroticism ratings were negatively correlated with length of relationship. Touch was rated most erotic when perceived as pleasant and weak. In human hairy skin, perception of pleasantness is correlated with the firing rate of C tactile afferents, and perception of intensity is correlated with the firing rate of Aβ afferents. Accordingly, eroticism may be perceived most readily for touch stimuli that induce high activity in C tactile fibers and low activity in Aβ fibers. © 2015 International

  2. Attention Modulates Visual-Tactile Interaction in Spatial Pattern Matching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K.; Friese, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a) focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b) pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c) to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an ‘all-or-nothing’ manner. PMID:25203102

  3. Attention modulates visual-tactile interaction in spatial pattern matching.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Göschl

    Full Text Available Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an 'all-or-nothing' manner.

  4. Acquisition of multiple prior distributions in tactile temporal order judgment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuhito eNagai

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Bayesian estimation theory proposes that the brain acquires the prior distribution of a task and integrates it with sensory signals to minimize the effect of sensory noise. Psychophysical studies have demonstrated that our brain actually implements Bayesian estimation in a variety of sensory-motor tasks. However, these studies only imposed one prior distribution on participants within a task period. In this study, we investigated the conditions that enable the acquisition of multiple prior distributions in temporal order judgment (TOJ of two tactile stimuli across the hands. In Experiment 1, stimulation intervals were randomly selected from one of two prior distributions (biased to right hand earlier and biased to left hand earlier in association with color cues (green and red, respectively. Although the acquisition of the two priors was not enabled by the color cues alone, it was significant when participants shifted their gaze (above or below in response to the color cues. However, the acquisition of multiple priors was not significant when participants moved their mouths (opened or closed. In Experiment 2, the spatial cues (above and below were used to identify which eye position or retinal cue position was crucial for the eye-movement-dependent acquisition of multiple priors in Experiment 1. The acquisition of the two priors was significant when participants moved their gaze to the cues (i.e., the cue positions on the retina were constant across the priors, as well as when participants did not shift their gazes (i.e., the cue positions on the retina changed according to the priors. Thus, both eye and retinal cue positions were effective in acquiring multiple priors. Based on previous neurophysiological reports, we discuss possible neural correlates that contribute to the acquisition of multiple priors.

  5. Degree of skin denervation and its correlation to objective thermal sensory test in leprosy patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael Alves Rodrigues Júnior

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leprosy is an infectious disease affecting skin and peripheral nerves resulting in increased morbidity and physical deformities. Early diagnosis provides opportune treatment and reduces its complications, relying fundamentally on the demonstration of impaired sensation in suggestive cutaneous lesions. The loss of tactile sensitivity in the lesions is preceded by the loss of thermal sensitivity, stressing the importance of the thermal test in the suspicious lesions approach. The gold-standard method for the assessment of thermal sensitivity is the quantitative sensory test (QST. Morphological study may be an alternative approach to access the thin nerve fibers responsible for thermal sensitivity transduction. The few studies reported in leprosy patients pointed out a rarefaction of thin dermo-epidermal fibers in lesions, but used semi-quantitative evaluation methods. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This work aimed to study the correlation between the degree of thermal sensitivity impairment measured by QST and the degree of denervation in leprosy skin lesions, evaluated by immunohistochemistry anti-PGP 9.5 and morphometry. Twenty-two patients were included. There were significant differences in skin thermal thresholds among lesions and contralateral skin (cold, warm, cold induced pain and heat induced pain. The mean reduction in the density of intraepidermal and subepidermal fibers in lesions was 79.5% (SD = 19.6 and 80.8% (SD = 24.9, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We observed a good correlation between intraepidermal and subepidermal fibers deficit, but no correlation between these variables and those accounting for the degree of impairment in thermal thresholds, since the thin fibers rarefaction was homogeneously intense in all patients, regardless of the degree of sensory deficit. We believe that the homogeneously intense denervation in leprosy lesions should be objective of further investigations focused on its

  6. Trigeminal pain and quantitative sensory testing in painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arap, Astrid; Siqueira, Silvia R D T; Silva, Claudomiro B; Teixeira, Manoel J; Siqueira, José T T

    2010-07-01

    To evaluate patients with Diabetes Mellitus type 2 and painful peripheral neuropathy in order to investigate oral complaints and facial somatosensory findings. Case-control study; 29 patients (12 women, mean age 57.86 yo) with Diabetes Mellitus type 2 and 31 age-gender-matched controls were evaluated with a standardized protocol for general characteristics, orofacial pain, research diagnostic criteria for temporomandibular disorders, visual analogue scale and McGill Pain questionnaire, and a systematic protocol of quantitative sensory testing for bilateral facial sensitivity at the areas innervated by the trigeminal branches, which included the thermal detection by ThermoSensi 2, tactile evaluation with vonFrey filaments, and superficial pain thresholds with a superficial algometer (Micromar). Statistical analysis was performed with Wilcoxon, chi-square, confidence intervals and Spearman (ppain was reported by 55.2% of patients, and the most common descriptor was fatigue (50%); 17.2% had burning mouth. Myofascial temporomandibular disorders were diagnosed in 9 (31%) patients. The study group showed higher sensory thresholds of pain at the right maxillary branch (p=0.017) but sensorial differences were not associated with pain (p=0.608). Glycemia and HbA(1c) were positively correlated with the quantitative sensory testing results of pain (ppain thresholds were correlated with higher glycemia and glycated hemoglobin (p=0.027 and p=0.026). There was a high prevalence of orofacial pain and burning mouth was the most common complaint. The association of loss of pain sensation and higher glycemia and glycated hemoglobin can be of clinical use for the follow-up of DM complications. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. AWARENESS: Tactility and Experience as Transformational Strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riisberg, Vibeke; Bang, Anne Louise; Locher, Laura

    2015-01-01

    with users. By employing participatory methods in the field of fashion and textiles, we seek to develop an alternative transformational strategy that may further the design of products and services for a more sustainable future. In the initial theoretical section, we define tactile sensibility, which...... “tacit knowledge” and a “tacit experience”. Finally, we conclude that if designers wish to promote change related to sustainability, it is likely that an embodied participatory dialogue that builds on the combination of user experience and tactile sensibility can be further developed into didactic tools...

  8. High-Frequency Repetitive Sensory Stimulation as Intervention to Improve Sensory Loss in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Marianne; Dinse, Hubert R; Mainka, Tina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Maier, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Achieving perceptual gains in healthy individuals or facilitating rehabilitation in patients is generally considered to require intense training to engage neuronal plasticity mechanisms. Recent work, however, suggested that beneficial outcome similar to training can be effectively acquired by a complementary approach in which the learning occurs in response to mere exposure to repetitive sensory stimulation (rSS). For example, high-frequency repetitive sensory stimulation (HF-rSS) enhances tactile performance and induces cortical reorganization in healthy subjects and patients after stroke. Patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) show impaired tactile performance associated with shrinkage of cortical maps. We here investigated the feasibility and efficacy of HF-rSS, and low-frequency rSS (LF-rSS) to enhance tactile performance and reduce pain intensity in 20 patients with CRPS type I. Intermittent high- or low-frequency electrical stimuli were applied for 45 min/day to all fingertips of the affected hand for 5 days. Main outcome measures were spatial two-point-discrimination thresholds and mechanical detection thresholds measured on the tip of the index finger bilaterally. Secondary endpoint was current pain intensity. All measures were assessed before and on day 5 after the last stimulation session. HF-rSS applied in 16 patients improved tactile discrimination on the affected hand significantly without changes contralaterally. Current pain intensity remained unchanged on average, but decreased in four patients by ≥30%. This limited pain relief might be due to the short stimulation period of 5 days only. In contrast, after LF-rSS, tactile discrimination was impaired in all four patients, while detection thresholds and pain were not affected. Our data suggest that HF-rSS could be used as a novel approach in CRPS treatment to improve sensory loss. Longer treatment periods might be required to induce consistent pain relief.

  9. High frequency repetitive sensory stimulation as intervention to improve sensory loss in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne eDavid

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Achieving perceptual gains in healthy individuals, or facilitating rehabilitation in patients is generally considered to require intense training to engage neuronal plasticity mechanisms. Recent work, however, suggested that beneficial outcome similar to training can be effectively acquired by a complementary approach in which the learning occurs in response to mere exposure to repetitive sensory stimulation (rSS. For example, high-frequency repetitive sensory stimulation (HF-rSS enhances tactile performance and induces cortical reorganization in healthy subjects and patients after stroke. Patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS show impaired tactile performance associated with shrinkage of cortical maps. We here investigated the feasibility and efficacy of HF-rSS, and low-frequency rSS (LF-rSS to enhance tactile performance and reduce pain intensity in 20 patients with CRPS type I. Intermittent high or low frequency electrical stimuli were applied for 45min/day to all fingertips of the affected hand for 5 days. Main outcome measures were spatial 2-point-discrimination thresholds and mechanical detection thresholds measured on the tip of the index finger bilaterally. Secondary endpoint was current pain intensity. All measures were assessed before and on day 5 after the last stimulation session. HF-rSS applied in 16 patients improved tactile discrimination on the affected hand significantly without changes contralaterally. Current pain intensity remained unchanged on average, but decreased in 4 patients by 30%. This limited pain relief might be due to the short stimulation period of 5 days only. In contrast, after LF-rSS, tactile discrimination was impaired in all 4 patients, while detection thresholds and pain were not affected. Our data suggest that HF-rSS could be used as a novel approach in CRPS treatment to improve sensory loss. Longer treatment periods might be required to induce consistent pain relief.

  10. Functional Alterations of Postcentral Gyrus Modulated by Angry Facial Expressions during Intraoral Tactile Stimuli in Patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshino, Atsuo; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Doi, Mitsuru; Okada, Go; Takamura, Masahiro; Ichikawa, Naho; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2017-01-01

    Previous findings suggest that negative emotions could influence abnormal sensory perception in burning mouth syndrome (BMS). However, few studies have investigated the underlying neural mechanisms associated with BMS. We examined activation of brain regions in response to intraoral tactile stimuli when modulated by angry facial expressions. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging on a group of 27 BMS patients and 21 age-matched healthy controls. Tactile stimuli were presented during different emotional contexts, which were induced via the continuous presentation of angry or neutral pictures of human faces. BMS patients exhibited higher tactile ratings and greater activation in the postcentral gyrus during the presentation of tactile stimuli involving angry faces relative to controls. Significant positive correlations between changes in brain activation elicited by angry facial images in the postcentral gyrus and changes in tactile rating scores by angry facial images were found for both groups. For BMS patients, there was a significant positive correlation between changes in tactile-related activation of the postcentral gyrus elicited by angry facial expressions and pain intensity in daily life. Findings suggest that neural responses in the postcentral gyrus are more strongly affected by angry facial expressions in BMS patients, which may reflect one possible mechanism underlying impaired somatosensory system function in this disorder. PMID:29163243

  11. Functional Alterations of Postcentral Gyrus Modulated by Angry Facial Expressions during Intraoral Tactile Stimuli in Patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

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    Atsuo Yoshino

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Previous findings suggest that negative emotions could influence abnormal sensory perception in burning mouth syndrome (BMS. However, few studies have investigated the underlying neural mechanisms associated with BMS. We examined activation of brain regions in response to intraoral tactile stimuli when modulated by angry facial expressions. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging on a group of 27 BMS patients and 21 age-matched healthy controls. Tactile stimuli were presented during different emotional contexts, which were induced via the continuous presentation of angry or neutral pictures of human faces. BMS patients exhibited higher tactile ratings and greater activation in the postcentral gyrus during the presentation of tactile stimuli involving angry faces relative to controls. Significant positive correlations between changes in brain activation elicited by angry facial images in the postcentral gyrus and changes in tactile rating scores by angry facial images were found for both groups. For BMS patients, there was a significant positive correlation between changes in tactile-related activation of the postcentral gyrus elicited by angry facial expressions and pain intensity in daily life. Findings suggest that neural responses in the postcentral gyrus are more strongly affected by angry facial expressions in BMS patients, which may reflect one possible mechanism underlying impaired somatosensory system function in this disorder.

  12. touché is required for touch evoked generator potentials within vertebrate sensory neurons

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    Low, Sean E.; Ryan, Joel; Sprague, Shawn M.; Hirata, Hiromi; Cui, Wilson W.; Zhou, Weibin; Hume, Richard I.; Kuwada, John Y.; Saint-Amant, Louis

    2010-01-01

    The process by which light-touch in vertebrates is transformed into an electrical response in cutaneous mechanosensitive neurons is a largely unresolved question. To address this question we undertook a forward genetic screen in zebrafish (Danio rerio) to identify mutants exhibiting abnormal touch-evoked behaviors, despite the presence of sensory neurons and peripheral neurites. One family, subsequently named touché, was found to harbor a recessive mutation which produced offspring that were unresponsive to light-touch, but responded to a variety of other sensory stimuli. The optogenetic activation of motor behaviors by touché mutant sensory neurons expressing ChannelRhodopsin-2 suggested that the synaptic output of sensory neurons was intact, consistent with a defect in sensory neuron activation. To explore sensory neuron activation we developed an in vivo preparation permitting the precise placement of a combined electrical and tactile stimulating probe upon eGFP positive peripheral neurites. In wild type larva electrical and tactile stimulation of peripheral neurites produced action potentials detectable within the cell body. In a subset of these sensory neurons an underlying generator potential could be observed in response to subthreshold tactile stimuli. A closer examination revealed that the amplitude of the generator potential was proportional to the stimulus amplitude. When assayed touché mutant sensory neurons also responded to electrical stimulation of peripheral neurites similar to wild type larvae, however tactile stimulation of these neurites failed to uncover a subset of sensory neurons possessing generator potentials. These findings suggest that touché is required for generator potentials, and that generator potentials underlie responsiveness to light-touch in zebrafish. PMID:20631165

  13. Attenuation of self-generated tactile sensations is predictive, not postdictive.

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    Paul M Bays

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available When one finger touches the other, the resulting tactile sensation is perceived as weaker than the same stimulus externally imposed. This attenuation of sensation could result from a predictive process that subtracts the expected sensory consequences of the action, or from a postdictive process that alters the perception of sensations that are judged after the event to be self-generated. In this study we observe attenuation even when the fingers unexpectedly fail to make contact, supporting a predictive process. This predictive attenuation of self-generated sensation may have evolved to enhance the perception of sensations with an external cause.

  14. Attenuation of Self-Generated Tactile Sensations is Predictive, not Postdictive.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available When one finger touches the other, the resulting tactile sensation is perceived as weaker than the same stimulus externally imposed. This attenuation of sensation could result from a predictive process that subtracts the expected sensory consequences of the action, or from a postdictive process that alters the perception of sensations that are judged after the event to be self-generated. In this study we observe attenuation even when the fingers unexpectedly fail to make contact, supporting a predictive process. This predictive attenuation of self-generated sensation may have evolved to enhance the perception of sensations with an external cause.

  15. Electrophysiological Evidence for a Sensory Recruitment Model of Somatosensory Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Sensory recruitment models of working memory assume that information storage is mediated by the same cortical areas that are responsible for the perceptual processing of sensory signals. To test this assumption, we measured somatosensory event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during a tactile delayed match-to-sample task. Participants memorized a tactile sample set at one task-relevant hand to compare it with a subsequent test set on the same hand. During the retention period, a sustained negativity (tactile contralateral delay activity, tCDA) was elicited over primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to the relevant hand. The amplitude of this component increased with memory load and was sensitive to individual limitations in memory capacity, suggesting that the tCDA reflects the maintenance of tactile information in somatosensory working memory. The tCDA was preceded by a transient negativity (N2cc component) with a similar contralateral scalp distribution, which is likely to reflect selection of task-relevant tactile stimuli at the encoding stage. The temporal sequence of N2cc and tCDA components mirrors previous observations from ERP studies of working memory in vision. The finding that the sustained somatosensory delay period activity varies as a function of memory load supports a sensory recruitment model for spatial working memory in touch. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Effect of verbal persuasion on self-efficacy for pain-related diagnostic sensory testing in individuals with chronic neck pain and healthy controls – a randomized, controlled trial

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    Söderlund A

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Anne Söderlund,1 Michele Sterling,2 1Physiotherapy, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden; 2Centre for National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Parklands, Australia Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in cold pain threshold (CTh, pressure pain threshold (PPT, cold pain tolerance (CPTo tests, and the level of self-efficacy when self-efficacy for diagnostic sensory testing was manipulated by verbal persuasion before a testing situation in persons with neck pain and in healthy controls. A randomized experimental design was used. Twenty-one healthy volunteers and 22 individuals with either traumatic or nontraumatic chronic neck pain were recruited to participate in the study. The intervention consisted of two experimental verbal persuasion conditions: Increase self-efficacy and Decrease self-efficacy. The PPT was measured using a pressure algometer, the CTh was measured using a thermo test system, and CPTo was measured by submerging the participant's hand in ice water up to the elbow joint. On three occasions, the participants reported their self-efficacy level in performing the sensory tests. In the chronic neck pain group, there were no differences in pain threshold or tolerance. There was a difference in the self-efficacy level after verbal persuasion between the experimental conditions. In the healthy control group, the CThs increased following the condition that aimed to increase self-efficacy. No other differences were observed in the healthy controls. A short verbal persuasion in the form of manipulative instructions seems to have a marginal effect on the individual's self-efficacy levels in the chronic neck pain group and a slight influence on the results of sensory testing in healthy controls. Keywords: pressure pain threshold, cold pain threshold, cold pain tolerance, self

  17. Salience of Tactile Cues: An Examination of Tactor Actuator and Tactile Cue Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    Similarly, tactile alerts can help manage and focus attention in a complex high-tempo multitasked environment. Figure 1, while simple, can serve to...tactile cueing on concurrent performance of military and robotics tasks in a simulated multitasking environment. Ergonomics. 2008;51(8):1137–1152...2007;78(3):338. Moorhead IR, Holmes S, Furnell S. Understanding multisensory integration for pilot spatial orientation. Farnborough (UK): QinetiQ

  18. An insect-inspired bionic sensor for tactile localisation and material classification with state-dependent modulation

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    Luca ePatanè

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Insects carry a pair of antennae on their head: multimodal sensory organs that serve a wide range of sensory-guided behaviours. During locomotion, antennae are involved in near-range orientation, for example in detecting, localising, probing and negotiating obstacles.Here we present a bionic, active tactile sensing system inspired by insect antennae. It comprises an actuated elastic rod equipped with a terminal acceleration sensor. The measurement principle is based on the analysis of damped harmonic oscillations registered upon contact with an object. The dominant frequency of the oscillation is extracted to determine the distance of the contact point along the probe, and basal angular encoders allow tactile localisation in a polar coordinate system. Finally, the damping behaviour of the registered signal is exploited to determine the most likely material.The tactile sensor is tested in four approaches with increasing neural plausibility: First, we show that peak extraction from the Fourier spectrum is sufficient for tactile localisation with position errors below 1%. Also, the damping property of the extracted frequency is used for material classification. Second, we show that the Fourier spectrum can be analysed by an Artificial Neural Network which can be trained to decode contact distance and to classify contact materials. Thirdly, we show how efficiency can be improved by band-pass filtering the Fourier spectrum by application of non-negative matrix factorisation. This reduces the input dimension by 95% while reducing classification performance by 8% only. Finally, we replace the FFT by an array of spiking neurons with gradually differing resonance properties, such that their spike rate is a function of the input frequency. We show that this network can be applied to detect tactile contact events of a wheeled robot, and how detrimental effects of robot velocity on antennal dynamics can be suppressed by state-dependent modulation of the

  19. Unmyelinated Tactile Cutaneous Nerves Signal Erotic Sensations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jönsson, Emma H; Backlund Wasling, Helena; Wagnbeck, Vicktoria; Dimitriadis, Menelaos; Georgiadis, Janniko R; Olausson, Håkan; Croy, Ilona

    IntroductionIntrapersonal touch is a powerful tool for communicating emotions and can among many things evoke feelings of eroticism and sexual arousal. The peripheral neural mechanisms of erotic touch signaling have been less studied. C tactile afferents (unmyelinated low-threshold

  20. Compact Tactile Sensors for Robot Fingers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Toby B.; Lussy, David; Gaudiano, Frank; Hulse, Aaron; Diftler, Myron A.; Rodriguez, Dagoberto; Bielski, Paul; Butzer, Melisa

    2004-01-01

    Compact transducer arrays that measure spatial distributions of force or pressure have been demonstrated as prototypes of tactile sensors to be mounted on fingers and palms of dexterous robot hands. The pressure- or force-distribution feedback provided by these sensors is essential for the further development and implementation of robot-control capabilities for humanlike grasping and manipulation.

  1. Testing Tactile Masking between the Forearms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amour, Sarah; Harris, Laurence R

    2016-02-10

    Masking, in which one stimulus affects the detection of another, is a classic technique that has been used in visual, auditory, and tactile research, usually using stimuli that are close together to reveal local interactions. Masking effects have also been demonstrated in which a tactile stimulus alters the perception of a touch at a distant location. Such effects can provide insight into how components of the body's representations in the brain may be linked. Occasional reports have indicated that touches on one hand or forearm can affect tactile sensitivity at corresponding contralateral locations. To explore the matching of corresponding points across the body, we can measure the spatial tuning and effect of posture on contralateral masking. Careful controls are required to rule out direct effects of the remote stimulus, for example by mechanical transmission, and also attention effects in which thresholds may be altered by the participant's attention being drawn away from the stimulus of interest. The use of this technique is beneficial as a behavioural measure for exploring which parts of the body are functionally connected and whether the two sides of the body interact in a somatotopic representation. This manuscript describes a behavioural protocol that can be used for studying contralateral tactile masking.

  2. Meet our Neighbours - a tactile experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canas, L.; Lobo Correia, A.

    2013-09-01

    Planetary science is a key field in astronomy that draws lots of attention and that engages large amounts of enthusiasts. On its essence, it is a visual science and the current resources and activities for the inclusion of visually impaired children, although increasing, are still costly and somewhat scarce. Therefore there is a paramount need to develop more low cost resources in order to provide experiences that can reach all, even the more socially deprived communities. "Meet our neighbours!-a tactile experience", plans to promote and provide inclusion activities for visually impaired children and their non-visually impaired peers through the use of astronomy hands-on low cost activities. Is aimed for children from the ages of 6 to 12 years old and produce data set 13 tactile images of the main objects of the Solar System that can be used in schools, science centres and outreach associations. Accessing several common problems through tactile resources, with this project we present ways to successfully provide low cost solutions (avoiding the expensive tactile printing costs), promote inclusion and interactive hands-on activities for visually impaired children and their non-visually impaired peers and create dynamic interactions based on oral knowledge transmission between them. Here we describe the process of implementing such initiative near target communities: establishing a bridge between scientists, children and teachers. The struggles and challenges perceived during the project and the enrichment experience of engaging astronomy with these specific groups, broadening horizons in an overall experience accessible to all.

  3. Investigating Tactile Stimulation in Symbiotic Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orso, Valeria; Mazza, Renato; Gamberini, Luciano

    2017-01-01

    The core characteristics of tactile stimuli, i.e., recognition reliability and tolerance to ambient interference, make them an ideal candidate to be integrated into a symbiotic system. The selection of the appropriate stimulation is indeed important in order not to hinder the interaction from...

  4. Footwear discrimination using dynamic tactile information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Mikov, Vedran

    2017-01-01

    Abstract: This paper shows that it is possible to differentiate among various type of footwear solely by using highly dimensional pressure information provided by a sensorised insole. In order to achieve this, a person equipped with two sensorised insoles streaming real-time tactile data to a com...

  5. Sensory augmentation for the blind

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Manuela Kärcher

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Enacted theories of consciousness conjecture that perception and cognition arise from an active experience of the regular relations that are tying together the sensory stimulation of different modalities and associated motor actions. Previous experiments investigated this concept by employing the technique of sensory substitution. Building on these studies, here we test a set of hypotheses derived from this framework and investigate the utility of sensory augmentation in handicapped people. We provide a late blind subject with a new set of sensorimotor laws: A vibro-tactile belt continually signals the direction of magnetic north. The subject completed a set of behavioral tests before and after an extended training period. The tests were complemented by questionnaires and interviews. This newly supplied information improved performance on different time scales. In a pointing task we demonstrate an instant improvement of performance based on the signal provided by the device. Furthermore, the signal was helpful in relevant daily tasks, often complicated for the blind, such as keeping a direction over longer distances or taking shortcuts in familiar environments. A homing task with an additional attentional load demonstrated a significant improvement after training. The subject found the directional information highly expedient for the adjustment of his inner maps of familiar environments and describes an increase in his feeling of security when exploring unfamiliar environments with the belt. The results give evidence for a firm integration of the newly supplied signals into the behavior of this late blind subject with better navigational performance and more courageous behavior in unfamiliar environments. Most importantly, the complementary information provided by the belt lead to a positive emotional impact with enhanced feeling of security. This experimental approach demonstrates the potential of sensory augmentation devices for the help of

  6. Helping students revise disruptive experientially supported ideas about thermodynamics: Computer visualizations and tactile models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Douglas; Jorde, Doris

    2004-01-01

    This study analyzes the impact of an integrated sensory model within a thermal equilibrium visualization. We hypothesized that this intervention would not only help students revise their disruptive experientially supported ideas about why objects feel hot or cold, but also increase their understanding of thermal equilibrium. The analysis synthesizes test data and interviews to measure the impact of this strategy. Results show that students in the experimental tactile group significantly outperform their control group counterparts on posttests and delayed posttests, not only on tactile explanations, but also on thermal equilibrium explanations. Interview transcripts of experimental and control group students corroborate these findings. Discussion addresses improving the tactile model as well as application of the strategy to other science topics. The discussion also considers possible incorporation of actual kinetic or thermal haptic feedback to reinforce the current audio and visual feedback of the visualization. This research builds on the conceptual change literature about the nature and role of students' experientially supported ideas as well as our understanding of curriculum and visualization design to support students in learning about thermodynamics, a science topic on which students perform poorly as shown by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) studies.

  7. Sanshool on The Fingertip Interferes with Vibration Detection in a Rapidly-Adapting (RA Tactile Channel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scinob Kuroki

    Full Text Available An Asian spice, Szechuan pepper (sanshool, is well known for the tingling sensation it induces on the mouth and on the lips. Electrophysiological studies have revealed that its active ingredient can induce firing of mechanoreceptor fibres that typically respond to mechanical vibration. Moreover, a human behavioral study has reported that the perceived frequency of sanshool-induced tingling matches with the preferred frequency range of the tactile rapidly adapting (RA channel, suggesting the contribution of sanshool-induced RA channel firing to its unique perceptual experience. However, since the RA channel may not be the only channel activated by sanshool, there could be a possibility that the sanshool tingling percept may be caused in whole or in part by other sensory channels. Here, by using a perceptual interference paradigm, we show that the sanshool-induced RA input indeed contributes to the human tactile processing. The absolute detection thresholds for vibrotactile input were measured with and without sanshool application on the fingertip. Sanshool significantly impaired detection of vibrations at 30 Hz (RA channel dominant frequency, but did not impair detection of higher frequency vibrations at 240 Hz (Pacinian-corpuscle (PC channel dominant frequency or lower frequency vibrations at 1 Hz (slowly adapting 1 (SA1 channel dominant frequency. These results show that the sanshool induces a peripheral RA channel activation that is relevant for tactile perception. This anomalous activation of RA channels may contribute to the unique tingling experience of sanshool.

  8. Application of vibration to wrist and hand skin affects fingertip tactile sensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakshminarayanan, Kishor; Lauer, Abigail W; Ramakrishnan, Viswanathan; Webster, John G; Seo, Na Jin

    2015-01-01

    A recent study showed that fingertip pads’ tactile sensation can improve by applying imperceptible white-noise vibration to the skin at the wrist or dorsum of the hand in stroke patients. This study further examined this behavior by investigating the effect of both imperceptible and perceptible white-noise vibration applied to different locations within the distal upper extremity on the fingertip pads’ tactile sensation in healthy adults. In 12 healthy adults, white-noise vibration was applied to one of four locations (dorsum hand by the second knuckle, thenar and hypothenar areas, and volar wrist) at one of four intensities (zero, 60%, 80%, and 120% of the sensory threshold for each vibration location), while the fingertip sensation, the smallest vibratory signal that could be perceived on the thumb and index fingertip pads, was assessed. Vibration intensities significantly affected the fingertip sensation (P sensation (P sensation (P sensation (P > 0.01), all compared with the zero vibration condition. This effect with vibration intensity conforms to the stochastic resonance behavior. Nonspecificity to the vibration location suggests the white-noise vibration affects higher level neuronal processing for fingertip sensing. Further studies are needed to elucidate the neural pathways for distal upper extremity vibration to impact fingertip pad tactile sensation. PMID:26177959

  9. The neural network involved in a bimanual tactile-tactile matching discrimination task: a functional imaging study at 3 T

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habas, Christophe; Cabanis, Emmanuel A. [UPMC Paris 6, Service de NeuroImagerie, Hopital des Quinze-Vingts, Paris (France)

    2007-08-15

    The cerebral and cerebellar network involved in a bimanual object recognition was studied in blood oxygenation dependent level functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Nine healthy right-handed volunteers were scanned (1) while performing bilateral finger movements (nondiscrimination motor task), and (2) while performing a bimanual tactile-tactile matching discrimination task using small chess pieces (tactile discrimination task). Extensive activations were specifically observed in the parietal (SII, superior lateral lobule), insular, prefrontal, cingulate and neocerebellar cortices (HVIII), with a left predominance in motor areas, during the tactile discrimination task in contrast to the findings during the nondiscrimination motor task. Bimanual tactile-tactile matching discrimination recruits multiple sensorimotor and associative cerebral and neocerebellar networks (including the cerebellar second homunculus, HVIII), comparable to the neural circuits involved in unimanual tactile object recognition. (orig.)

  10. [Neurophysiological investigations of information processing in the somato-sensory system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunesch, E

    2009-08-01

    The ability of the human hand to perform complex sensorimotor tasks such as tactile exploration and grasping is based on 1. exact encoding of somatosensory information by cutaneous mechanoreceptors, 2. elaborated processing of afferent signals in somatosensory relay stations and cortex fields, 3. rapid and effective interaction of sensory feedback with motor programs, and 4. different modes of sensory control, which can be switched over. (c) Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart-New York.

  11. Rat model of cancer-induced bone pain: changes in nonnociceptive sensory neurons in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Fang Zhu

    2017-08-01

    Conclusion:. After induction of the CIBP model, Aβ-fiber LTMs at >2 weeks but not <1 week had undergone changes in electrophysiological properties. Importantly, changes observed are consistent with observations in models of peripheral neuropathy. Thus, Aβ-fiber nonnociceptive primary sensory neurons might be involved in the peripheral sensitization and tumor-induced tactile hypersensitivity in CIBP.

  12. Sensory dissociation in chronic low back pain: Two case reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamczyk, Wacław M; Luedtke, Kerstin; Saulicz, Oskar; Saulicz, Edward

    2018-08-01

    Patients with chronic low back pain often report that they do not perceive their painful back accurately. Previous studies confirmed that sensory dissociation and/or discrepancy between perceived body image and actual size is one of the specific traits of patients with chronic pain. Current approaches for measuring sensory dissociation are limited to two-point-discrimination or rely on pain drawings not allowing for quantitative analysis. This case study reports the sensory dissociation of two cases with chronic low back pain using a recently published test (point-to-point-test (PTP)) and a newly developed test (two-point-estimation (TPE)). Both patients mislocalized tactile stimuli delivered to the painful location compared to non-painful locations (PTP test). In addition, both patients perceived their painful lumbar region differently from non-painful sites above and below and contralateral to the painful site. TPE data showed two distinct clinical patterns of sensory dissociation: one patient perceived the two-point distance in the painful area as expanded, while the other patient perceived it as shrunk. The latter pattern of sensory dissociation (i.e., pattern shrunk) is likely to respond to sensory training. Whether enlarged patterns of sensory dissociation are more resistant to treatment remains unknown but would explain the low effectiveness of previous studies using sensory training in chronic low back pain populations. Subgrouping patients according to their sensory discrimination pattern could contribute to the choice and effectiveness of the treatment approach.

  13. Functional consequences of experience-dependent plasticity on tactile perception following perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S

    2016-09-01

    Continuous training enhances perceptual discrimination and promotes neural changes in areas encoding the experienced stimuli. This type of experience-dependent plasticity has been demonstrated in several sensory and motor systems. Particularly, non-human primates trained to detect consecutive tactile bar indentations across multiple digits showed expanded excitatory receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortex. However, the perceptual implications of these anatomical changes remain undetermined. Here, we trained human participants for 9 days on a tactile task that promoted expansion of multi-digit RFs. Participants were required to detect consecutive indentations of bar stimuli spanning multiple digits. Throughout the training regime we tracked participants' discrimination thresholds on spatial (grating orientation) and temporal tasks on the trained and untrained hands in separate sessions. We hypothesized that training on the multi-digit task would decrease perceptual thresholds on tasks that require stimulus processing across multiple digits, while also increasing thresholds on tasks requiring discrimination on single digits. We observed an increase in orientation thresholds on a single digit. Importantly, this effect was selective for the stimulus orientation and hand used during multi-digit training. We also found that temporal acuity between digits improved across trained digits, suggesting that discriminating the temporal order of multi-digit stimuli can transfer to temporal discrimination of other tactile stimuli. These results suggest that experience-dependent plasticity following perceptual learning improves and interferes with tactile abilities in manners predictive of the task and stimulus features used during training. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Continuous theta-burst stimulation modulates tactile synchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kevin Gh; Jacobs, Mark F; Asmussen, Michael J; Zapallow, Christopher M; Tommerdahl, Mark; Nelson, Aimee J

    2013-08-23

    Temporal order judgement (TOJ) is the ability to detect the order of occurrence of two sequentially delivered stimuli. Previous research has shown that TOJ in the presence of synchronized periodic conditioning stimuli impairs TOJ performance, and this phenomenon is suggested to be mediated by GABAergic interneurons that cause perceptual binding across the two skin sites. Application of continuous theta-burst repetitive TMS (cTBS) over primary somatosensory cortex (SI) alters temporal and spatial tactile perception. The purpose of this study was to examine TOJ perception in the presence and absence of synchronized periodic conditioning stimuli before and after cTBS applied over left-hemisphere SI. A TOJ task was administered on the right index and middle finger (D2 and D3) in two separate sessions in the presence and absence of conditioning stimuli (a background low amplitude sinusoidal vibration). CTBS reduced the impact of the conditioning stimuli on TOJ performance for up to 18 minutes following stimulation while sham cTBS did not affect TOJ performance. In contrast, the TOJ task performed in the absence of synchronized conditioning stimulation was unaltered following cTBS. We conclude that cTBS suppresses inhibitory networks in SI that mediate perceptual binding during TOJ synchronization. CTBS offers one method to suppress cortical excitability in the cortex and potentially benefit clinical populations with altered inhibitory cortical circuits. Additionally, TOJ measures with conditioning stimuli may provide an avenue to assess sensory processing in neurologically impaired patient populations.

  15. Nogo receptor 1 limits tactile task performance independent of basal anatomical plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer I Park

    Full Text Available The genes that govern how experience refines neural circuitry and alters synaptic structural plasticity are poorly understood. The nogo-66 receptor 1 gene (ngr1 is one candidate that may restrict the rate of learning as well as basal anatomical plasticity in adult cerebral cortex. To investigate if ngr1 limits the rate of learning we tested adult ngr1 null mice on a tactile learning task. Ngr1 mutants display greater overall performance despite a normal rate of improvement on the gap-cross assay, a whisker-dependent learning paradigm. To determine if ngr1 restricts basal anatomical plasticity in the associated sensory cortex, we repeatedly imaged dendritic spines and axonal varicosities of both constitutive and conditional adult ngr1 mutant mice in somatosensory barrel cortex for two weeks through cranial windows with two-photon chronic in vivo imaging. Neither constant nor acute deletion of ngr1 affected turnover or stability of dendritic spines or axonal boutons. The improved performance on the gap-cross task is not attributable to greater motor coordination, as ngr1 mutant mice possess a mild deficit in overall performance and a normal learning rate on the rotarod, a motor task. Mice lacking ngr1 also exhibit normal induction of tone-associated fear conditioning yet accelerated fear extinction and impaired consolidation. Thus, ngr1 alters tactile and motor task performance but does not appear to limit the rate of tactile or motor learning, nor determine the low set point for synaptic turnover in sensory cortex.

  16. Integration of Fiber-Optic Sensor Arrays into a Multi-Modal Tactile Sensor Processing System for Robotic End-Effectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kampmann

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available With the increasing complexity of robotic missions and the development towards long-term autonomous systems, the need for multi-modal sensing of the environment increases. Until now, the use of tactile sensor systems has been mostly based on sensing one modality of forces in the robotic end-effector. The use of a multi-modal tactile sensory system is motivated, which combines static and dynamic force sensor arrays together with an absolute force measurement system. This publication is focused on the development of a compact sensor interface for a fiber-optic sensor array, as optic measurement principles tend to have a bulky interface. Mechanical, electrical and software approaches are combined to realize an integrated structure that provides decentralized data pre-processing of the tactile measurements. Local behaviors are implemented using this setup to show the effectiveness of this approach.

  17. Supralinear and Supramodal Integration of Visual and Tactile Signals in Rats: Psychophysics and Neuronal Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikbakht, Nader; Tafreshiha, Azadeh; Zoccolan, Davide; Diamond, Mathew E

    2018-02-07

    To better understand how object recognition can be triggered independently of the sensory channel through which information is acquired, we devised a task in which rats judged the orientation of a raised, black and white grating. They learned to recognize two categories of orientation: 0° ± 45° ("horizontal") and 90° ± 45° ("vertical"). Each trial required a visual (V), a tactile (T), or a visual-tactile (VT) discrimination; VT performance was better than that predicted by optimal linear combination of V and T signals, indicating synergy between sensory channels. We examined posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and uncovered key neuronal correlates of the behavioral findings: PPC carried both graded information about object orientation and categorical information about the rat's upcoming choice; single neurons exhibited identical responses under the three modality conditions. Finally, a linear classifier of neuronal population firing replicated the behavioral findings. Taken together, these findings suggest that PPC is involved in the supramodal processing of shape. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 5G-Enabled Tactile Internet

    OpenAIRE

    Simsek, Meryem; Aijaz, Adnan; Dohler, Mischa; Sachs, Joachim; Fettweis, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    The long-term ambition of the Tactile Internet is to enable a democratization of skill, and how it is being delivered globally. An integral part of this is to be able to transmit touch in perceived real-time, which is enabled by suitable robotics and haptics equipment at the edges, along with an unprecedented communications network. The fifth generation (5G) mobile communications systems will underpin this emerging Internet at the wireless edge. This paper presents the most important technolo...

  19. Paper-Based Active Tactile Sensor Array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Qize; Zhong, Junwen; Cheng, Xiaofeng; Yao, Xu; Wang, Bo; Li, Wenbo; Wu, Nan; Liu, Kang; Hu, Bin; Zhou, Jun

    2015-11-25

    A paper-based active tactile sensor -array (PATSA) with a dynamic sensitivity of 0.35 V N(-1) is demonstrated. The pixel position of the PATSA can be routed by analyzing the real-time recording voltages in the pressing process. The PATSA performance, which remains functional when removing partial areas, reveals that the device has a potential application to customized electronic skins. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Tactile maze solving in congenitally blind individuals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gagnon, Léa; Kupers, Ron; Schneider, Fabien C

    2010-01-01

    and environmental cues such as temperature and echolocation. We hypothesize that by limiting these cues, blind individuals will lose their advantage compared with controls in spatial navigation tasks. We therefore evaluated the performance of blind and sighted individuals in small-scale, tactile multiple T mazes....... Our results show that blindfolded sighted controls outperformed blind participants in the route-learning tasks. This suggests that, contrary to indoor large-scale spaces, navigational skills inside small-scale spaces benefit from visual experience....

  1. Conveying Looming with a Localized Tactile Cue

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-01

    used to feel forward, in order to be warned of obstacles and passages. Moreover, when people are deprived of a normal sense of touch in their feet...evidence that vibrotactile flow fields can be exploited to modify feelings of self-motion. Kolev and Rupert (2008) reported that vibrotactile flow could...1970) later described the use of this site for two-dimensional tracking of moving targets. More recently, while testing sites for a tactile prosthesis

  2. Enhanced tactile encoding and memory recognition in congenital blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angiulli, Amedeo; Waraich, Paul

    2002-06-01

    Several behavioural studies have shown that early-blind persons possess superior tactile skills. Since neurophysiological data show that early-blind persons recruit visual as well as somatosensory cortex to carry out tactile processing (cross-modal plasticity), blind persons' sharper tactile skills may be related to cortical re-organisation resulting from loss of vision early in their life. To examine the nature of blind individuals' tactile superiority and its implications for cross-modal plasticity, we compared the tactile performance of congenitally totally blind, low-vision and sighted children on raised-line picture identification test and re-test, assessing effects of task familiarity, exploratory strategy and memory recognition. What distinguished the blind from the other children was higher memory recognition and higher tactile encoding associated with efficient exploration. These results suggest that enhanced perceptual encoding and recognition memory may be two cognitive correlates of cross-modal plasticity in congenital blindness.

  3. Tactile spatial resolution in blind braille readers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Boven, R W; Hamilton, R H; Kauffman, T; Keenan, J P; Pascual-Leone, A

    2000-06-27

    To determine if blind people have heightened tactile spatial acuity. Recently, studies using magnetic source imaging and somatosensory evoked potentials have shown that the cortical representation of the reading fingers of blind Braille readers is expanded compared to that of fingers of sighted subjects. Furthermore, the visual cortex is activated during certain tactile tasks in blind subjects but not sighted subjects. The authors hypothesized that the expanded cortical representation of fingers used in Braille reading may reflect an enhanced fidelity in the neural transmission of spatial details of a stimulus. If so, the quantitative limit of spatial acuity would be superior in blind people. The authors employed a grating orientation discrimination task in which threshold performance is accounted for by the spatial resolution limits of the neural image evoked by a stimulus. The authors quantified the psychophysical limits of spatial acuity at the middle and index fingers of 15 blind Braille readers and 15 sighted control subjects. The mean grating orientation threshold was significantly (p = 0.03) lower in the blind group (1.04 mm) compared to the sighted group (1.46 mm). The self-reported dominant reading finger in blind subjects had a mean grating orientation threshold of 0.80 mm, which was significantly better than other fingers tested. Thresholds at non-Braille reading fingers in blind subjects averaged 1.12 mm, which were also superior to sighted subjects' performances. Superior tactile spatial acuity in blind Braille readers may represent an adaptive, behavioral correlate of cortical plasticity.

  4. Research for improved flexible tactile sensor sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yun, Hae Yong; Kim, Ho Chan [Andong National University, Andong (Korea, Republic of); Lee, In Hwan [Chungbuk National University, Chungju (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-11-15

    With the development of robotic technologies, in recent years these technologies have been applied to multidisciplinary fields of study. To operate similarly to a human being, many robot technologies require devices that can receive exterior stimulus, temperature, visual data, and the sense of smell, etc. The robot's hand needs sensor devices that can receive exterior stimuli in order to operate similarly to human skin. The flexible tactile sensor for the robot has to be manufactured to have a shape similar to the shape of human skin. The research studied the development of a system and materials that will enable exterior stimuli to be received effectively. This research used carbon nano tube as a material. Carbon nano tube is used because it has a high electrical conductivity and outstanding mechanical characteristics. In addition, the two composite Materials are used to improve the stimulation sensitivity at different rates, the flexible tactile sensor to measure the sensitivity. Using 3D printing technology, the fabrication of a flexible tactile sensor system is introduced.

  5. Research for improved flexible tactile sensor sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yun, Hae Yong; Kim, Ho Chan; Lee, In Hwan

    2015-01-01

    With the development of robotic technologies, in recent years these technologies have been applied to multidisciplinary fields of study. To operate similarly to a human being, many robot technologies require devices that can receive exterior stimulus, temperature, visual data, and the sense of smell, etc. The robot's hand needs sensor devices that can receive exterior stimuli in order to operate similarly to human skin. The flexible tactile sensor for the robot has to be manufactured to have a shape similar to the shape of human skin. The research studied the development of a system and materials that will enable exterior stimuli to be received effectively. This research used carbon nano tube as a material. Carbon nano tube is used because it has a high electrical conductivity and outstanding mechanical characteristics. In addition, the two composite Materials are used to improve the stimulation sensitivity at different rates, the flexible tactile sensor to measure the sensitivity. Using 3D printing technology, the fabrication of a flexible tactile sensor system is introduced.

  6. Pure Amorphagnosia without Tactile Object Agnosia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinichirou Kubota

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available A 54-year-old female showed amorphagnosia without ahylognosia and tactile agnosia 40 days after the onset of right cerebral infarction. Her basic somatosensory functions were normal. The appreciation of substance qualities (hylognosia was preserved, but the patient’s inability to recognize the size and shape (morphagnosia was confined to 2- and 3-dimensional shapes (amorphagnosia in the left hand. However, the patient’s ability to recognize real daily objects was well preserved. Brain MRI after admission showed ischemic lesions confined to the right pre- and postcentral gyri and the medial frontal cortex on DWI and FLAIR images. An analysis of SPECT images revealed that the most decreased areas were localized to the pre- and postcentral gyri, superior and inferior parietal lobules, supramarginal gyrus, and angular gyrus. Considering the previous reported cases, the responsible lesion for the impaired perception of hylognosia and morphagnosia may not necessarily be confined to the right hemisphere. To date, 5 reports (6 cases of tactile agnosia have been published; 4 cases presented with both ahylognosia and amorphagnosia, while 1 presented with only amorphagnosia, and another showed amorphagnosia and mild ahylognosia. Our case is the first to present with only amorphagnosia without tactile agnosia. The mechanism for the well-preserved recognition of real objects may depend on the preserved hylognosia. Of note, there have been no reports showing only ahylognosia without amorphagnosia. Further studies are necessary to clarify whether or not patients with preserved hylognosia or morphagnosia retain the ability to perceive real objects.

  7. Pure Amorphagnosia without Tactile Object Agnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Shinichirou; Yamada, Mai; Satoh, Hideyo; Satoh, Akira; Tsujihata, Mitsuhiro

    2017-01-01

    A 54-year-old female showed amorphagnosia without ahylognosia and tactile agnosia 40 days after the onset of right cerebral infarction. Her basic somatosensory functions were normal. The appreciation of substance qualities (hylognosia) was preserved, but the patient's inability to recognize the size and shape (morphagnosia) was confined to 2- and 3-dimensional shapes (amorphagnosia) in the left hand. However, the patient's ability to recognize real daily objects was well preserved. Brain MRI after admission showed ischemic lesions confined to the right pre- and postcentral gyri and the medial frontal cortex on DWI and FLAIR images. An analysis of SPECT images revealed that the most decreased areas were localized to the pre- and postcentral gyri, superior and inferior parietal lobules, supramarginal gyrus, and angular gyrus. Considering the previous reported cases, the responsible lesion for the impaired perception of hylognosia and morphagnosia may not necessarily be confined to the right hemisphere. To date, 5 reports (6 cases) of tactile agnosia have been published; 4 cases presented with both ahylognosia and amorphagnosia, while 1 presented with only amorphagnosia, and another showed amorphagnosia and mild ahylognosia. Our case is the first to present with only amorphagnosia without tactile agnosia. The mechanism for the well-preserved recognition of real objects may depend on the preserved hylognosia. Of note, there have been no reports showing only ahylognosia without amorphagnosia. Further studies are necessary to clarify whether or not patients with preserved hylognosia or morphagnosia retain the ability to perceive real objects.

  8. Generalization of a tactile stimulus in horses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, D M; Lewis, P

    1993-05-01

    Using horses, we investigated the control of operant behavior by a tactile stimulus (the training stimulus) and the generalization of behavior to six other similar test stimuli. In a stall, the experimenters mounted a response panel in the doorway. Located on this panel were a response lever and a grain dispenser. The experimenters secured a tactile-stimulus belt to the horse's back. The stimulus belt was constructed by mounting seven solenoids along a piece of burlap in a manner that allowed each to provide the delivery of a tactile stimulus, a repetitive light tapping, at different locations (spaced 10.0 cm apart) along the horse's back. Two preliminary steps were necessary before generalization testing: training a measurable response (lip pressing) and training on several reinforcement schedules in the presence of a training stimulus (tapping by one of the solenoids). We then gave each horse two generalization test sessions. Results indicated that the horses' behavior was effectively controlled by the training stimulus. Horses made the greatest number of responses to the training stimulus, and the tendency to respond to the other test stimuli diminished as the stimuli became farther away from the training stimulus. These findings are discussed in the context of behavioral principles and their relevance to the training of horses.

  9. Design and Qualitative Evaluation of Tactile Devices for Stroke Rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Merrett, Geoff V; Metcalf, Cheryl D; Zheng, Deyi; Cunningham, Sarah; Barrow, Stuart; Demain, Sara H

    2011-01-01

    Rehabilitation environments combining virtual reality with everyday motor tasks can promote recovery from neurological illness, such as stroke. Tactile devices, providing physical stimulation to the skin, may improve motor retraining. While many tactile devices have been reported, there is a distinct paucity of studies evaluating how they are perceived. This multidisciplinary research has investigated three tactile devices (vibration motors, a motor-driven ‘squeezer’, and shape memory alloys)...

  10. Tactile Studio, artigianato digitale al servizio dell’accessibilità

    OpenAIRE

    Riccardo Leone; Philippe Moreau

    2017-01-01

    Tactile Studio is a design agency for universal design in arts and culture. Tactile experiences are essential for people with visual impairm ents and gr eatly assist many people with cognitive disabilities. Tactile experiences should be included in every exhibition. Children, older adults, people with language diff iculties or fr om diff erent cultural backgr ounds..To name an audience who will not benefit fr om these designs is impossible. Pioneers in France, the nation's top museums have en...

  11. A Modified Tactile Brush Algorithm for Complex Touch Gestures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ragan, Eric [Texas A& M University

    2015-01-01

    Several researchers have investigated phantom tactile sensation (i.e., the perception of a nonexistent actuator between two real actuators) and apparent tactile motion (i.e., the perception of a moving actuator due to time delays between onsets of multiple actuations). Prior work has focused primarily on determining appropriate Durations of Stimulation (DOS) and Stimulus Onset Asynchronies (SOA) for simple touch gestures, such as a single finger stroke. To expand upon this knowledge, we investigated complex touch gestures involving multiple, simultaneous points of contact, such as a whole hand touching the arm. To implement complex touch gestures, we modified the Tactile Brush algorithm to support rectangular areas of tactile stimulation.

  12. Touching lips and hearing fingers: effector-specific congruency between tactile and auditory stimulation modulates N1 amplitude and alpha desynchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Guannan; Meltzoff, Andrew N; Marshall, Peter J

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the interactions between audition and sensorimotor processes is of theoretical importance, particularly in relation to speech processing. Although one current focus in this area is on interactions between auditory perception and the motor system, there has been less research on connections between the auditory and somatosensory modalities. The current study takes a novel approach to this omission by examining specific auditory-tactile interactions in the context of speech and non-speech sound production. Electroencephalography was used to examine brain responses when participants were presented with speech syllables (a bilabial sound /pa/ and a non-labial sound /ka/) or finger-snapping sounds that were simultaneously paired with tactile stimulation of either the lower lip or the right middle finger. Analyses focused on the sensory-evoked N1 in the event-related potential and the extent of alpha band desynchronization elicited by the stimuli. N1 amplitude over fronto-central sites was significantly enhanced when the bilabial /pa/ sound was paired with tactile lip stimulation and when the finger-snapping sound was paired with tactile stimulation of the finger. Post-stimulus alpha desynchronization at central sites was also enhanced when the /pa/ sound was accompanied by tactile stimulation of the lip. These novel findings indicate that neural aspects of somatosensory-auditory interactions are influenced by the congruency between the location of the bodily touch and the bodily origin of a perceived sound.

  13. System to induce and measure embodiment of an artificial hand with programmable convergent visual and tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benz, Heather L; Sieff, Talia R; Alborz, Mahsa; Kontson, Kimberly; Kilpatrick, Elizabeth; Civillico, Eugene F

    2016-08-01

    The sense of prosthesis embodiment, or the feeling that the device has been incorporated into a user's body image, may be enhanced by emerging technology such as invasive electrical stimulation for sensory feedback. In turn, prosthesis embodiment may be linked to increased prosthesis use and improved functional outcomes. We describe the development of a tool to assay artificial hand embodiment in a quantitative way in people with intact limbs, and characterize its operation. The system delivers temporally coordinated visual and tactile stimuli at a programmable latency while recording limb temperature. When programmed to deliver visual and tactile stimuli synchronously, recorded latency between the two was 33 ± 24 ms in the final pilot subject. This system enables standardized assays of the conditions necessary for prosthesis embodiment.

  14. Sensorial differences according to sex and ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, L A; Lin, S M; Teixeira, M J; de Siqueira, J T T; Jacob Filho, W; de Siqueira, S R D T

    2014-04-01

    To investigate age and sex differences in orofacial sensory detection. One hundred and twenty-six (126) healthy subjects were divided into five groups according to their ages. They were assessed with a quantitative sensory testing protocol for gustative, olfactory, thermal (cold/warm), mechanical (tactile/vibration/electric), and pain (deep/superficial) detection thresholds. The corneal reflex was also evaluated. Data were analyzed with the one-way ANOVA, chi-squared, Fisher's exact, Mann-Whitney, and Kruskal-Wallis tests. The groups of subjects over 61 years old had higher olfactory (P sweet P = 0.004, salty P = 0.007, sour P = 0.006), thermal (warm P sweet P = 0.020, salty P = 0.002, sour P < 0.001, and bitter P = 0.002), olfactory (P = 0.010), warm (P < 0.001) and deep (P < 0.001), and superficial pain (P = 0.008) detection thresholds than men, and men from all age groups had lower vibratory detection thresholds (P = 0.006) than women. High sensory detection thresholds were observed in subjects over the 6th decade of life, and women had a more accurate sensory perception than men. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Sensory Robot Gripper

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin

    The project researches and proposes a tactile sensor system for equipping robotic grippers, thus giving them a sense of touch. We start by reviewing work that covers the building of tactile sensors and we focus on the flexible sensors with multiple sensing elements. As the piezoresistive, capacit......The project researches and proposes a tactile sensor system for equipping robotic grippers, thus giving them a sense of touch. We start by reviewing work that covers the building of tactile sensors and we focus on the flexible sensors with multiple sensing elements. As the piezoresistive......, such as establishing of contact, release of contact or slip. The proposed applications are just a few examples of the advantages of equipping robotic grippers with such a tactile sensor system, that is robust, fast, affordable, adaptable to any kind of gripper and has properties similar to the human sense of touch....... Based on experimental validation, we are confident that our proposed tactile sensor solution can be successfully employed in other application areas like reactive grasping, exploration of unknown objects, slip avoidance, dexterous manipulation or service robotics....

  16. Learning Touch Preferences with a Tactile Robot Using Dopamine Modulated STDP in a Model of Insular Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting-Shuo eChou

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurorobots enable researchers to study how behaviors are produced by neural mechanisms in an uncertain, noisy, real-world environment. To investigate how the somatosensory system processes noisy, real-world touch inputs, we introduce a neurorobot called CARL-SJR, which has a full-body tactile sensory area. The design of CARL-SJR is such that it encourages people to communicate with it through gentle touch. CARL-SJR provides feedback to users by displaying bright colors on its surface. In the present study, we show that CARL-SJR is capable of learning associations between conditioned stimuli (CS; a color pattern on its surface and unconditioned stimuli (US; a preferred touch pattern by applying a spiking neural network (SNN with neurobiologically inspired plasticity. Specifically, we modeled the primary somatosensory cortex, prefrontal cortex, striatum, and the insular cortex, which is important for hedonic touch, to process noisy data generated directly from CARL-SJR’s tactile sensory area. To facilitate learning, we applied dopamine-modulated Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP to our simulated prefrontal cortex, striatum and insular cortex. To cope with noisy, varying inputs, the SNN was tuned to produce traveling waves of activity that carried spatiotemporal information. Despite the noisy tactile sensors, spike trains, and variations in subject hand swipes, the learning was quite robust. Further, the plasticity (i.e., STDP in primary somatosensory cortex and insular cortex in the incremental pathway of dopaminergic reward system allowed us to control CARL-SJR’s preference for touch direction without heavily pre-processed inputs. The emerged behaviors we found in this model match animal’s behaviors wherein they prefer touch in particular areas and directions. Thus, the results in this paper could serve as an explanation on the underlying neural mechanisms for developing tactile preferences and hedonic touch.

  17. Preferred chewing side-dependent two-point discrimination and cortical activation pattern of tactile tongue sensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minato, Akiko; Ono, Takashi; Miyamoto, Jun J; Honda, Ei-ichi; Kurabayashi, Tohru; Moriyama, Keiji

    2009-10-12

    Although tactile feedback from the tongue should contribute to habitual chewing, it is unclear how the sensation of the tongue and its projection to the central nervous system differ with regard to the preferred chewing side (PCS). The purpose of this study was to investigate (1) whether the sensory threshold of the tongue differed according to the side and (2) whether the pattern of hemispheric cortical activation by tactile tongue stimulation differed, with special attention to the PCS. Twelve healthy adults participated in the study. The PCS was determined with a mandibular kinesiograph. In the behavioral study, the mean thresholds for two-point discrimination (TPD) in the anterior, canine and posterior regions on both sides of the tongue, and those between PCS and non-PCS in each region were statistically compared. In the functional magnetic resonance imaging study, tactile stimulation was delivered to either side of the tongue with acrylic balls via a mandibular splint. The runs were measured with a T2*-weighted gradient echo-type echo planar imaging sequence in a 1.5T scanner. Activated voxel numbers in the bilateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1) were statistically compared. The threshold of TPD increased in the order of the anterior, canine and posterior regions. Moreover, this threshold was significantly smaller on the PCS than on the non-PCS in both the canine and posterior regions. Moreover, the number of activated voxels in S1 contralateral to the PCS was significantly greater than that in S1 contralateral to the non-PCS. The present study shows that the PCS is associated with asymmetric tactile sensation and cortical activation of the tongue. The sensory acuity of the tongue on the PCS may play an important role in functional coupling between the jaw and tongue to maximize the efficiency of chewing.

  18. A Radiation Learning Support System by Tri-sensory Augmented Reality using a Mobile Phone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimoda, Hiroshi; Zhao, Yue; Yan, Weida; Ishii, Hirotake

    2011-01-01

    A radiation learning support system has been developed to support learning basic knowledge of radiation and its influence on the human body by using tri-sensory Augmented Reality (AR) technology with presenting information to visual, auditory and tactile sensation. The system consists of a knowledge learning mode in which learners can learn basic knowledge of radiation and an experience learning mode in which they can virtually experience its influence on the human body under various conditions. As the result of a simple evaluation, it was suggested that the system improves the learners' intuitive understanding, and information presentation to auditory and tactile sensation is more effective than that to visual sensation

  19. Acoustic Tactile Representation of Visual Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Pubudu Madhawa

    Our goal is to explore the use of hearing and touch to convey graphical and pictorial information to visually impaired people. Our focus is on dynamic, interactive display of visual information using existing, widely available devices, such as smart phones and tablets with touch sensitive screens. We propose a new approach for acoustic-tactile representation of visual signals that can be implemented on a touch screen and allows the user to actively explore a two-dimensional layout consisting of one or more objects with a finger or a stylus while listening to auditory feedback via stereo headphones. The proposed approach is acoustic-tactile because sound is used as the primary source of information for object localization and identification, while touch is used for pointing and kinesthetic feedback. A static overlay of raised-dot tactile patterns can also be added. A key distinguishing feature of the proposed approach is the use of spatial sound (directional and distance cues) to facilitate the active exploration of the layout. We consider a variety of configurations for acoustic-tactile rendering of object size, shape, identity, and location, as well as for the overall perception of simple layouts and scenes. While our primary goal is to explore the fundamental capabilities and limitations of representing visual information in acoustic-tactile form, we also consider a number of relatively simple configurations that can be tied to specific applications. In particular, we consider a simple scene layout consisting of objects in a linear arrangement, each with a distinct tapping sound, which we compare to a ''virtual cane.'' We will also present a configuration that can convey a ''Venn diagram.'' We present systematic subjective experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed display for shape perception, object identification and localization, and 2-D layout perception, as well as the applications. Our experiments were conducted with visually blocked

  20. Brief Report: DSM-5 Sensory Behaviours in Children with and without an Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dido; Chandler, Susie; Charman, Tony; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian

    2016-01-01

    Atypical responses to sensory stimuli are a new criterion in DSM-5 for the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but are also reported in other developmental disorders. Using the Short Sensory profile (SSP) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised we compared atypical sensory behaviour (hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual…

  1. Integration of auditory and tactile inputs in musical meter perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Juan; Gamble, Darik; Sarnlertsophon, Kristine; Wang, Xiaoqin; Hsiao, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Musicians often say that they not only hear but also "feel" music. To explore the contribution of tactile information to "feeling" music, we investigated the degree that auditory and tactile inputs are integrated in humans performing a musical meter-recognition task. Subjects discriminated between two types of sequences, "duple" (march-like rhythms) and "triple" (waltz-like rhythms), presented in three conditions: (1) unimodal inputs (auditory or tactile alone); (2) various combinations of bimodal inputs, where sequences were distributed between the auditory and tactile channels such that a single channel did not produce coherent meter percepts; and (3) bimodal inputs where the two channels contained congruent or incongruent meter cues. We first show that meter is perceived similarly well (70-85 %) when tactile or auditory cues are presented alone. We next show in the bimodal experiments that auditory and tactile cues are integrated to produce coherent meter percepts. Performance is high (70-90 %) when all of the metrically important notes are assigned to one channel and is reduced to 60 % when half of these notes are assigned to one channel. When the important notes are presented simultaneously to both channels, congruent cues enhance meter recognition (90 %). Performance dropped dramatically when subjects were presented with incongruent auditory cues (10 %), as opposed to incongruent tactile cues (60 %), demonstrating that auditory input dominates meter perception. These observations support the notion that meter perception is a cross-modal percept with tactile inputs underlying the perception of "feeling" music.

  2. Altered Sensory Feedbacks in Pianist's Dystonia: the altered auditory feedback paradigm and the glove effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicia Pei-Hsin Cheng

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study investigates the effect of altered auditory feedback (AAF in musician's dystonia (MD and discusses whether altered auditory feedback can be considered as a sensory trick in MD. Furthermore, the effect of AAF is compared with altered tactile feedback, which can serve as a sensory trick in several other forms of focal dystonia. Methods: The method is based on scale analysis (Jabusch et al. 2004. Experiment 1 employs synchronization paradigm: 12 MD patients and 25 healthy pianists had to repeatedly play C-major scales in synchrony with a metronome on a MIDI-piano with 3 auditory feedback conditions: 1. normal feedback; 2. no feedback; 3. constant delayed feedback. Experiment 2 employs synchronization-continuation paradigm: 12 MD patients and 12 healthy pianists had to repeatedly play C-major scales in two phases: first in synchrony with a metronome, secondly continue the established tempo without the metronome. There are 4 experimental conditions, among them 3 are the same altered auditory feedback as in Experiment 1 and 1 is related to altered tactile sensory input. The coefficient of variation of inter-onset intervals of the key depressions was calculated to evaluate fine motor control. Results: In both experiments, the healthy controls and the patients behaved very similarly. There is no difference in the regularity of playing between the two groups under any condition, and neither did AAF nor did altered tactile feedback have a beneficial effect on patients’ fine motor control. Conclusions: The results of the two experiments suggest that in the context of our experimental designs, AAF and altered tactile feedback play a minor role in motor coordination in patients with musicians' dystonia. We propose that altered auditory and tactile feedback do not serve as effective sensory tricks and may not temporarily reduce the symptoms of patients suffering from MD in this experimental context.

  3. Tactile learning in rodents: Neurobiology and neuropharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roohbakhsh, Ali; Shamsizadeh, Ali; Arababadi, Mohammad Kazemi; Ayoobi, Fateme; Fatemi, Iman; Allahtavakoli, Mohammad; Mohammad-Zadeh, Mohammad

    2016-02-15

    Animal models of learning and memory have been the subject of considerable research. Rodents such as mice and rats are nocturnal animals with poor vision, and their survival depends on their sense of touch. Recent reports have shown that whisker somatosensation is the main channel through which rodents collect and process environmental information. This review describes tactile learning in rodents from a neurobiological and neuropharmacological perspective, and how this is involved in memory-related processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Novel high resolution tactile robotic fingertips

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Jankovics, Vince; Gorsic, Matija

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a novel robotic fingertip based on piezoresistive rubber that can sense pressure tactile stimuli with a high spatial resolution over curved surfaces. The working principle is based on a three-layer sandwich structure (conductive electrodes on top and bottom and piezoresistive...... with specialized data acquisition electronics that acquire 500 frames per second provides rich information regarding contact force, shape and angle for bio- inspired robotic fingertips. Furthermore, a model of estimating the force of contact based on values of the cells is proposed....

  5. Comparative Evaluation of Tactile Sensation by Electrical and Mechanical Stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yem, Vibol; Kajimoto, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

    An electrotactile display is a tactile interface that provides tactile perception by passing electrical current through the surface of the skin. It is actively used instead of mechanical tactile displays for tactile feedback because of several advantages such as its small and thin size, light weight, and high responsiveness. However, the similarities and differences between these sensations is still not clear. This study directly compares the intensity sensation of electrotactile stimulation to that of mechanical stimulation, and investigates the characteristic sensation of anodic and cathodic stimulation. In the experiment, participants underwent a 30 pps electrotactile stimulus every one second to their middle finger, and were asked to match this intensity by adjusting the intensity of a mechanical tactile stimulus to an index finger. The results showed that anodic stimulation mainly produced vibration sensation, whereas cathodic sensation produced both vibration and pressure sensations. Relatively low pressure sensation was also observed for anodic stimulation but it remains low, regardless of the increasing of electrical intensity.

  6. The functional upregulation of piriform cortex is associated with cross-modal plasticity in loss of whisker tactile inputs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing Ye

    Full Text Available Cross-modal plasticity is characterized as the hypersensitivity of remaining modalities after a sensory function is lost in rodents, which ensures their awareness to environmental changes. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cross-modal sensory plasticity remain unclear. We aim to study the role of different types of neurons in cross-modal plasticity.In addition to behavioral tasks in mice, whole-cell recordings at the excitatory and inhibitory neurons, and their two-photon imaging, were conducted in piriform cortex. We produced a mouse model of cross-modal sensory plasticity that olfactory function was upregulated by trimming whiskers to deprive their sensory inputs. In the meantime of olfactory hypersensitivity, pyramidal neurons and excitatory synapses were functionally upregulated, as well as GABAergic cells and inhibitory synapses were downregulated in piriform cortex from the mice of cross-modal sensory plasticity, compared with controls. A crosswire connection between barrel cortex and piriform cortex was established in cross-modal plasticity.An upregulation of pyramidal neurons and a downregulation of GABAergic neurons strengthen the activities of neuronal networks in piriform cortex, which may be responsible for olfactory hypersensitivity after a loss of whisker tactile input. This finding provides the clues for developing therapeutic strategies to promote sensory recovery and substitution.

  7. Textiles Objective and Sensory Evaluation in Rapid Prototyping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenija STRAZDIENE

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Most consumer purchases nowadays are driven by sensory attraction and good feeling. From this standpoint textile and fashion industries need new methods to evaluate fabric quality and to respond to consumer expectations. Recently the implementation of sensory analysis in the process of material characterization has drawn much international attention. So, the aim of the research was to find dependencies between the results of sensory analysis and objective fabric behaviour evaluation performed using KES-F and Griff-Tester devices. The later method was developed at Kaunas University of Technology and is based on fabric extraction through a rounded hole, thus describing the behaviour of textile materials and their tactile properties by one complex criterion.http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ms.17.4.778

  8. Clinical neurophysiology and quantitative sensory testing in the investigation of orofacial pain and sensory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jääskeläinen, Satu K

    2004-01-01

    Chronic orofacial pain represents a diagnostic and treatment challenge for the clinician. Some conditions, such as atypical facial pain, still lack proper diagnostic criteria, and their etiology is not known. The recent development of neurophysiological methods and quantitative sensory testing for the examination of the trigeminal somatosensory system offers several tools for diagnostic and etiological investigation of orofacial pain. This review presents some of these techniques and the results of their application in studies on orofacial pain and sensory dysfunction. Clinical neurophysiological investigation has greater diagnostic accuracy and sensitivity than clinical examination in the detection of the neurogenic abnormalities of either peripheral or central origin that may underlie symptoms of orofacial pain and sensory dysfunction. Neurophysiological testing may also reveal trigeminal pathology when magnetic resonance imaging has failed to detect it, so these methods should be considered complementary to each other in the investigation of orofacial pain patients. The blink reflex, corneal reflex, jaw jerk, sensory neurography of the inferior alveolar nerve, and the recording of trigeminal somatosensory-evoked potentials with near-nerve stimulation have all proved to be sensitive and reliable in the detection of dysfunction of the myelinated sensory fibers of the trigeminal nerve or its central connections within the brainstem. With appropriately small thermodes, thermal quantitative sensory testing is useful for the detection of trigeminal small-fiber dysfunction (Adelta and C). In neuropathic conditions, it is most sensitive to lesions causing axonal injury. By combining different techniques for investigation of the trigeminal system, an accurate topographical diagnosis and profile of sensory fiber pathology can be determined. Neurophysiological and quantitative sensory tests have already highlighted some similarities among various orofacial pain conditions

  9. Remotely deployable aerial inspection using tactile sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, C. N.; Cao, J.; Pierce, S. G.; Sullivan, J. C.; Pipe, A. G.; Dobie, G.; Summan, R.

    2014-02-01

    For structural monitoring applications, the use of remotely deployable Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) inspection platforms offer many advantages, including improved accessibility, greater safety and reduced cost, when compared to traditional manual inspection techniques. The use of such platforms, previously reported by researchers at the University Strathclyde facilitates the potential for rapid scanning of large areas and volumes in hazardous locations. A common problem for both manual and remote deployment approaches lies in the intrinsic stand-off and surface coupling issues of typical NDE probes. The associated complications of these requirements are obviously significantly exacerbated when considering aerial based remote inspection and deployment, resulting in simple visual techniques being the preferred sensor payload. Researchers at Bristol Robotics Laboratory have developed biomimetic tactile sensors modelled on the facial whiskers (vibrissae) of animals such as rats and mice, with the latest sensors actively sweeping their tips across the surface in a back and forth motion. The current work reports on the design and performance of an aerial inspection platform and the suitability of tactile whisking sensors to aerial based surface monitoring applications.

  10. Effects of electrode size and spacing on sensory modalities in the phantom thumb perception area for the forearm amputees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P; Chai, G H; Zhu, K H; Lan, N; Sui, X H

    2015-01-01

    Tactile sensory feedback plays a key role in accomplishing the dexterous manipulation of prosthetic hands for the amputees, and the non-invasive transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) of the phantom finger perception (PFP) area would be an effective way to realize sensory feedback clinically. In order to realize the high-spatial-resolution tactile sensory feedback in the PFP region, we investigated the effects of electrode size and spacing on the tactile sensations for potentially optimizing the surface electrode array configuration. Six forearm-amputated subjects were recruited in the psychophysical studies. With the diameter of the circular electrode increasing from 3 mm to 12 mm, the threshold current intensity was enhanced correspondingly under different sensory modalities. The smaller electrode could potentially lead to high sensation spatial resolution. Whereas, the smaller the electrode, the less the number of sensory modalities. For an Φ-3 mm electrode, it is even hard for the subject to perceive any perception modalities under normal stimulating current. In addition, the two-electrode discrimination distance (TEDD) in the phantom thumb perception area decreased with electrode size decreasing in two directions of parallel or perpendicular to the forearm. No significant difference of TEDD existed along the two directions. Studies in this paper would guide the configuration optimization of the TENS electrode array for potential high spatial-resolution sensory feedback.

  11. Sensorial saturation for infants' pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellieni, Carlo Valerio; Tei, Monica; Coccina, Francesca; Buonocore, Giuseppe

    2012-04-01

    Sensorial saturation (SS) is a multisensorial stimulation consisting of delicate tactile, gustative, auditory and visual stimuli. This procedure consists of simultaneously: attracting the infant's attention by massaging the infant's face; speaking to the infant gently, but firmly, and instilling a sweet solution on the infant's tongue. We performed a systematic Medline search of for articles focusing on human neonatal studies related to SS. The search was performed within the last 10 years and was current as of January 2012. We retrieved 8 articles that used a complete form of SS and 2 articles with an incomplete SS. Data show that the use of SS is effective in relieving newborns' pain. Oral solution alone are less effective than SS, but the stimuli without oral sweet solution are ineffective. the partial forms of SS have some effectiveness, but minor than the complete SS. Only one article showed lack of SS as analgesic method, after endotracheal suctioning. SS can be used for all newborns undergoing blood samples or other minor painful procedures. It is more effective than oral sugar alone. SS also promotes interaction between nurse and infant and is a simple effective form of analgesia for the neonatal intensive care unit.

  12. Tactile Experience Shapes Prey-Capture Behavior in Etruscan Shrews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eBrecht

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available A crucial role of tactile experience for the maturation of neural response properties in the somatosensory system is well established, but little is known about the role of tactile experience in the development of tactile behaviors. Here we study how tactile experience affects prey capture behavior in Etruscan shrews, Suncus etruscus. Prey capture in adult shrews is a high-speed behavior that relies on precise attacks guided by tactile Gestalt cues. We studied the role of tactile experience by three different approaches. First, we analyzed the hunting skills of young shrews right after weaning. We found that prey capture in young animals is most but not all aspects similar to that of adults. Second we performed whisker trimming for three to four weeks after birth. Such deprivation resulted in a lasting disruption of prey capture even after whisker re-growth: attacks lacked precise targeting and had a lower success rate. Third, we presented adult shrews with an entirely novel prey species, the giant cockroach. The shape of this roach is very different from the shrew’s normal (cricket prey and the thorax – the preferred point of attack in crickets – is protected a heavy cuticle. Initially shrews attacked giant roaches the same way they attack crickets and targeted the thoracic region. With progressive experience, however, shrews adopted a new attack strategy targeting legs and underside of the roaches while avoiding other body parts. Speed and efficiency of attacks improved. These data suggest that tactile experience shapes prey capture behavior.

  13. The brain’s response to pleasant touch: an EEG investigation of tactile caressing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harsimrat eSingh

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Somatosensation as a proximal sense can have a strong impact on our attitude towards physical objects and other human beings. However, relatively little is known about how hedonic valence of touch is processed at the cortical level. Here we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of affective tactile sensation during caressing of the right forearm with pleasant and unpleasant textile fabrics. We show dissociation between more physically driven differential brain responses to the different fabrics in early somatosensory cortex – the well-known mu-suppression (10-20 Hz - and a beta-band response (25-30 Hz in presumably higher-order somatosensory areas in the right-hemisphere that correlated well with the subjective valence of tactile caressing. Importantly, when using single trial classification techniques, beta-power significantly distinguished between pleasant and unpleasant stimulation on a single trial basis with high accuracy. Our results therefore suggest a dissociation of the sensory and affective aspects of touch in the somatosensory system and may provide features that may be used for single trial decoding of affective mental states from simple electroencephalographic measurements.

  14. Attenuation of acoustic and tactile startle responses of vitamin B-6 deficient rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, M C

    1987-01-01

    Vitamin B-6 deficient rats exhibit changes in behavior, sensory function, and other nervous system abnormalities such as convulsive seizures and motor disturbances. Sensorimotor reactivity was evaluated quantitatively by measuring auditory and tactile startle responses in 12 week old female Long-Evans rats fed a diet devoid of added vitamin B-6 (DEF) or a control diet, either ad lib (AL-CON) or pair-fed to deficient rats (PF-CON). Deficiency was confirmed with a tryptophan-load test administered to a separate group of rats fed simultaneously according to the same protocol. At week 18, body weight and feed efficiency were different among groups (p less than 0.001), and were lowest in DEF. Amplitude of response to both acoustic and tactile stimuli was depressed in DEF compared to both control groups, which generally did not differ in response. This effect was seen most dramatically in responses to the acoustic stimulus (p = 0.034), and especially to the first presentation (p = 0.017). Latency to maximum response was not affected by diet. Possible mechanisms for this nervous system abnormality, not previously reported in vitamin B-6 deficiency, are discussed.

  15. Optical Three-Axis Tactile Sensor for Robotic Fingers

    OpenAIRE

    Ohka, Masahiro; Takata, Jumpei; Kobayashi, Hiroaki; Suzuki, Hirofumi; Morisawa, Nobuyuki; Yussof, Hanafiah Bin

    2008-01-01

    A new three-axis tactile sensor to be mounted on multi-fingered hands is developed based on the principle of an optical waveguide-type tactile sensor comprised of an acrylic hemispherical dome, a light source, an array of rubber sensing elements, and a CCD camera. The sensing element of the present tactile sensor includes one columnar feeler and eight conical feelers. A three-axis force applied to the tip of the sensing element is detected by the contact areas of the conical feelers, which ma...

  16. An MRI-compatible hand sensory vibrotactile system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Fa; Lakshminarayanan, Kishor; Slota, Gregory P; Seo, Na Jin; Webster, John G

    2015-01-01

    Recently, the application of vibrotactile noise to the wrist or back of the hand has been shown to enhance fingertip tactile sensory perception (Enders et al 2013), supporting the potential for an assistive device worn at the wrist, that generates minute vibrations to help the elderly or patients with sensory deficit. However, knowledge regarding the detailed physiological mechanism behind this sensory improvement in the central nervous system, especially in the human brain, is limited, hindering progress in development and use of such assistive devices. To enable investigation of the impact of vibrotactile noise on sensorimotor brain activity in humans, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-compatible vibrotactile system was developed to provide vibrotactile noise during an MRI of the brain. The vibrotactile system utilizes a remote (outside the MR room) signal amplifier which provides a voltage from –40 to +40 V to drive a 12 mm diameter piezoelectric vibrator (inside the MR room). It is portable and is found to be MRI-compatible which enables its use for neurologic investigation with MRI. The system was also found to induce an improvement in fingertip tactile sensation, consistent with the previous study. (note)

  17. Association of Sensory Processing and Eating Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geneviève Nadon

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available “Selective” or “picky eating” is a frequent problem in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Many of these children do not treat sensory input, particularly olfactory, auditory, visual, and tactile information in the same manner as their typically developing peers of the same age. The purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship between problems of sensory processing and the number of eating problems in children with ASD. Of 95 children with ASD, 3 to 10 years of age, 65 percent showed a definite difference and 21 percent a probable difference in sensory processing on the total score of the Short Sensory Profile. These results were significantly related to an increase in the number of eating problems measured by the Eating Profile. These results could not be explained by age, sex, mental retardation, attention deficit disorder, or hyperactivity. Timely interventions focusing on the sensory components of eating must now be developed.

  18. Electro-tactile stimulation of the posterior neck induces body anteropulsion during upright stance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Nunzio, A M; Yavuz, U S; Martinez-Valdes, E; Farina, D; Falla, D

    2018-05-01

    Sensory information conveyed along afferent fibers from muscle and joint proprioceptors play an important role in the control of posture and gait in humans. In particular, proprioceptive information from the neck is fundamental in supplying the central nervous system with information about the orientation and movement of the head relative to the rest of the body. The previous studies have confirmed that proprioceptive afferences originating from the neck region, evoked via muscle vibration, lead to strong body-orienting effects during static conditions (e.g., leaning of the body forwards or backwards, depending on location of vibration). However, it is not yet certain in humans, whether the somatosensory receptors located in the deep skin (cutaneous mechanoreceptors) have a substantive contribution to postural control, as vibratory stimulation encompasses the receptive field of all the somatosensory receptors from the skin to the muscles. The aim of this study was to investigate the postural effect of cutaneous mechanoreceptor afferences using electro-tactile stimulation applied to the neck. Ten healthy volunteers (8M, 2F) were evaluated. The average position of their centre of foot pressure (CoP) was acquired before, during, and after a subtle electro-tactile stimulation over their posterior neck (mean ± SD = 5.1 ± 2.3 mA at 100 Hz-140% of the perception threshold) during upright stance with their eyes closed. The electro-tactile stimulation led to a body-orienting effect with the subjects consistently leaning forward. An average shift of the CoP of 12.1 ± 11.9 mm (mean ± SD) was reported, which significantly (p < 0.05) differed from its average position under a control condition (no stimulation). These results indicate that cutaneous mechanoreceptive inflow from the neck is integrated to control stance. The findings are relevant for the exploitation of electro-tactile stimulation for rehabilitation interventions where induced

  19. Implications of caries diagnostic strategies for clinical management decisions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baelum, Vibeke; Hintze, Hanne; Wenzel, Ann

    2012-01-01

    -specificity) were calculated for each diagnostic strategy. RESULTS: Visual-tactile examination provided a true-positive rate of 34.2% and a false-positive rate of 1.5% for the detection of a cavity. The combination of a visual-tactile and a radiographic examination using the lesion in dentin threshold......OBJECTIVES: In clinical practice, a visual-tactile caries examination is frequently supplemented by bitewing radiography. This study evaluated strategies for combining visual-tactile and radiographic caries detection methods and determined their implications for clinical management decisions...... and cavitated lesions while the radiographic examination determined lesion depth. Direct inspection of the surfaces following tooth separation for the presence of cavitated or noncavitated lesions was the validation method. The true-positive rate (i.e. the sensitivity) and the false-positive rate (i.e. 1...

  20. Synaptic responses evoked by tactile stimuli in Purkinje cells in mouse cerebellar cortex Crus II in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Ping Chu

    Full Text Available Sensory stimuli evoke responses in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs via the mossy fiber-granule cell pathway. However, the properties of synaptic responses evoked by tactile stimulation in cerebellar PCs are unknown. The present study investigated the synaptic responses of PCs in response to an air-puff stimulation on the ipsilateral whisker pad in urethane-anesthetized mice.Thirty-three PCs were recorded from 48 urethane-anesthetized adult (6-8-week-old HA/ICR mice by somatic or dendritic patch-clamp recording and pharmacological methods. Tactile stimulation to the ipsilateral whisker pad was delivered by an air-puff through a 12-gauge stainless steel tube connected with a pressurized injection system. Under current-clamp conditions (I = 0, the air-puff stimulation evoked strong inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs in the somata of PCs. Application of SR95531, a specific GABA(A receptor antagonist, blocked IPSPs and revealed stimulation-evoked simple spike firing. Under voltage-clamp conditions, tactile stimulation evoked a sequence of transient inward currents followed by strong outward currents in the somata and dendrites in PCs. Application of SR95531 blocked outward currents and revealed excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs in somata and a temporal summation of parallel fiber EPSCs in PC dendrites. We also demonstrated that PCs respond to both the onset and offset of the air-puff stimulation.These findings indicated that tactile stimulation induced asynchronous parallel fiber excitatory inputs onto the dendrites of PCs, and failed to evoke strong EPSCs and spike firing in PCs, but induced the rapid activation of strong GABA(A receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents in the somata and dendrites of PCs in the cerebellar cortex Crus II in urethane-anesthetized mice.

  1. Review of Recent Inkjet-Printed Capacitive Tactile Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Salim

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Inkjet printing is an advanced printing technology that has been used to develop conducting layers, interconnects and other features on a variety of substrates. It is an additive manufacturing process that offers cost-effective, lightweight designs and simplifies the fabrication process with little effort. There is hardly sufficient research on tactile sensors and inkjet printing. Advancements in materials science and inkjet printing greatly facilitate the realization of sophisticated tactile sensors. Starting from the concept of capacitive sensing, a brief comparison of printing techniques, the essential requirements of inkjet-printing and the attractive features of state-of-the art inkjet-printed tactile sensors developed on diverse substrates (paper, polymer, glass and textile are presented in this comprehensive review. Recent trends in inkjet-printed wearable/flexible and foldable tactile sensors are evaluated, paving the way for future research.

  2. Acquisition of a bodily-tactile language as first language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ask Larsen, Flemming

    2013-01-01

    Language acquisition in the bodily-tactile modality is difficult to understand, describe, and support. This chapter advocates a reinterpretation of the gestural and idiosyncratic bodily-tactile communication of people with congenital deafblindness (CDB) in terms of early language acquisition...... towards Tactile Sign Language (TSL). The access to participation in complex TSL culture is crucial for language acquisition. We already know how to transfer the patterns of social interaction into the bodily-tactile modality. This is the fundation on which to build actual linguistic participation. TSL...... as a first language is presently a theoretic possibility. We need more research on how to accommodate TSL to language Development and on how to fit TSL into participation in complex cultural activities....

  3. Body representation difficulties in children and adolescents with autism may be due to delayed development of visuo-tactile temporal binding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Ropar

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent research suggests visuo-tactile binding is temporally extended in autism spectrum disorders (ASD, although it is not clear whether this specifically underlies altered body representation in this population. In the current study children and adolescents with ASD, and typically developing controls, placed their hand into mediated reality system (MIRAGE and saw two identical live video images of their own right hand. One image was in the proprioceptively correct location (veridical hand and the other was displaced to either side. While visuo-tactile feedback was applied via brushstroke to the participant’s (unseen right finger, they viewed one hand image receiving synchronous brushstrokes and the other receiving brushstrokes with a temporal delay (60, 180 and 300 ms. After brushing, both images disappeared from view and participants pointed to a target, with direction of movement indicating which hand was embodied. ASD participants, like younger mental aged-matched controls, showed reduced embodiment of the spatially incongruent, but temporally congruent, hand compared to chronologically age-matched controls at shorter temporal delays. This suggests development of visuo-tactile integration may be delayed in ASD. Findings are discussed in relation to atypical body representation in ASD and how this may contribute to social and sensory difficulties within this population. Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Temporal binding window, Visuo-tactile processing, Embodied action

  4. RETENTION OF HIGH TACTILE ACUITY THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN IN BLINDNESS

    OpenAIRE

    Legge, Gordon E.; Madison, Cindee; Vaughn, Brenna N.; Cheong, Allen M.Y.; Miller, Joseph C.

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies of tactile acuity on the fingertip using passive touch have demonstrated an age-related decline in spatial resolution for both sighted and blind subjects. We have re-examined this age dependence with two newly designed tactile-acuity charts requiring active exploration of the test symbols. One chart used dot patterns similar to Braille and the other used embossed Landolt rings. Groups of blind Braille readers and sighted subjects, ranging in age from 12 to 85 years, were test...

  5. Differences in two-point discrimination and sensory threshold in the blind between braille and text reading: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noh, Ji-Woong; Park, Byoung-Sun; Kim, Mee-Young; Lee, Lim-Kyu; Yang, Seung-Min; Lee, Won-Deok; Shin, Yong-Sub; Kang, Ji-Hye; Kim, Ju-Hyun; Lee, Jeong-Uk; Kwak, Taek-Yong; Lee, Tae-Hyun; Kim, Ju-Young; Kim, Junghwan

    2015-06-01

    [Purpose] This study investigated two-point discrimination (TPD) and the electrical sensory threshold of the blind to define the effect of using Braille on the tactile and electrical senses. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-eight blind participants were divided equally into a text-reading and a Braille-reading group. We measured tactile sensory and electrical thresholds using the TPD method and a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator. [Results] The left palm TPD values were significantly different between the groups. The values of the electrical sensory threshold in the left hand, the electrical pain threshold in the left hand, and the electrical pain threshold in the right hand were significantly lower in the Braille group than in the text group. [Conclusion] These findings make it difficult to explain the difference in tactility between groups, excluding both palms. However, our data show that using Braille can enhance development of the sensory median nerve in the blind, particularly in terms of the electrical sensory and pain thresholds.

  6. Psychometric Properties of Dunn\\'s Sensory Profile School Companion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guita Movallali

    2017-10-01

    Conclusion The results showed that Dunn's sensory profile has good reliability and validity. Dunn's sensory profile is a useful tool for assessing sensory processing patterns in school and kindergarten settings, and can be used by occupational therapists in clinical environments and by psychologists in educational environments. Information obtained from this profile can have diagnostic value and could also be used for the design of curriculum and classroom space.

  7. A Case Study of Tactile Language and its Possible Structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dammeyer, Jesper Herup; Nielsen, Anja; Strøm, Emilie

    2015-01-01

    Few published research papers concern the study of communication and language development among children with congenital deafblindness. The aim of this study is to explore and discuss linguistic features of what may be considered as tactile languages. By analysing one pilot video observation of a...... on direction, speed and acceleration of movements, pressure, and body position. It is discussed how tactile languages, if they exist, can be studied from its unique bodily-tactile nature and not as a modification of visual sign languages.......Few published research papers concern the study of communication and language development among children with congenital deafblindness. The aim of this study is to explore and discuss linguistic features of what may be considered as tactile languages. By analysing one pilot video observation...... of a five year old congenital deafblind child communicating with his mother about a slide experience tactile linguistic features of phonology, morphology, semantics and syntax were explored. The linguistic features of tactile language were found to involve a potential unique and complex structure based...

  8. A Distributed Tactile Sensor for Intuitive Human-Robot Interfacing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Cirillo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Safety of human-robot physical interaction is enabled not only by suitable robot control strategies but also by suitable sensing technologies. For example, if distributed tactile sensors were available on the robot, they could be used not only to detect unintentional collisions, but also as human-machine interface by enabling a new mode of social interaction with the machine. Starting from their previous works, the authors developed a conformable distributed tactile sensor that can be easily conformed to the different parts of the robot body. Its ability to estimate contact force components and to provide a tactile map with an accurate spatial resolution enables the robot to handle both unintentional collisions in safe human-robot collaboration tasks and intentional touches where the sensor is used as human-machine interface. In this paper, the authors present the characterization of the proposed tactile sensor and they show how it can be also exploited to recognize haptic tactile gestures, by tailoring recognition algorithms, well known in the image processing field, to the case of tactile images. In particular, a set of haptic gestures has been defined to test three recognition algorithms on a group of 20 users. The paper demonstrates how the same sensor originally designed to manage unintentional collisions can be successfully used also as human-machine interface.

  9. The potential for developing a tactile communication system based on Blissymbolics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaacson, Mick D; Lloyd, Lyle L

    2015-02-01

    To be useful for tactile communication, tactile stimuli need to be discriminable from each other. The objective of this study was to determine whether raised-line renderings of Blissymbols have the capacity for being developed into a tactile communication system as measured by their tactile discriminability. Tactile discrimination of Blissymbols was measured by performance on a task in which participants were asked to feel a target raised-line Blissymbol and then to find the target within an array containing the target and raised-line Blissymbol foils. The vast majority of tactile Blissymbols had tactile discrimination scores of 90% accuracy or better. Most raised-line Blissymbols can be tactilely discriminated from each other, indicating that they have the potential for being developed into a tactile communication system.

  10. Activation of sensory cortex by imagined genital stimulation: an fMRI analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nan J. Wise

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: During the course of a previous study, our laboratory made a serendipitous finding that just thinking about genital stimulation resulted in brain activations that overlapped with, and differed from, those generated by physical genital stimulation. Objective: This study extends our previous findings by further characterizing how the brain differentially processes physical ‘touch’ stimulation and ‘imagined’ stimulation. Design: Eleven healthy women (age range 29–74 participated in an fMRI study of the brain response to imagined or actual tactile stimulation of the nipple and clitoris. Two additional conditions – imagined dildo self-stimulation and imagined speculum stimulation – were included to characterize the effects of erotic versus non-erotic imagery. Results: Imagined and tactile self-stimulation of the nipple and clitoris each activated the paracentral lobule (the genital region of the primary sensory cortex and the secondary somatosensory cortex. Imagined self-stimulation of the clitoris and nipple resulted in greater activation of the frontal pole and orbital frontal cortex compared to tactile self-stimulation of these two bodily regions. Tactile self-stimulation of the clitoris and nipple activated the cerebellum, primary somatosensory cortex (hand region, and premotor cortex more than the imagined stimulation of these body regions. Imagining dildo stimulation generated extensive brain activation in the genital sensory cortex, secondary somatosensory cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, insula, nucleus accumbens, and medial prefrontal cortex, whereas imagining speculum stimulation generated only minimal activation. Conclusion: The present findings provide evidence of the potency of imagined stimulation of the genitals and that the following brain regions may participate in erogenous experience: primary and secondary sensory cortices, sensory-motor integration areas, limbic structures, and components of the

  11. Activation of sensory cortex by imagined genital stimulation: an fMRI analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Nan J; Frangos, Eleni; Komisaruk, Barry R

    2016-01-01

    During the course of a previous study, our laboratory made a serendipitous finding that just thinking about genital stimulation resulted in brain activations that overlapped with, and differed from, those generated by physical genital stimulation. This study extends our previous findings by further characterizing how the brain differentially processes physical 'touch' stimulation and 'imagined' stimulation. Eleven healthy women (age range 29-74) participated in an fMRI study of the brain response to imagined or actual tactile stimulation of the nipple and clitoris. Two additional conditions - imagined dildo self-stimulation and imagined speculum stimulation - were included to characterize the effects of erotic versus non-erotic imagery. Imagined and tactile self-stimulation of the nipple and clitoris each activated the paracentral lobule (the genital region of the primary sensory cortex) and the secondary somatosensory cortex. Imagined self-stimulation of the clitoris and nipple resulted in greater activation of the frontal pole and orbital frontal cortex compared to tactile self-stimulation of these two bodily regions. Tactile self-stimulation of the clitoris and nipple activated the cerebellum, primary somatosensory cortex (hand region), and premotor cortex more than the imagined stimulation of these body regions. Imagining dildo stimulation generated extensive brain activation in the genital sensory cortex, secondary somatosensory cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, insula, nucleus accumbens, and medial prefrontal cortex, whereas imagining speculum stimulation generated only minimal activation. The present findings provide evidence of the potency of imagined stimulation of the genitals and that the following brain regions may participate in erogenous experience: primary and secondary sensory cortices, sensory-motor integration areas, limbic structures, and components of the 'reward system'. In addition, these results suggest a mechanism by which some individuals may

  12. The critical events for motor-sensory temporal recalibration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek Henry Arnold

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Determining if we, or another agent, were responsible for a sensory event can require an accurate sense of timing. Our sense of appropriate timing relationships must, however, be malleable as there is a variable delay between the physical timing of an event and when sensory signals concerning that event are encoded in the brain. One dramatic demonstration of such malleability involves having people repeatedly press a button thereby causing a beep. If a delay is inserted between button presses and beeps, when it is subsequently taken away beeps can seem to precede the button presses that caused them. For this to occur it is important that people feel they were responsible for instigating the beeps. In terms of their timing, as yet it is not clear what combination of events is important for motor-sensory temporal recalibration. Here, by introducing ballistic reaches of short or longer extent before a button press, we varied the delay between the intention to act and the sensory consequence of that action. This manipulation failed to modulate recalibration magnitude. By contrast, introducing a similarly lengthened delay between button presses and consequent beeps eliminated recalibration. Thus it would seem that the critical timing relationship for motor-sensory temporal recalibration is between tactile signals relating to the completion of an action and the subsequent auditory percept.

  13. Braille in the Sighted: Teaching Tactile Reading to Sighted Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bola, Łukasz; Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna; Paplińska, Małgorzata; Sumera, Ewa; Hańczur, Paweł; Szwed, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    Blind people are known to have superior perceptual abilities in their remaining senses. Several studies suggest that these enhancements are dependent on the specific experience of blind individuals, who use those remaining senses more than sighted subjects. In line with this view, sighted subjects, when trained, are able to significantly progress in relatively simple tactile tasks. However, the case of complex tactile tasks is less obvious, as some studies suggest that visual deprivation itself could confer large advantages in learning them. It remains unclear to what extent those complex skills, such as braille reading, can be learnt by sighted subjects. Here we enrolled twenty-nine sighted adults, mostly braille teachers and educators, in a 9-month braille reading course. At the beginning of the course, all subjects were naive in tactile braille reading. After the course, almost all were able to read whole braille words at a mean speed of 6 words-per-minute. Subjects with low tactile acuity did not differ significantly in braille reading speed from the rest of the group, indicating that low tactile acuity is not a limiting factor for learning braille, at least at this early stage of learning. Our study shows that most sighted adults can learn whole-word braille reading, given the right method and a considerable amount of motivation. The adult sensorimotor system can thus adapt, to some level, to very complex tactile tasks without visual deprivation. The pace of learning in our group was comparable to congenitally and early blind children learning braille in primary school, which suggests that the blind's mastery of complex tactile tasks can, to a large extent, be explained by experience-dependent mechanisms.

  14. Displaying Sensed Tactile Cues with a Fingertip Haptic Device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacchierotti, Claudio; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Kuchenbecker, Katherine J

    2015-01-01

    Telerobotic systems enable humans to explore and manipulate remote environments for applications such as surgery and disaster response, but few such systems provide the operator with cutaneous feedback. This article presents a novel approach to remote cutaneous interaction; our method is compatible with any fingertip tactile sensor and any mechanical tactile display device, and it does not require a position/force or skin deformation model. Instead, it directly maps the sensed stimuli to the best possible input commands for the device's motors using a data set recorded with the tactile sensor inside the device. As a proof of concept, we considered a haptic system composed of a BioTac tactile sensor, in charge of measuring contact deformations, and a custom 3-DoF cutaneous device with a flat contact platform, in charge of applying deformations to the user's fingertip. To validate the proposed approach and discover its inherent tradeoffs, we carried out two remote tactile interaction experiments. The first one evaluated the error between the tactile sensations registered by the BioTac in a remote environment and the sensations created by the cutaneous device for six representative tactile interactions and 27 variations of the display algorithm. The normalized average errors in the best condition were 3.0 percent of the BioTac's full 12-bit scale. The second experiment evaluated human subjects' experiences for the same six remote interactions and eight algorithm variations. The average subjective rating for the best algorithm variation was 8.2 out of 10, where 10 is best.

  15. Tactile Radar: experimenting a computer game with visually disabled.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastrup, Virgínia; Cassinelli, Alvaro; Quérette, Paulo; Bergstrom, Niklas; Sampaio, Eliana

    2017-09-18

    Visually disabled people increasingly use computers in everyday life, thanks to novel assistive technologies better tailored to their cognitive functioning. Like sighted people, many are interested in computer games - videogames and audio-games. Tactile-games are beginning to emerge. The Tactile Radar is a device through which a visually disabled person is able to detect distal obstacles. In this study, it is connected to a computer running a tactile-game. The game consists in finding and collecting randomly arranged coins in a virtual room. The study was conducted with nine congenital blind people including both sexes, aged 20-64 years old. Complementary methods of first and third person were used: the debriefing interview and the quasi-experimental design. The results indicate that the Tactile Radar is suitable for the creation of computer games specifically tailored for visually disabled people. Furthermore, the device seems capable of eliciting a powerful immersive experience. Methodologically speaking, this research contributes to the consolidation and development of first and third person complementary methods, particularly useful in disabled people research field, including the evaluation by users of the Tactile Radar effectiveness in a virtual reality context. Implications for rehabilitation Despite the growing interest in virtual games for visually disabled people, they still find barriers to access such games. Through the development of assistive technologies such as the Tactile Radar, applied in virtual games, we can create new opportunities for leisure, socialization and education for visually disabled people. The results of our study indicate that the Tactile Radar is adapted to the creation of video games for visually disabled people, providing a playful interaction with the players.

  16. Effect of Means of Problem-Oriented Physical Rehabilitation on Pain and Tactile Sensitivity and Pain Syndrome Intensity in Women with Post-Mastectomy Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Т. Є. Одинець

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the paper is to determine the effectiveness of problem-oriented physical rehabilitation of women with post-mastectomy syndrome in terms of normalization of their sensitivity and lessening of the pain syndrome. Materials and methods. The paper provides a review of the related literary sources and empirical data analyzed and summarized, offers definitions of pain by the Visual Analogue Scale, McGill Pain Questionnaire and the Verbal Rating Scale, evaluates tactile and pain sensitivity, and uses the methods of mathematical statistics. The participants in the study were 50 women with diagnosed with the post-mastectomy syndrome and at the stage of residential treatment. Results: The developed problem-oriented physical rehabilitation experimentally proved effective by showing improvements in tactile and pain sensitivity, and pain lessening by the sensory, affective and rating scales in women with post-mastectomy syndrome at the stage of residential treatment.

  17. TACTILE STIMULATION EVOKES LONG-LASTING POTENTIATION OF PURKINJE CELL DISCHARGE IN VIVO

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    Ramakrishnan eKanchipuram

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In the cerebellar network, a precise relationship between plasticity and neuronal discharge has been predicted. However, the potential generation of persistent changes in PC spike discharge as a consequence of plasticity following natural stimulation patterns has not been clearly determined. Here we show that facial tactile stimuli organized in theta-patterns can induce stereotyped NMDA and GABA-A receptor-dependent changes in Purkinje cell (PCs and molecular layer interneuron (MLIs firing: invariably, all PCs showed a long-lasting increase (spike-related potentiation or SR-P and MLIs a long-lasting decrease (spike-related suppression or SR-S in baseline activity and spike response probability. These observations suggests that natural sensory stimulation engages multiple long-term plastic changes that are distributed along the mossy fiber – parallel fiber pathway and operate synergistically to potentiate spike generation in PCs. In contrast, theta-pattern electrical stimulation of PFs indistinctly induced SR-P and SR-S both in PCs and MLIs, suggesting that natural sensory stimulation preordinates plasticity upstream of the PF-PC synapse. All these effects occurred in the absence of complex spike changes, supporting the theoretical prediction that Purkinje cell activity is potentiated when the mossy fiber - parallel fiber system is activated in the absence of conjunctive climbing fiber activity.

  18. A tactile stimulus applied to the leg improves postural stability in young, old and neuropathic subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menz, Hylton B; Lord, Stephen R; Fitzpatrick, Richard C

    2006-10-02

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether the application of passive tactile cues to the lower limb could improve postural stability in healthy young controls, older people and people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Antero-posterior sway was measured with eyes open and closed in 10 healthy young subjects (mean age 27 years, 5 male, 5 female), 10 older subjects without diabetic peripheral neuropathy (mean age 88 years, 2 male, 8 female) and 10 subjects with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (mean age 65 years, 6 male, 4 female) while a small piece of Velcro attached to a flexible mount was applied to three different sites on the leg (ankle, calf, and knee). Across all conditions, the mean sway of the neuropathic subjects was 93% greater than for the young subjects and 11% more than the older subjects. On average, subjects swayed 10% more with the eyes closed than with the eyes open. Each stimulus reduced sway, but the effect increased approximately in proportion to the height of the stimulus above the ankles (ankle 7.6%, calf 13.5%, knee 20.1% reduction compared to the no stimulus condition). This experiment demonstrates that a passive stimulus applied to the skin of the leg, which provides sensory information about body movement, significantly reduces body sway during standing. This applies to older subjects and subjects with peripheral neuropathy as well as healthy young subjects. These results have implications for novel approaches for improving stability in people with peripheral sensory loss.

  19. Maintenance of tactile short-term memory for locations is mediated by spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M

    2012-01-01

    According to the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis, maintenance of spatial information is mediated by covert orienting towards memorized locations. In a somatosensory memory task, participants simultaneously received bilateral pairs of mechanical sample pulses. For each hand, sample stimuli were randomly assigned to one of three locations (fingers). A subsequent visual retro-cue determined whether the left or right hand sample was to be memorized. The retro-cue elicited lateralized activity reflecting the location of the relevant sample stimulus. Sensory processing during the retention period was probed by task-irrelevant pulses randomized to locations at the cued and uncued hand. The somatosensory N140 was enhanced for probes delivered to the cued hand, relative to uncued. Probes presented shortly after the retro-cue showed greatest attentional modulations. This suggests that transient contributions from retrospective selection overlapped with the sustained effect of attention-based rehearsal. In conclusion, focal attention shifts within tactile mnemonic content occurred after retro-cues and guided sensory processing during retention. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Role of PAF receptor in proinflammatory cytokine expression in the dorsal root ganglion and tactile allodynia in a rodent model of neuropathic pain.

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    Shigeo Hasegawa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neuropathic pain is a highly debilitating chronic pain following damage to peripheral sensory neurons and is often resistant to all treatments currently available, including opioids. We have previously shown that peripheral nerve injury induces activation of cytosolic phospholipase A(2 (cPLA(2 in injured dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons that contribute to tactile allodynia, a hallmark of neuropathic pain. However, lipid mediators downstream of cPLA(2 activation to produce tactile allodynia remain to be determined. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we provide evidence that platelet-activating factor (PAF is a potential candidate. Pharmacological blockade of PAF receptors (PAFRs reduced the development and expression of tactile allodynia following nerve injury. The expression of PAFR mRNA was increased in the DRG ipsilateral to nerve injury, which was seen mainly in macrophages. Furthermore, mice lacking PAFRs showed a reduction of nerve injury-induced tactile allodynia and, interestingly, a marked suppression of upregulation of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta expression in the injured DRG, crucial proinflammatory cytokines involved in pain hypersensitivity. Conversely, a single injection of PAF near the DRG of naïve rats caused a decrease in the paw withdrawal threshold to mechanical stimulation in a dose-dependent manner and an increase in the expression of mRNAs for TNFalpha and IL-1beta, both of which were inhibited by pretreatment with a PAFR antagonist. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the PAF/PAFR system has an important role in production of TNFalpha and IL-1beta in the DRG and tactile allodynia following peripheral nerve injury and suggest that blocking PAFRs may be a viable therapeutic strategy for treating neuropathic pain.

  1. Effects of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Val66Met polymorphism and resting brain functional connectivity on individual differences in tactile cognitive performance in healthy young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xuejuan; Xu, Ziliang; Liu, Lin; Liu, Peng; Sun, Jinbo; Jin, Lingmin; Zhu, Yuanqiang; Fei, Ningbo; Qin, Wei

    2017-07-28

    Cognitive processes involve input from multiple sensory modalities and obvious differences in the level of cognitive function can be observed between individuals. Evidence to date understanding the biological basis of tactile cognitive variability, however, is limited compared with other forms of sensory cognition. Data from auditory and visual cognition research suggest that variations in both genetics and intrinsic brain function might contribute to individual differences in tactile cognitive performance. In the present study, by using the tactual performance test (TPT), a widely used neuropsychological assessment tool, we investigated the effects of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and resting-state brain functional connectivity (FC) on interindividual variability in TPT performance in healthy, young Chinese adults. Our results showed that the BDNF genotypes and resting-state FC had significant effects on the variability in TPT performance, together accounting for 32.5% and 19.1% of the variance on TPT total score and Memory subitem score respectively. Having fewer Met alleles, stronger anticorrelations between left posterior superior temporal gyrus and somatosensory areas (right postcentral gyrus and right parietal operculum cortex), and greater positive correlation between left parietal operculum cortex and left central opercular cortex, all correspond with better performance of TPT task. And FC between left parietal operculum cortex and left central opercular cortex might be a mediator of the relationship between BDNF genotypes and Memory subitem score. These data demonstrate a novel contribution of intrinsic brain function to tactile cognitive capacity, and further confirm the genetic basis of tactile cognition. Our findings might also explain the interindividual differences in cognitive ability observed in those who are blind and/or deaf from a new perspective. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Vibrotactile sensory substitution elicits feeling of ownership of an alien hand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco D'Alonzo

    Full Text Available Tactile feedback plays a key role in the attribution of a limb to the self and in the motor control of grasping and manipulation. However, due to technological limits, current prosthetic hands do not provide amputees with cutaneous touch feedback. Recent findings showed that amputees can be tricked into experiencing an alien rubber hand as part of their own body, by applying synchronous touches to the stump which is out of view, and to the rubber hand in full view. It was suggested that similar effects could be achieved by using a prosthesis with touch sensors that provides synchronous cutaneous feedback through an array of tactile stimulators on the stump. Such a prosthesis holds the potential to be easily incorporated within one's body scheme, because it would reproduce the perceptual illusion in everyday usage. We propose to use sensory substitution--specifically vibrotactile--to address this issue, as current haptic technology is still too bulky and inefficient. In this basic study we addressed the fundamental question of whether visuo-tactile modality mismatch promotes self-attribution of a limb, and to what extent compared to a modality-matched paradigm, on normally-limbed subjects. We manipulated visuo-tactile stimulations, comprising combinations of modality matched, modality mismatched, synchronous and asynchronous stimulations, in a set of experiments fashioned after the Rubber Hand Illusion. Modality mismatched stimulation was provided using a keypad-controlled vibrotactile display. Results from three independent measures of embodiment (questionnaires, pointing tests and skin conductance responses indicate that vibrotactile sensory substitution can be used to induce self-attribution of a rubber hand when synchronous but modality-conflicting visuo-tactile stimulation is delivered to the biological finger pads and to the equivalent rubber hand phalanges.

  3. Tactile mouse generating velvet hand illusion on human palm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadar Rajaei

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available To enhance virtual reality (VR generated by tactile displays, we have focused on a novel tactile illusion, called the Velvet Hand Illusion (VHI. In VHI, moving two parallel wires back and forth between the two hands leads humans to perceive a velvet-like surface between their hands. In earlier studies, we revealed that the intensity of VHI could be controlled by a ratio (r/D, where r and D are the wire stroke and wire distance, respectively. According to these findings, we investigate in this study whether a common tactile display is able to produce VHI, and whether the ratio can also control VHI intensity. We prepare a dot-matrix display as a tactile display in which moving one line of the display’s pins is considered as a wire pattern. We investigate the VHI intensity with regard to changing the stroke r and the line distance D using paired comparison. Experimental results show that the VHI intensity is increased or decreased by changing r and D. We conclude that VHI can be created by the tactile display, and the intensity of VHI is controlled by changing the ratio of r/D.

  4. EAP application to artificial tactile feel display of virtual reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konyo, Masashi; Tadokoro, Satoshi; Takamori, Toshi; Oguro, Keisuke

    2001-07-01

    A tactile feel display device for virtual reality was developed using Nafion-Platinum composite type EAP actuator (known as IPMC or ICPF). Conventional tactile displays can hardly express tactile human feeling of the fine touch of the surface of a cloth, because their mechanisms cannot excite minute distributed stimuli on human skin. We propose a new ciliary device using ICPF actuators. The ICPF has sufficient softness, utilizing the passive material property, that complex control is not required. The low drive voltage is safe enough for the touch of fingers. Its simple operation mechanism allows miniaturization for practical equipments. The developed device was designed with a number of cilia consisting of ICPF actuators, where a cilium is 2 mm wide and 5 mm long. An ICPF membrane is cut into pectination, and only the cilium part is plated and has a function of an actuator. An inclined configuration of the cilia produces variety of stimuli to human skin controlling frequencies. We tried to display both pressure and vibration at the same time using modulated low and high frequencies. The result clearly shows that over 80% of the subjects sensed some special tactile feeling. A comparison with real material samples shows that this display can present a subtle distinction of tactile feeling of cloth, especially like a towel and denim.

  5. Magnetic resonance imaging-compatible tactile sensing device based on a piezoelectric array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamed, Abbi; Masamune, Ken; Tse, Zion Tsz Ho; Lamperth, Michael; Dohi, Takeyoshi

    2012-07-01

    Minimally invasive surgery is a widely used medical technique, one of the drawbacks of which is the loss of direct sense of touch during the operation. Palpation is the use of fingertips to explore and make fast assessments of tissue morphology. Although technologies are developed to equip minimally invasive surgery tools with haptic feedback capabilities, the majority focus on tissue stiffness profiling and tool-tissue interaction force measurement. For greatly increased diagnostic capability, a magnetic resonance imaging-compatible tactile sensor design is proposed, which allows minimally invasive surgery to be performed under image guidance, combining the strong capability of magnetic resonance imaging soft tissue and intuitive palpation. The sensing unit is based on a piezoelectric sensor methodology, which conforms to the stringent mechanical and electrical design requirements imposed by the magnetic resonance environment The sensor mechanical design and the device integration to a 0.2 Tesla open magnetic resonance imaging scanner are described, together with the device's magnetic resonance compatibility testing. Its design limitations and potential future improvements are also discussed. A tactile sensing unit based on a piezoelectric sensor principle is proposed, which is designed for magnetic resonance imaging guided interventions.

  6. Tactile Toe Agnosia and Percept of a "Missing Toe" in Healthy Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicmil, Nela; Meyer, Achim P; Stein, John F

    2016-03-01

    A disturbance of body representation is central to many neurological and psychiatric conditions, but the mechanisms by which body representations are constructed by the brain are not fully understood. We demonstrate a directional disturbance in tactile identification of the toes in healthy humans. Nineteen young adult participants underwent tactile stimulation of the digits with the eyes closed and verbally reported the identity of the stimulated digit. In the majority of individuals, responses to the second and third toes were significantly biased toward the laterally neighboring digit. The directional bias was greater for the nondominant foot and was affected by the identity of the immediately preceding stimulated toe. Unexpectedly, 9/19 participants reported the subjective experience of a "missing toe" or "missing space" during the protocol. These findings challenge current models of somatosensory localization, as they cannot be explained simply by a lack of distinct representations for toes compared with fingers, or by overt toe-finger correspondences. We present a novel theory of equal spatial representations of digit width combined with a "preceding neighbor" effect to explain the observed phenomena. The diagnostic implications for neurological disorders that involve "digit agnosia" are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.

  7. Direct tactile manipulation of the flight plan in a modern aircraft cockpit

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alapetite, Alexandre; Fogh, Rune; Zammit-Mangion, David

    2012-01-01

    An original experimental approach has been chosen, with an incremental progression from a traditional physical cockpit, to a tactile flight simulator reproducing traditional controls, to a prototype navigation display with direct tactile functionality, first located in the traditional low position...

  8. TOUCH, TOUCH, TOUCH, SENSORIAL COGNITIVE SKILLS SENSITIZED THROUGH TACTILITY AND TANGIBILITY

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wendrich, Robert E.

    2018-01-01

    This paper presents the development and testing of an original user interface ()UI) based on the sense of touch. A tangible user interface (TUI) project that includes the exploration of haptics, design processes, hybrid design tools and unconventional user interfaces (NUI) that focus essentially on

  9. Tactile Sensing for Dexterous Robotic Hands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Toby B.

    2000-01-01

    Robotic systems will be used as precursors to human exploration to explore the solar system and expand our knowledge of planetary surfaces. Robotic systems will also be used to build habitats and infrastructure required for human presence in space and on other planetary surfaces . Such robots will require a high level of intelligence and automation. The ability to flexibly manipulate their physical environment is one characteristic that makes humans so effective at these building and exploring tasks . The development of a generic autonomous grasp ing capability will greatly enhance the efficiency and ability of robotics to build, maintain and explore. To tele-operate a robot over vast distances of space, with long communication delays, has proven to be troublesome. Having an autonomous grasping capability that can react in real-time to disturbances or adapt to generic objects, without operator intervention, will reduce the probability of mishandled tools and samples and reduce the number of re-grasp attempts due to dropping. One aspect that separates humans from machines is a rich sensor set. We have the ability to feel objects and respond to forces and textures. The development of touch or tactile sensors for use on a robot that emulates human skin and nerves is the basis for this discussion. We will discuss the use of new piezo-electric and resistive materials that have emerged on the market with the intention of developing a touch sensitive sensor. With viable tacti le sensors we will be one step closer to developing an autonomous grasping capability.

  10. Tactile sensitivity of gloved hands in the cold operation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Q; Kuklane, K; Holmér, I

    1997-11-01

    In this study, tactile sensitivity of gloved hand in the cold operation has been investigated. The relations among physical properties of protective gloves and hand tactile sensitivity and cold protection were also analysed both objectively and subjectively. Subjects with various gloves participated in the experimental study during cold exposure at different ambient temperatures of -12 degrees C and -25 degrees C. Tactual performance was measured using an identification task with various sizes of objects over the percentage of misjudgment. Forearm, hand and finger skin temperatures were also recorded throughout. The experimental data were analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) model and the Tukey's multiple range test. The results obtained indicated that the tactual performance was affected both by gloves and by hands/fingers cooling. Effect of object size on the tactile discrimination was significant and the misjudgment increased when similar sizes of objects were identified, especially at -25 degrees C.

  11. Tactile display for virtual 3D shape rendering

    CERN Document Server

    Mansutti, Alessandro; Bordegoni, Monica; Cugini, Umberto

    2017-01-01

    This book describes a novel system for the simultaneous visual and tactile rendering of product shapes which allows designers to simultaneously touch and see new product shapes during the conceptual phase of product development. This system offers important advantages, including potential cost and time savings, compared with the standard product design process in which digital 3D models and physical prototypes are often repeatedly modified until an optimal design is achieved. The system consists of a tactile display that is able to represent, within a real environment, the shape of a product. Designers can explore the rendered surface by touching curves lying on the product shape, selecting those curves that can be considered style features and evaluating their aesthetic quality. In order to physically represent these selected curves, a flexible surface is modeled by means of servo-actuated modules controlling a physical deforming strip. The tactile display is designed so as to be portable, low cost, modular,...

  12. Establishing Auditory-Tactile-Visual Equivalence Classes in Children with Autism and Developmental Delays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullen, Stuart; Dixon, Mark R.; Belisle, Jordan; Stanley, Caleb

    2017-01-01

    The current study sought to evaluate the efficacy of a stimulus equivalence training procedure in establishing auditory-tactile-visual stimulus classes with 2 children with autism and developmental delays. Participants were exposed to vocal-tactile (A-B) and tactile-picture (B-C) conditional discrimination training and were tested for the…

  13. Performance of Brain-computer Interfacing based on tactile selective sensation and motor imagery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yao, Lin; Sheng, Xinjun; Mrachacz-Kersting, Natalie

    2018-01-01

    We proposed a multi-class tactile brain-computer interface that utilizes stimulus-induced oscillatory dynamics. It was hypothesized that somatosensory attention can modulate tactile induced oscillation changes, which can decode different sensation attention tasks. Subjects performed four tactile...

  14. Tactile acuity charts: a reliable measure of spatial acuity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Bruns

    Full Text Available For assessing tactile spatial resolution it has recently been recommended to use tactile acuity charts which follow the design principles of the Snellen letter charts for visual acuity and involve active touch. However, it is currently unknown whether acuity thresholds obtained with this newly developed psychophysical procedure are in accordance with established measures of tactile acuity that involve passive contact with fixed duration and control of contact force. Here we directly compared tactile acuity thresholds obtained with the acuity charts to traditional two-point and grating orientation thresholds in a group of young healthy adults. For this purpose, two types of charts, using either Braille-like dot patterns or embossed Landolt rings with different orientations, were adapted from previous studies. Measurements with the two types of charts were equivalent, but generally more reliable with the dot pattern chart. A comparison with the two-point and grating orientation task data showed that the test-retest reliability of the acuity chart measurements after one week was superior to that of the passive methods. Individual thresholds obtained with the acuity charts agreed reasonably with the grating orientation threshold, but less so with the two-point threshold that yielded relatively distinct acuity estimates compared to the other methods. This potentially considerable amount of mismatch between different measures of tactile acuity suggests that tactile spatial resolution is a complex entity that should ideally be measured with different methods in parallel. The simple test procedure and high reliability of the acuity charts makes them a promising complement and alternative to the traditional two-point and grating orientation thresholds.

  15. Tactile acuity charts: a reliable measure of spatial acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruns, Patrick; Camargo, Carlos J; Campanella, Humberto; Esteve, Jaume; Dinse, Hubert R; Röder, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    For assessing tactile spatial resolution it has recently been recommended to use tactile acuity charts which follow the design principles of the Snellen letter charts for visual acuity and involve active touch. However, it is currently unknown whether acuity thresholds obtained with this newly developed psychophysical procedure are in accordance with established measures of tactile acuity that involve passive contact with fixed duration and control of contact force. Here we directly compared tactile acuity thresholds obtained with the acuity charts to traditional two-point and grating orientation thresholds in a group of young healthy adults. For this purpose, two types of charts, using either Braille-like dot patterns or embossed Landolt rings with different orientations, were adapted from previous studies. Measurements with the two types of charts were equivalent, but generally more reliable with the dot pattern chart. A comparison with the two-point and grating orientation task data showed that the test-retest reliability of the acuity chart measurements after one week was superior to that of the passive methods. Individual thresholds obtained with the acuity charts agreed reasonably with the grating orientation threshold, but less so with the two-point threshold that yielded relatively distinct acuity estimates compared to the other methods. This potentially considerable amount of mismatch between different measures of tactile acuity suggests that tactile spatial resolution is a complex entity that should ideally be measured with different methods in parallel. The simple test procedure and high reliability of the acuity charts makes them a promising complement and alternative to the traditional two-point and grating orientation thresholds.

  16. Oscillatory activity in neocortical networks during tactile discrimination near the limit of spatial acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Bhim M; Sathian, K; Epstein, Charles M; Lamichhane, Bidhan; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2014-05-01

    Oscillatory interactions within functionally specialized but distributed brain regions are believed to be central to perceptual and cognitive functions. Here, using human scalp electroencephalography (EEG) recordings combined with source reconstruction techniques, we study how oscillatory activity functionally organizes different neocortical regions during a tactile discrimination task near the limit of spatial acuity. While undergoing EEG recordings, blindfolded participants felt a linear three-dot array presented electromechanically, under computer control, and reported whether the central dot was offset to the left or right. The average brain response differed significantly for trials with correct and incorrect perceptual responses in the timeframe approximately between 130 and 175ms. During trials with correct responses, source-level peak activity appeared in the left primary somatosensory cortex (SI) at around 45ms, in the right lateral occipital complex (LOC) at 130ms, in the right posterior intraparietal sulcus (pIPS) at 160ms, and finally in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) at 175ms. Spectral interdependency analysis of activity in these nodes showed two distinct distributed networks, a dominantly feedforward network in the beta band (12-30Hz) that included all four nodes and a recurrent network in the gamma band (30-100Hz) that linked SI, pIPS and dlPFC. Measures of network activity in both bands were correlated with the accuracy of task performance. These findings suggest that beta and gamma band oscillatory networks coordinate activity between neocortical regions mediating sensory and cognitive processing to arrive at tactile perceptual decisions. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. A microfabricated strain gauge array on polymer substrate for tactile neuroprostheses in rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beygi, M; Mutlu, S; Güçlü, B

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we present the design, microfabrication and characterization of a tactile sensor system which can be used for sensory neuroprostheses in rats. The sensor system consists of an array of 2  ×  7 cells, each of which has a series combination of four strain gauges. Each group of four strain gauges is placed around a square membrane with a size of 2.5  ×  2.5 mm 2 . Unlike most common tactile sensors based on silicon substrates, we used 3D-printed polylactic acid as a substrate, because it is not brittle, and under local extremes, it would prevent the catastrophic failure of all cells. The strain gauges were fabricated by depositing and patterning a 50 nm thick aluminum (Al) film on a polyimide sheet with a thickness of 0.125 mm. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer was bonded on the top surface of the PI membrane. The PDMS layer was prepared in two different thicknesses, 1.2 and 1.7 mm, to investigate its effect on the static response of the sensor. The sensitivity and the maximum allowable force, corresponding to the maximum deformation of 0.9 mm at the center of each cell, changed based on the thickness of the PDMS layer. Sensor cells operated linearly up to 3 N with an average sensitivity of 200 mΩ N −1 (0.7 Ω mm −1 ) for 1.2 mm thick PDMS. These values changed to 4 N and 70 mΩ N −1 (0.3 Ω mm −1 ), respectively, for 1.7 mm thick PDMS. The nonlinearity was less than 3%. The cells had low cross-talk (∼5 mΩ N −1 and 0.02 Ω mm −1 ) relative to the average sensitivity. Additionally, the dynamic response of the sensor was characterized at several frequencies by using a vibrotactile stimulation system previously designed for psychophysics experiments. The sensor was also tested inside the rat conditioning chamber to demonstrate the relevant signals in a tactile neuroprosthesis. (paper)

  18. A microfabricated strain gauge array on polymer substrate for tactile neuroprostheses in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beygi, M.; Mutlu, S.; Güçlü, B.

    2016-08-01

    In this study, we present the design, microfabrication and characterization of a tactile sensor system which can be used for sensory neuroprostheses in rats. The sensor system consists of an array of 2  ×  7 cells, each of which has a series combination of four strain gauges. Each group of four strain gauges is placed around a square membrane with a size of 2.5  ×  2.5 mm2. Unlike most common tactile sensors based on silicon substrates, we used 3D-printed polylactic acid as a substrate, because it is not brittle, and under local extremes, it would prevent the catastrophic failure of all cells. The strain gauges were fabricated by depositing and patterning a 50 nm thick aluminum (Al) film on a polyimide sheet with a thickness of 0.125 mm. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer was bonded on the top surface of the PI membrane. The PDMS layer was prepared in two different thicknesses, 1.2 and 1.7 mm, to investigate its effect on the static response of the sensor. The sensitivity and the maximum allowable force, corresponding to the maximum deformation of 0.9 mm at the center of each cell, changed based on the thickness of the PDMS layer. Sensor cells operated linearly up to 3 N with an average sensitivity of 200 mΩ N-1 (0.7 Ω mm-1) for 1.2 mm thick PDMS. These values changed to 4 N and 70 mΩ N-1 (0.3 Ω mm-1), respectively, for 1.7 mm thick PDMS. The nonlinearity was less than 3%. The cells had low cross-talk (~5 mΩ N-1 and 0.02 Ω mm-1) relative to the average sensitivity. Additionally, the dynamic response of the sensor was characterized at several frequencies by using a vibrotactile stimulation system previously designed for psychophysics experiments. The sensor was also tested inside the rat conditioning chamber to demonstrate the relevant signals in a tactile neuroprosthesis.

  19. Object texture recognition by dynamic tactile sensing using active exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Børlum Petersen, Mikkel; Bilberg, Arne

    with a dynamic tactile transducer based on polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric film. Different test surfaces are actively explored and the signal from the sensor is used for feature extraction, which is subsequently used for classification. A comparison between the significance of different extracted......For both humans and robots, tactile sensing is important for interaction with the environment: it is the core sensing used for exploration and manipulation of objects. In this paper, we present a method for determining object texture by active exploration with a robotic fingertip equipped...

  20. Reduced modulation of thalamocortical connectivity during exposure to sensory stimuli in ASD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Shulamite A; Hernandez, Leanna; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Dapretto, Mirella

    2017-05-01

    Recent evidence for abnormal thalamic connectivity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sensory processing disorders suggests the thalamus may play a role in sensory over-responsivity (SOR), an extreme negative response to sensory stimuli, which is common in ASD. However, there is yet little understanding of changes in thalamic connectivity during exposure to aversive sensory inputs in individuals with ASD. In particular, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus is implicated in atypical sensory processing given its role in selective attention, regulation, and sensory integration. This study aimed to examine the role of pulvinar connectivity in ASD during mildly aversive sensory input. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine connectivity with the pulvinar during exposure to mildly aversive auditory and tactile stimuli in 38 youth (age 9-17; 19 ASD, 19 IQ-matched typically developing (TD)). Parents rated children's SOR severity on two standard scales. Compared to TD, ASD participants displayed aberrant modulation of connectivity between pulvinar and cortex (including sensory-motor and prefrontal regions) during sensory stimulation. In ASD participants, pulvinar-amygdala connectivity was correlated with severity of SOR symptoms. Deficits in modulation of thalamocortical connectivity in youth with ASD may reflect reduced thalamo-cortical inhibition in response to sensory stimulation, which could lead to difficulty filtering out and/or integrating sensory information. An increase in amygdala connectivity with the pulvinar might be partially responsible for deficits in selective attention as the amygdala signals the brain to attend to distracting sensory stimuli. Autism Res 2017, 10: 801-809. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Autistic Traits and Abnormal Sensory Experiences in Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horder, Jamie; Wilson, C. Ellie; Mendez, M. Andreina; Murphy, Declan G.

    2014-01-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities are common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and now form part of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition" (DSM-5) diagnostic criteria, but it is unclear whether they characterize the "broader phenotype" of the disorder. We recruited adults (n = 772) with and without an ASD and…

  2. An Embedded Sensory System for Worker Safety: Prototype Development and Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Chunhee; Park, JeeWoong

    2018-04-14

    At a construction site, workers mainly rely on two senses, which are sight and sound, in order to perceive their physical surroundings. However, they are often hindered by the nature of most construction sites, which are usually dynamic, loud, and complicated. To overcome these challenges, this research explored a method using an embedded sensory system that might offer construction workers an artificial sensing ability to better perceive their surroundings. This study identified three parameters (i.e., intensity, signal length, and delay between consecutive pulses) needed for tactile-based signals for the construction workers to communicate quickly. We developed a prototype system based on these parameters, conducted experimental studies to quantify and validate the sensitivity of the parameters for quick communication, and analyzed test data to reveal what was added by this method in order to perceive information from the tactile signals. The findings disclosed that the parameters of tactile-based signals and their distinguishable ranges could be perceived in a short amount of time (i.e., a fraction of a second). Further experimentation demonstrated the capability of the identified unit signals combined with a signal mapping technique to effectively deliver simple information to individuals and offer an additional sense of awareness to the surroundings. The findings of this study could serve as a basis for future research in exploring advanced tactile-based messages to overcome challenges in environments for which communication is a struggle.

  3. An Embedded Sensory System for Worker Safety: Prototype Development and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Chunhee; Park, JeeWoong

    2018-01-01

    At a construction site, workers mainly rely on two senses, which are sight and sound, in order to perceive their physical surroundings. However, they are often hindered by the nature of most construction sites, which are usually dynamic, loud, and complicated. To overcome these challenges, this research explored a method using an embedded sensory system that might offer construction workers an artificial sensing ability to better perceive their surroundings. This study identified three parameters (i.e., intensity, signal length, and delay between consecutive pulses) needed for tactile-based signals for the construction workers to communicate quickly. We developed a prototype system based on these parameters, conducted experimental studies to quantify and validate the sensitivity of the parameters for quick communication, and analyzed test data to reveal what was added by this method in order to perceive information from the tactile signals. The findings disclosed that the parameters of tactile-based signals and their distinguishable ranges could be perceived in a short amount of time (i.e., a fraction of a second). Further experimentation demonstrated the capability of the identified unit signals combined with a signal mapping technique to effectively deliver simple information to individuals and offer an additional sense of awareness to the surroundings. The findings of this study could serve as a basis for future research in exploring advanced tactile-based messages to overcome challenges in environments for which communication is a struggle. PMID:29662008

  4. Fluid-structure interaction-based biomechanical perception model for tactile sensing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Wang

    Full Text Available The reproduced tactile sensation of haptic interfaces usually selectively reproduces a certain object attribute, such as the object's material reflected by vibration and its surface shape by a pneumatic nozzle array. Tactile biomechanics investigates the relation between responses to an external load stimulus and tactile perception and guides the design of haptic interface devices via a tactile mechanism. Focusing on the pneumatic haptic interface, we established a fluid-structure interaction-based biomechanical model of responses to static and dynamic loads and conducted numerical simulation and experiments. This model provides a theoretical basis for designing haptic interfaces and reproducing tactile textures.

  5. Cortical processing of tactile stimuli applied in quick succession across the fingertips: temporal evolution of dipole sources revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karageorgiou, Elissaios; Koutlas, Ioannis G; Alonso, Aurelio A; Leuthold, Arthur C; Lewis, Scott M; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P

    2008-08-01

    We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) in 10 healthy human subjects to study cortical responses to tactile stimuli applied to the fingertips of digits 2-5 of the right hand. Each stimulus lasted 50 ms and was produced by air-driven elastic membranes. Four-hundred stimuli were delivered on each finger in three temporal patterns (conditions). In the "Discrete" condition, stimuli were applied to each finger repetitively with an interstimulus interval (ISI) of 1-2 s. In the "Continuous" condition, stimuli were applied to the fingers sequentially as four-stimulus trains with zero ISI and 1-2 s intervening between trains. Finally, in the "Gap" condition, stimuli were applied as in the Continuous condition but with an ISI of 50 ms. A sensation of tactile motion across fingers (digit 2 --> digit 5) was reported by all subjects in the Continuous and Gap conditions. Cortical responses were extracted as single equivalent current dipoles over a period of 1 s following stimulus onset. In all three conditions, initial responses in left primary somatosensory cortex (SI) were observed ~20 to 50 ms after stimulus onset and were followed by additional left SI responses and bilateral responses in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII). In addition, in the Continuous and Gap conditions, there was an activation of the precentral gyrus, the temporal aspects of which depended on the temporal relation of the administered stimuli, as follows. An ISI of 0 ms led to activation of the precentral gyrus shortly after the second stimulation, whereas an ISI of 50 ms led to activation of the precentral gyrus after the third stimulation. The current findings support results from previous studies on temporal activity patterns in SI and SII, verify the participation of the precentral gyrus during tactile motion perception and, in addition, reveal aspects of integration of sequential sensory stimulations over nonadjacent areas as well as temporal activity patterns in the postcentral and precentral

  6. Decoding tactile afferent activity to obtain an estimate of instantaneous force and torque applied to the fingerpad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birznieks, Ingvars; Redmond, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Dexterous manipulation is not possible without sensory information about object properties and manipulative forces. Fundamental neuroscience has been unable to demonstrate how information about multiple stimulus parameters may be continuously extracted, concurrently, from a population of tactile afferents. This is the first study to demonstrate this, using spike trains recorded from tactile afferents innervating the monkey fingerpad. A multiple-regression model, requiring no a priori knowledge of stimulus-onset times or stimulus combination, was developed to obtain continuous estimates of instantaneous force and torque. The stimuli consisted of a normal-force ramp (to a plateau of 1.8, 2.2, or 2.5 N), on top of which −3.5, −2.0, 0, +2.0, or +3.5 mNm torque was applied about the normal to the skin surface. The model inputs were sliding windows of binned spike counts recorded from each afferent. Models were trained and tested by 15-fold cross-validation to estimate instantaneous normal force and torque over the entire stimulation period. With the use of the spike trains from 58 slow-adapting type I and 25 fast-adapting type I afferents, the instantaneous normal force and torque could be estimated with small error. This study demonstrated that instantaneous force and torque parameters could be reliably extracted from a small number of tactile afferent responses in a real-time fashion with stimulus combinations that the model had not been exposed to during training. Analysis of the model weights may reveal how interactions between stimulus parameters could be disentangled for complex population responses and could be used to test neurophysiologically relevant hypotheses about encoding mechanisms. PMID:25948866

  7. Oscillatory activity reflects differential use of spatial reference frames by sighted and blind individuals in tactile attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Jonathan T W; Buchholz, Verena N; Föcker, Julia; Engel, Andreas K; Röder, Brigitte; Heed, Tobias

    2015-08-15

    Touch can be localized either on the skin in anatomical coordinates, or, after integration with posture, in external space. Sighted individuals are thought to encode touch in both coordinate systems concurrently, whereas congenitally blind individuals exhibit a strong bias for using anatomical coordinates. We investigated the neural correlates of this differential dominance in the use of anatomical and external reference frames by assessing oscillatory brain activity during a tactile spatial attention task. The EEG was recorded while sighted and congenitally blind adults received tactile stimulation to uncrossed and crossed hands while detecting rare tactile targets at one cued hand only. In the sighted group, oscillatory alpha-band activity (8-12Hz) in the cue-target interval was reduced contralaterally and enhanced ipsilaterally with uncrossed hands. Hand crossing attenuated the degree of posterior parietal alpha-band lateralization, indicating that attention deployment was affected by external spatial coordinates. Beamforming suggested that this posture effect originated in the posterior parietal cortex. In contrast, cue-related lateralization of central alpha-band as well as of beta-band activity (16-24Hz) were unaffected by hand crossing, suggesting that these oscillations exclusively encode anatomical coordinates. In the blind group, central alpha-band activity was lateralized, but did not change across postures. The pattern of beta-band activity was indistinguishable between groups. Because the neural mechanisms for posterior alpha-band generation seem to be linked to developmental vision, we speculate that the lack of this neural mechanism in blind individuals is related to their preferred use of anatomical over external spatial codes in sensory processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. UNCOMMON SENSORY METHODOLOGIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimír Vietoris

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Sensory science is the young but the rapidly developing field of the food industry. Actually, the great emphasis is given to the production of rapid techniques of data collection, the difference between consumers and trained panel is obscured and the role of sensory methodologists is to prepare the ways for evaluation, by which a lay panel (consumers can achieve identical results as a trained panel. Currently, there are several conventional methods of sensory evaluation of food (ISO standards, but more sensory laboratories are developing methodologies that are not strict enough in the selection of evaluators, their mechanism is easily understandable and the results are easily interpretable. This paper deals with mapping of marginal methods used in sensory evaluation of food (new types of profiles, CATA, TDS, napping.

  9. Probabilistic sensory recoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jazayeri, Mehrdad

    2008-08-01

    A hallmark of higher brain functions is the ability to contemplate the world rather than to respond reflexively to it. To do so, the nervous system makes use of a modular architecture in which sensory representations are dissociated from areas that control actions. This flexibility however necessitates a recoding scheme that would put sensory information to use in the control of behavior. Sensory recoding faces two important challenges. First, recoding must take into account the inherent variability of sensory responses. Second, it must be flexible enough to satisfy the requirements of different perceptual goals. Recent progress in theory, psychophysics, and neurophysiology indicate that cortical circuitry might meet these challenges by evaluating sensory signals probabilistically.

  10. Sensory processing disorder: any of a nurse practitioner's business?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Mary W

    2009-06-01

    Children who exhibit the confusing symptom patterns associated with sensory processing deficits are often seen first by primary care providers, including family and pediatric nurse practitioners (NPs). The purpose of this article is to alert NPs to the state of the science for these disorders and to the roles NPs could play in filling the knowledge gaps in assessment, treatment, education, and research. Literature searches using PubMed and MedLine databases and clinical practice observations. Sensory integration disorders have only begun to be defined during the past 35 years. They are not currently included in the DSM IV standard terminology, and are not yet substantively incorporated into most health disciplines' curricula or practice, including those of the NP. NPs are in a unique position to test hypothesized terminology for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) by contributing precise clinical descriptions of children who match as well as deviate from the criteria for three proposed diagnostic groups: Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD), Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD), and Sensory-Based Motor Disorder (SBMD). Beyond the SPD diagnostic debate, for children with sensory deficit patterns the NP role can incorporate participating in interdisciplinary treatment plans, refining differential diagnoses, providing frontline referral and support for affected children and their families, and making both secondary prevention and critical causal research possible through validation of consistently accepted diagnostic criteria.

  11. The TaSST: Tactile Sleeve for Social Touch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, G.; Darriba Frederiks, A.; van Dijk, B.; Heylen, D.; Kröse, B.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we outline the design process of the TaSST (Tactile Sleeve for Social Touch), a touch-sensitive vibrotactile arm sleeve. The TaSST was designed to enable two people to communicate different types of touch over a distance. The touch-sensitive surface of the sleeve consists of a grid of

  12. The TaSST: Tactile sleeve for social touch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, Gijs; Darriba Frederiks, Aduén; van Dijk, Elisabeth M.A.G.; Heylen, Dirk K.J.; Krose, Ben

    In this paper we outline the design process of the TaSST (Tactile Sleeve for Social Touch), a touch-sensitive vibrotactile arm sleeve. The TaSST was designed to enable two people to communicate different types of touch over a distance. The touch-sensitive surface of the sleeve consists of a grid of

  13. The TaSST - Tactile Sleeve for Social Touch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, Gijs; Darriba Frederiks, Aduén; Van Dijk, Betsy; Heylen, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we outline the design process of TaSST (Tactile Sleeve for Social Touch), a touch-sensitive vibrotactile arm sleeve. The TaSST was designed to enable two people to communicate different types of touches over a distance. The touch-sensitive surface of the sleeve consists of a grid of

  14. Flexible PZT Thin Film Tactile Sensor for Biomedical Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Jong Wu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the development of tactile sensors using the sol-gel process to deposit a PZT thin-film from 250 nm to 1 μm on a flexible stainless steel substrate. The PZT thin-film tactile sensor can be used to measure human pulses from several areas, including carotid, brachial, finger, ankle, radial artery, and the apical region. Flexible PZT tactile sensors can overcome the diverse topology of various human regions and sense the corresponding signals from human bodies. The measured arterial pulse waveform can be used to diagnose hypertension and cardiac failure in patients. The proposed sensors have several advantages, such as flexibility, reliability, high strain, low cost, simple fabrication, and low temperature processing. The PZT thin-film deposition process includes a pyrolysis process at 150 °C/500 °C for 10/5 min, followed by an annealing process at 650 °C for 10 min. Finally, the consistent pulse wave velocity (PWV was demonstrated based on human pulse measurements from apical to radial, brachial to radial, and radial to ankle. It is characterized that the sensitivity of our PZT-based tactile sensor was approximately 0.798 mV/g.

  15. Early vision impairs tactile perception in the blind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röder, Brigitte; Rösler, Frank; Spence, Charles

    2004-01-20

    Researchers have known for more than a century that crossing the hands can impair both tactile perception and the execution of appropriate finger movements. Sighted people find it more difficult to judge the temporal order when two tactile stimuli, one applied to either hand, are presented and their hands are crossed over the midline as compared to when they adopt a more typical uncrossed-hands posture. It has been argued that because of the dominant role of vision in motor planning and execution, tactile stimuli are remapped into externally defined coordinates (predominantly determined by visual inputs) that takes longer to achieve when external and body-centered codes (determined primarily by somatosensory/proprioceptive inputs) are in conflict and that involves both multisensory parietal and visual cortex. Here, we show that the performance of late, but not of congenitally, blind people was impaired by crossing the hands. Moreover, we provide the first empirical evidence for superior temporal order judgments (TOJs) for tactile stimuli in the congenitally blind. These findings suggest a critical role of childhood vision in modulating the perception of touch that may arise from the emergence of specific crossmodal links during development.

  16. Bilateral Symmetry of Distortions of Tactile Size Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Matthew R; Ghosh, Arko; Yahya, Tasneem

    2015-01-01

    The perceived distance between touches on the limbs is generally bigger for distances oriented across the width of the limb than for distances oriented along the length of the limb. The present study aimed to investigate the coherence of such distortions of tactile size perception across different skin surfaces. We investigated distortions of tactile size perception on the dorsal and palmar surfaces of both the left and right hands as well as the forehead. Participants judged which of two tactile distances felt larger. One distance was aligned with the proximodistal axis (along the body), the other with the mediolateral axis (across the body). Clear distortions were found on all five skin surfaces, with stimuli oriented across the width of the body being perceived as farther apart than those oriented along the length of the body. Consistent with previous results, distortions were smaller on the palmar than on the dorsal hand surface. Distortion on the forehead was intermediate between the dorsal and palmar surfaces. There were clear correlations between distortion on the left and right hands, for both the dorsal and palmar skin surfaces. In contrast, within each hand, there was no significant correlation between the two skin surfaces. Distortion on the forehead was not significantly correlated with that on any of the other skin surfaces. These results provide evidence for bilaterally symmetric representations underlying tactile size perception. © The Author(s) 2015.

  17. Reproducibility of Tactile Assessments for Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auld, Megan Louise; Ware, Robert S.; Boyd, Roslyn Nancy; Moseley, G. Lorimer; Johnston, Leanne Marie

    2012-01-01

    A systematic review identified tactile assessments used in children with cerebral palsy (CP), but their reproducibility is unknown. Sixteen children with unilateral CP and 31 typically developing children (TDC) were assessed 2-4 weeks apart. Test-retest percent agreements within one point for children with unilateral CP (and TDC) were…

  18. Towards a standard on evaluation of tactile/haptic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinclair, I.; Carter, J.; Kassner, S.; Erp, J.B.F. van; Weber, G.; Elliott, L.; Andrew, I.

    2012-01-01

    Tactile and haptic interaction is becoming increasingly important; ergonomic standards can ensure that systems are designed with sufficient concern for ergonomics and interoperability. ISO (through working group TC159/SC4/WG9) is developing international standards in this subject area, dual-tracked

  19. Flexible PZT thin film tactile sensor for biomedical monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Hong-Jie; Tian, Wei-Cheng; Wu, Wen-Jong

    2013-04-25

    This paper presents the development of tactile sensors using the sol-gel process to deposit a PZT thin-film from 250 nm to 1 μm on a flexible stainless steel substrate. The PZT thin-film tactile sensor can be used to measure human pulses from several areas, including carotid, brachial, finger, ankle, radial artery, and the apical region. Flexible PZT tactile sensors can overcome the diverse topology of various human regions and sense the corresponding signals from human bodies. The measured arterial pulse waveform can be used to diagnose hypertension and cardiac failure in patients. The proposed sensors have several advantages, such as flexibility, reliability, high strain, low cost, simple fabrication, and low temperature processing. The PZT thin-film deposition process includes a pyrolysis process at 150 °C/500 °C for 10/5 min, followed by an annealing process at 650 °C for 10 min. Finally, the consistent pulse wave velocity (PWV) was demonstrated based on human pulse measurements from apical to radial, brachial to radial, and radial to ankle. It is characterized that the sensitivity of our PZT-based tactile sensor was approximately 0.798 mV/g.

  20. Development of flexible tactile sensors for hexapod robots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Børlum-Petersen, Mikkel; Jouffroy, Jerome

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the development of flexible based tactile array sensors based on piezoresistive rubber for use in the leg tips of hexapod robotics. The sensors are composed of a sandwich similar structure, with a piezoresistive rubber used as the middle layer and flexPCB electrodes...

  1. Description of a papillate tactile organ in the Typhlopidae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There are a variet)-' of tactile receptors located within snake skin, including free nerve endings, terminal receptors resem- bling Merkel cells, and lamellated receptors (Von DUring &. Miller 1979; Young 1997). Many of these receptors produce a deformation in the overlying ~-layer of the epidermis, but are not evident when ...

  2. Durable Tactile Glove for Human or Robot Hand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butzer, Melissa; Diftler, Myron A.; Huber, Eric

    2010-01-01

    A glove containing force sensors has been built as a prototype of tactile sensor arrays to be worn on human hands and anthropomorphic robot hands. The force sensors of this glove are mounted inside, in protective pockets; as a result of this and other design features, the present glove is more durable than earlier models.

  3. Auditory, Tactile, and Audiotactile Information Processing Following Visual Deprivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Occelli, Valeria; Spence, Charles; Zampini, Massimiliano

    2013-01-01

    We highlight the results of those studies that have investigated the plastic reorganization processes that occur within the human brain as a consequence of visual deprivation, as well as how these processes give rise to behaviorally observable changes in the perceptual processing of auditory and tactile information. We review the evidence showing…

  4. A systems based experimental approach to tactile friction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masen, Marc Arthur

    2011-01-01

    This work focuses on the friction in contacts where the human finger pad is one of the interacting surfaces. This ‘tactile friction’ requires a full understanding of the contact mechanics and the behaviour of human skin. The coefficient of friction cannot be considered as a property of the skin

  5. Small-scale tactile graphics for virtual reality systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, John W.; Slattery, Oliver T.; Swope, Brett; Min, Volker; Comstock, Tracy

    2002-05-01

    As virtual reality technology moves forward, there is a need to provide the user with options for greater realism for closer engagement to the human senses. Haptic systems use force feedback to create a large-scale sensation of physical interaction in a virtual environment. Further refinement can be created by using tactile graphics to reproduce a detailed sense of touch. For example, a haptic system might create the sensation of the weight of a virtual orange that the user picks up, and the sensation of pressure on the fingers as the user squeezes the orange. A tactile graphic system could create the texture of the orange on the user's fingertips. IN the real wold, a detailed sense of touch plays a large part in picking up and manipulating small objects. Our team is working to develop technology that can drive a high density fingertip array of tactile simulators at a rapid refresh rate, sufficient to produce a realistic sense of touch. To meet the project criteria, the mechanism must be much lower cost than existing technologies, and must be sufficiently lightweight and compact to permit portable use and to enable installation of the stimulator array in the fingertip of a tactile glove. The primary intended applications for this technology are accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, teleoperation, and virtual reality systems.

  6. Hybrid-Actuated Finger Prosthesis with Tactile Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Yee Low

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Finger prostheses are devices developed to emulate the functionality of natural human fingers. On top of their aesthetic appearance in terms of shape, size and colour, such biomimetic devices require a high level of dexterity. They must be capable of gripping an object, and even manipulating it in the hand. This paper presents a biomimetic robotic finger actuated by a hybrid mechanism and integrated with a tactile sensor. The hybrid actuation mechanism comprises a DC micromotor and a Shape Memory Alloy (SMA wire. A customized test rig has been developed to measure the force and stroke produced by the SMA wire. In parallel with the actuator development, experimental investigations have been conducted on Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC and Pressure Conductive Rubber (PCR towards the development of a tactile sensor for the finger. The viability of using these materials for tactile sensing has been determined. Such a hybrid actuation approach aided with tactile sensing capability enables a finger design as an integral part of a prosthetic hand for applications up to the transradial amputation level.

  7. Sensory cortex underpinnings of traumatic brain injury deficits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dasuni S Alwis

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI can result in persistent sensorimotor and cognitive deficits including long-term altered sensory processing. The few animal models of sensory cortical processing effects of TBI have been limited to examination of effects immediately after TBI and only in some layers of cortex. We have now used the rat whisker tactile system and the cortex processing whisker-derived input to provide a highly detailed description of TBI-induced long-term changes in neuronal responses across the entire columnar network in primary sensory cortex. Brain injury (n=19 was induced using an impact acceleration method and sham controls received surgery only (n=15. Animals were tested in a range of sensorimotor behaviour tasks prior to and up to 6 weeks post-injury when there were still significant sensorimotor behaviour deficits. At 8-10 weeks post-trauma, in terminal experiments, extracellular recordings were obtained from barrel cortex neurons in response to whisker motion, including motion that mimicked whisker motion observed in awake animals undertaking different tasks. In cortex, there were lamina-specific neuronal response alterations that appeared to reflect local circuit changes. Hyper-excitation was found only in supragranular layers involved in intra-areal processing and long-range integration, and only for stimulation with complex, naturalistic whisker motion patterns and not for stimulation with simple trapezoidal whisker motion. Thus TBI induces long-term directional changes in integrative sensory cortical layers that depend on the complexity of the incoming sensory information. The nature of these changes allow predictions as to what types of sensory processes may be affected in TBI and contribute to post-trauma sensorimotor deficits.

  8. The interaction between felt touch and tactile consequences of observed actions: an action-based somatosensory congruency paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschrijver, Eliane; Wiersema, Jan R; Brass, Marcel

    2016-07-01

    Action observation leads to a representation of both the motor aspect of an observed action (motor simulation) and its somatosensory consequences (action-based somatosensory simulation) in the observer's brain. In the current electroencephalography-study, we investigated the neuronal interplay of action-based somatosensory simulation and felt touch. We presented index or middle finger tapping movements of a human or a wooden hand, while simultaneously presenting 'tap-like' tactile sensations to either the corresponding or non-corresponding fingertip of the participant. We focused on an early stage of somatosensory processing [P50, N100 and N140 sensory evoked potentials (SEPs)] and on a later stage of higher-order processing (P3-complex). The results revealed an interaction effect of animacy and congruency in the early P50 SEP and an animacy effect in the N100/N140 SEPs. In the P3-complex, we found an interaction effect indicating that the influence of congruency was larger in the human than in the wooden hand. We argue that the P3-complex may reflect higher-order self-other distinction by signaling simulated action-based touch that does not match own tactile information. As such, the action-based somatosensory congruency paradigm might help understand higher-order social processes from a somatosensory point of view. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Hybrid fabrication process of additive manufacturing and direct writing for a 4 X 4 mm matrix flexible tactile sensor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Sang Gu; Lee, In Hwan; Lee, Kyong Chang

    2015-01-01

    Various machines require data from their external environments for safety and/or accuracy. In this respect, many sensors that mimic the human sensory system have been investigated. Among these, tactile sensors may be useful for obtaining data on the roughness of, and external forces acting upon, an object. Several tactile sensors have been developed; however, these are typically fabricated via a series of complex processes, and hence are unsuitable for volume manufacturing. In this paper, we report a fabrication process for a 4 X 4 mm matrix flexible sensor element using layered manufacturing and direct-write technology. A composite composed of photocurable resin and Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was used as the sensing material. The MWCNTs were mixed with the photocurable resin using ultrasonic dispersion, and the liquid mixture exhibited excellent piezoresistive properties following curing using ultraviolet light. The used photocurable resin is flexible and elastic after curing. Therefore, the composite material can be bent and deformed. To use this composite material with the flexible sensor, dispensing characteristics were examined using direct-write technology. For the acquisition of sensor data, a commercial pin-header was inserted and photocurable resin was filled up to the height of pin-header and cured . Then, the composite material was dispensed onto the pin-header as a sensing material. Using this process, a flexible sensor with piezoresistive properties was formed.

  10. Hybrid fabrication process of additive manufacturing and direct writing for a 4 X 4 mm matrix flexible tactile sensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woo, Sang Gu; Lee, In Hwan [Chungbuk National University, Chungju (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Kyong Chang [Pukyong National University, Busan (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-09-15

    Various machines require data from their external environments for safety and/or accuracy. In this respect, many sensors that mimic the human sensory system have been investigated. Among these, tactile sensors may be useful for obtaining data on the roughness of, and external forces acting upon, an object. Several tactile sensors have been developed; however, these are typically fabricated via a series of complex processes, and hence are unsuitable for volume manufacturing. In this paper, we report a fabrication process for a 4 X 4 mm matrix flexible sensor element using layered manufacturing and direct-write technology. A composite composed of photocurable resin and Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was used as the sensing material. The MWCNTs were mixed with the photocurable resin using ultrasonic dispersion, and the liquid mixture exhibited excellent piezoresistive properties following curing using ultraviolet light. The used photocurable resin is flexible and elastic after curing. Therefore, the composite material can be bent and deformed. To use this composite material with the flexible sensor, dispensing characteristics were examined using direct-write technology. For the acquisition of sensor data, a commercial pin-header was inserted and photocurable resin was filled up to the height of pin-header and cured . Then, the composite material was dispensed onto the pin-header as a sensing material. Using this process, a flexible sensor with piezoresistive properties was formed.

  11. Scalable fabric tactile sensor arrays for soft bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Nathan; Penaloza, Jimmy; Santos, Veronica J.; Killpack, Marc D.

    2018-06-01

    Soft robots have the potential to transform the way robots interact with their environment. This is due to their low inertia and inherent ability to more safely interact with the world without damaging themselves or the people around them. However, existing sensing for soft robots has at least partially limited their ability to control interactions with their environment. Tactile sensors could enable soft robots to sense interaction, but most tactile sensors are made from rigid substrates and are not well suited to applications for soft robots which can deform. In addition, the benefit of being able to cheaply manufacture soft robots may be lost if the tactile sensors that cover them are expensive and their resolution does not scale well for manufacturability. This paper discusses the development of a method to make affordable, high-resolution, tactile sensor arrays (manufactured in rows and columns) that can be used for sensorizing soft robots and other soft bodies. However, the construction results in a sensor array that exhibits significant amounts of cross-talk when two taxels in the same row are compressed. Using the same fabric-based tactile sensor array construction design, two different methods for cross-talk compensation are presented. The first uses a mathematical model to calculate a change in resistance of each taxel directly. The second method introduces additional simple circuit components that enable us to isolate each taxel electrically and relate voltage to force directly. Fabric sensor arrays are demonstrated for two different soft-bodied applications: an inflatable single link robot and a human wrist.

  12. What You Don't Notice Can Harm You: Age-Related Differences in Detecting Concurrent Visual, Auditory, and Tactile Cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts, Brandon J; Sarter, Nadine

    2018-06-01

    Objective This research sought to determine whether people can perceive and process three nonredundant (and unrelated) signals in vision, hearing, and touch at the same time and how aging and concurrent task demands affect this ability. Background Multimodal displays have been shown to improve multitasking and attention management; however, their potential limitations are not well understood. The majority of studies on multimodal information presentation have focused on the processing of only two concurrent and, most often, redundant cues by younger participants. Method Two experiments were conducted in which younger and older adults detected and responded to a series of singles, pairs, and triplets of visual, auditory, and tactile cues in the absence (Experiment 1) and presence (Experiment 2) of an ongoing simulated driving task. Detection rates, response times, and driving task performance were measured. Results Compared to younger participants, older adults showed longer response times and higher error rates in response to cues/cue combinations. Older participants often missed the tactile cue when three cues were combined. They sometimes falsely reported the presence of a visual cue when presented with a pair of auditory and tactile signals. Driving performance suffered most in the presence of cue triplets. Conclusion People are more likely to miss information if more than two concurrent nonredundant signals are presented to different sensory channels. Application The findings from this work help inform the design of multimodal displays and ensure their usefulness across different age groups and in various application domains.

  13. Tactile cues can change movement: An example using tape to redistribute flexion from the lumbar spine to the hips and knees during lifting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Brendan L; Beaudette, Shawn M; Brown, Stephen H M

    2018-05-14

    Given the appropriate cues, kinematic factors associated with low back injury risk and pain, such as spine flexion, can be avoided. Recent research has demonstrated the potential for tactile sensory information to change movement. In this study an athletic strapping tape was applied bilaterally along the lumbar extensor muscles to provide continuous tactile feedback information during a repeated lifting and lowering task. The presence of the tape resulted in a statistically significant reduction in lumbar spine flexion when compared to a baseline condition in which no tape was present. This reduction was further increased with the explicit instruction to pay attention to the sensations elicited by the tape. In both cases, the reduction in lumbar spine flexion was compensated for by increases in hip and knee flexion. When the tape was then removed and participants were instructed to continue lifting as if it was still present, the reduction in lumbar flexion and increases in hip and knee flexion were retained. Thus this study provides evidence that tactile cues can provide vital feedback information that can cue human lumbar spine movement to reduce kinematic factors associated with injury risk and pain. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Accessibility and sensory experiences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryhl, Camilla

    2010-01-01

    and accessibility. Sensory accessibility accommodates aspects of a sensory disability and describes architectural design requirements needed to ensure access to architectural experiences. In the context of architecture accessibility has become a design concept of its own. It is generally described as ensuring...... physical access to the built environment by accommodating physical disabilities. While the existing concept of accessibility ensures the physical access of everyone to a given space, sensory accessibility ensures the choice of everyone to stay and be able to participate and experience....

  15. Neuromorphic sensory systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shih-Chii; Delbruck, Tobi

    2010-06-01

    Biology provides examples of efficient machines which greatly outperform conventional technology. Designers in neuromorphic engineering aim to construct electronic systems with the same efficient style of computation. This task requires a melding of novel engineering principles with knowledge gleaned from neuroscience. We discuss recent progress in realizing neuromorphic sensory systems which mimic the biological retina and cochlea, and subsequent sensor processing. The main trends are the increasing number of sensors and sensory systems that communicate through asynchronous digital signals analogous to neural spikes; the improved performance and usability of these sensors; and novel sensory processing methods which capitalize on the timing of spikes from these sensors. Experiments using these sensors can impact how we think the brain processes sensory information. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Sensory evaluation techniques

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Meilgaard, Morten; Civille, Gail Vance; Carr, B. Thomas

    1991-01-01

    ..., #2 as a textbook for courses at the academic level, it aims to provide just enough theoretical background to enable the student to understand which sensory methods are best suited to particular...

  17. Stable phase-shift despite quasi-rhythmic movements: a CPG-driven dynamic model of active tactile exploration in an insect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nalin eHarischandra

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available An essential component of autonomous and flexible behaviour in animals is active exploration of the environment, allowing for perception-guided planning and control of actions. An important sensory system involved is active touch. Here, we introduce a general modelling framework of Central Pattern Generators (CPGs for movement generation in active tactile exploration behaviour. The CPG consists of two network levels: (i phase-coupled Hopf oscillators for rhythm generation, and (ii pattern formation networks for capturing the frequency and phase characteristics of individual joint oscillations. The model captured the natural, quasi-rhythmic joint kinematics as observed in coordinated antennal movements of walking stick insects. Moreover, it successfully produced tactile exploration behaviour on a three-dimensional skeletal model of the insect antennal system with physically realistic parameters. The effect of proprioceptor ablations could be simulated by changing the amplitude and offset parameters of the joint oscillators, only. As in the animal, the movement of both antennal joints was coupled with a stable phase difference, despite the quasi-rhythmicity of the joint angle time courses. We found that the phase-lead of the distal scape-pedicel joint relative to the proximal head-scape joint was essential for producing the natural tactile exploration behaviour and, thus, for tactile efficiency. For realistic movement patterns, the phase-lead could vary within a limited range of 10 to 30 degrees only. Tests with artificial movement patterns strongly suggest that this phase sensitivity is not a matter of the frequency composition of the natural movement pattern. Based on our modelling results, we propose that a constant phase difference is coded into the CPG of the antennal motor system and that proprioceptors are acting locally to regulate the joint movement amplitude.

  18. When Sandpaper Is 'Kiki' and Satin Is 'Bouba': an Exploration of the Associations Between Words, Emotional States, and the Tactile Attributes of Everyday Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etzi, Roberta; Spence, Charles; Zampini, Massimiliano; Gallace, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, scientists working on the topic of multisensory integration, as well as designers and marketers involved in trying to understand consumer behavior, have become increasingly interested in the non-arbitrary associations (e.g., sound symbolism) between different sensorial attributes of the stimuli they work with. Nevertheless, to date, little research in this area has investigated the presence of these crossmodal correspondences in the tactile evaluation of everyday materials. Here, we explore the presence and nature of the associations between tactile sensations, the sound of non-words, and people's emotional states. Samples of cotton, satin, tinfoil, sandpaper, and abrasive sponge, were stroked along the participants' forearm at the speed of 5 cm/s. Participants evaluated the materials along several dimensions, comprising scales anchored by pairs of non-words (e.g., Kiki/Bouba) and adjectives (e.g., ugly/beautiful). The results revealed that smoother textures were associated with non-words made up of round-shaped sounds (e.g., Maluma), whereas rougher textures were more strongly associated with sharp-transient sounds (e.g., Takete). The results also revealed the presence of a number of correspondences between tactile surfaces and adjectives related to visual and auditory attributes. For example, smooth textures were associated with features evoked by words such as 'bright' and 'quiet'; by contrast, the rougher textures were associated with adjectives such as 'dim' and 'loud'. The textures were also found to be associated with a number of emotional labels. Taken together, these results further our understanding of crossmodal correspondences involving the tactile modality and provide interesting insights in the applied field of design and marketing.

  19. Artificial tactile sensing in minimally invasive surgery - a new technical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schostek, Sebastian; Ho, Chi-Nghia; Kalanovic, Daniel; Schurr, Marc O

    2006-01-01

    The loss of tactile sensation is a commonly known drawback of minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Since the advent of MIS, research activities in providing tactile information to the surgeon are still ongoing, in order to improve patient safety and to extend the indications for MIS. We have designed a tactile sensor system comprising a tactile laparoscopic grasper for surgical palpation. For this purpose, we developed a novel tactile sensor technology which allows the manufacturing of an integrated sensor array within an acceptable price range. The array was integrated into the jaws of a 10mm laparoscopic grasper. The tactile data are transferred wirelessly via Bluetooth and are presented visually to the surgeon. The goal was to be able to obtain information about the shape and consistency of tissue structures by gently compressing the tissue between the jaws of the tactile instrument and thus to be able to recognize and assess anatomical or pathological structures, even if they are hidden in the tissue. With a prototype of the tactile sensor system we have conducted bench-tests as well as in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. The system proved feasibility in an experimental environment, it was easy to use, and the novel tactile sensor array was applicable for both palpation and grasping manoeuvres with forces of up to 60N. The tactile data turned out to be a useful supplement to the minimal amount of haptic feedback that is provided by current endoscopic instruments and the endoscopic image under certain conditions.

  20. Supramodal Theta, Gamma, and Sustained Fields Predict Modality-specific Modulations of Alpha and Beta Oscillations during Visual and Tactile Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ede, Freek; Jensen, Ole; Maris, Eric

    2017-08-01

    Flexible control over currently relevant sensory representations is an essential feature of primate cognition. We investigated the neurophysiological bases of such flexible control in humans during an intermodal working memory task in which participants retained visual or tactile sequences. Using magnetoencephalography, we first show that working memory retention engages early visual and somatosensory areas, as reflected in the sustained load-dependent suppression of alpha and beta oscillations. Next, we identify three components that are also load dependent but modality independent: medial prefrontal theta synchronization, frontoparietal gamma synchronization, and sustained parietal event-related fields. Critically, these domain-general components predict (across trials and within load conditions) the modality-specific suppression of alpha and beta oscillations, with largely unique contributions per component. Thus, working memory engages multiple complementary frontoparietal components that have discernible neuronal dynamics and that flexibly modulate retention-related activity in sensory areas in a manner that tracks the current contents of working memory.

  1. Multisensory Tracking of Objects in Darkness: Capture of Positive Afterimages by the Tactile and Proprioceptive Senses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian W Stone

    Full Text Available This paper reports on three experiments investigating the contribution of different sensory modalities to the tracking of objects moved in total darkness. Participants sitting in the dark were exposed to a brief, bright flash which reliably induced a positive visual afterimage of the scene so illuminated. If the participants subsequently move their hand in the darkness, the visual afterimage of that hand fades or disappears; this is presumably due to conflict between the illusory visual afterimage (of the hand in its original location and other information (e.g., proprioceptive from a general mechanism for tracking body parts. This afterimage disappearance effect also occurs for held objects which are moved in the dark, and some have argued that this represents a case of body schema extension, i.e. the rapid incorporation of held external objects into the body schema. We demonstrate that the phenomenon is not limited to held objects and occurs in conditions where incorporation into the body schema is unlikely. Instead, we propose that the disappearance of afterimages of objects moved in darkness comes from a general mechanism for object tracking which integrates input from multiple sensory systems. This mechanism need not be limited to tracking body parts, and thus we need not invoke body schema extension to explain the afterimage disappearance. In this series of experiments, we test whether auditory feedback of object movement can induce afterimage disappearance, demonstrate that the disappearance effect scales with the magnitude of proprioceptive feedback, and show that tactile feedback alone is sufficient for the effect. Together, these data demonstrate that the visual percept of a positive afterimage is constructed not just from visual input of the scene when light reaches the eyes, but in conjunction with input from multiple other senses.

  2. A delivery device for presentation of tactile stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykes, Robert W; Miqueé, Aline; Xerri, Christian; Zennou-Azogui, Yoh'i; Rainville, Constant; Dumoulin, André; Marineau, Daniel

    2007-01-30

    We describe a novel stimulus delivery system designed to present tactile stimuli to a subject in the tunnel of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. Using energy from an air-driven piston to turn a wheel, the device advances a conveyor belt with a pre-determined sequence of stimuli that differ in their spatial features into the tunnel of the MRI. The positioning of one or several stimulus objects in a window near the subject's hand is controlled by a photoelectric device that detects periodic openings in the conveyor belt. Using this electric signal to position each presentation avoids cumulative positioning errors and provides a signal related to the progression of the experiment. We used a series of shapes that differed in their spatial features but the device could carry stimuli with a diversity of shapes and textures. This flexibility allows the experimenter to design a wide variety of psychophysical experiments in the haptic world and possibly to compare and contrast these stimuli with the cognitive treatment of similar stimuli delivered to the other senses. Appropriate experimental design allows separation of motor, sensory and memory storage phases of mental processes.

  3. Sensory modulation disorder symptoms in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand-Gothelf, Ayelet; Parush, Shula; Eitan, Yehudith; Admoni, Shai; Gur, Eitan; Stein, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) may exhibit reduced ability to modulate sensory, physiological, and affective responses. The aim of the present study is to assess sensory modulation disorder (SMD) symptoms in patients with AN and BN. We assessed female adolescent and young adult inpatients with restrictive type anorexia nervosa (AN-R; n = 20) and BN (n = 20) evaluated in the acute stage of their illness, and 27 female controls. Another group of 20 inpatients with AN-R was assessed on admission and discharge, upon achieving their required weight. Participants completed standardized questionnaires assessing the severity of their eating disorder (ED) and the sensory responsiveness questionnaire (SRQ). Inpatients with AN-R demonstrated elevated overall sensory over-responsiveness as well as elevated scores on the taste/gustatory, vestibular/kinesthetic and somatosensory/tactile SRQ modalities compared with patients with BN and controls. Significant correlations between the severity of sensory over-responsiveness and ED-related symptomatology were found in acutely-ill patients with AN-R and to a lesser extent, following weight restoration. Elevated sensory over-responsiveness was retained in weight-restored inpatients with AN-R. Inpatients with BN demonstrated greater sensory under-responsiveness in the intensity subscale of the SRQ, but not in the frequency and combined SRQ dimensions. Female inpatients with AN-R exhibited sensory over-responsiveness both in the acute stage of their illness and following weight restoration, suggesting that sensory over-responsiveness may represent a trait related to the illness itself above and beyond the influence of malnutrition. The finding for sensory under-responsiveness in BN is less consistent. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Flexible Tactile Sensing Based on Piezoresistive Composites: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stassi, Stefano; Cauda, Valentina; Canavese, Giancarlo; Pirri, Candido Fabrizio

    2014-01-01

    The large expansion of the robotic field in the last decades has created a growing interest in the research and development of tactile sensing solutions for robot hand and body integration. Piezoresistive composites are one of the most widely employed materials for this purpose, combining simple and low cost preparation with high flexibility and conformability to surfaces, low power consumption, and the use of simple read-out electronics. This work provides a review on the different type of composite materials, classified according to the conduction mechanism and analyzing the physics behind it. In particular piezoresistors, strain gauges, percolative and quantum tunnelling devices are reviewed here, with a perspective overview on the most used filler types and polymeric matrices. A description of the state-of-the-art of the tactile sensor solutions from the point of view of the architecture, the design and the performance is also reviewed, with a perspective outlook on the main promising applications. PMID:24638126

  5. High Resolution Tactile Sensors for Curved Robotic Fingertips

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Jankovics, Vince; Gorsic, Matija

    2014-01-01

    Tactile sensing is a key element for various animals that interact with the environment and surrounding objects. Touch provides information about contact forces, torques and pressure distribution and by the means of exploration it provides object properties such as geometry, stiffness and texture...... trivial to obtain, dealing with limited accuracy, occlusions and calibration problems. In terms of sensors for static stimuli, such as pressure, there are a range of technologies that can be used to manufacture transducers with various results[5].......Tactile sensing is a key element for various animals that interact with the environment and surrounding objects. Touch provides information about contact forces, torques and pressure distribution and by the means of exploration it provides object properties such as geometry, stiffness and texture[5...

  6. A Magnetoresistive Tactile Sensor for Harsh Environment Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Alfadhel, Ahmed; Khan, Mohammed Zahed Mustafa; Cardoso, Susana; Leitao, Diana; Kosel, Jü rgen

    2016-01-01

    A magnetoresistive tactile sensor is reported, which is capable of working in high temperatures up to 140 °C. Hair-like bioinspired structures, known as cilia, made out of permanent magnetic nanocomposite material on top of spin-valve giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensors are used for tactile sensing at high temperatures. The magnetic nanocomposite, consisting of iron nanowires incorporated into the polymer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is very flexible, biocompatible, has high remanence, and is also resilient to antagonistic sensing ambient. When the cilia come in contact with a surface, they deflect in compliance with the surface topology. This yields a change of the GMR sensor signal, enabling the detection of extremely fine features. The spin-valve is covered with a passivation layer, which enables adequate performance in spite of harsh environmental conditions, as demonstrated in this paper for high temperature.

  7. When touch matters: an affective tactile intervention for older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammarella, Nicola; Fairfield, Beth; Di Domenico, Alberto

    2012-10-01

    Our goal was to test the hypothesis that positive tactile experiences can lead to an improvement in cognitive, emotional skills and perceived quality of life in a group of healthy community-dwelling older adults. During a 10-week period, older adults completed a series of activities that required manipulating either a piece of velvet, a piece of canvas or velcro. Only older adults who worked with velvet showed an increase in cognitive and emotional skills, and the perceived quality of life. Our study is one of the first to show that positive tactile experiences might have a beneficial effect on the psychological well-being of healthy community-dwelling older adults across different domains. © 2012 Japan Geriatrics Society.

  8. A flexible capacitive tactile sensing array with floating electrodes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, M-Y; Huang, X-H; Ma, C-W; Yang, Y-J

    2009-01-01

    In this work, we present the development of a capacitive tactile sensing array realized by using MEMS fabrication techniques and flexible printed circuit board (FPCB) technologies. The sensing array, which consists of two micromachined polydimethlysiloxane (PDMS) structures and a FPCB, will be used as the artificial skin for robot applications. Each capacitive sensing element comprises two sensing electrodes and a common floating electrode. The sensing electrodes and the metal interconnect for signal scanning are implemented on the FPCB, while the floating electrode is patterned on one of the PDMS structures. This special design can effectively reduce the complexity of the device structure and thus makes the device highly manufacturable. The characteristics of the devices with different dimensions are measured and discussed. The corresponding scanning circuits are also designed and implemented. The tactile images induced by the PMMA stamps of different shapes are also successfully captured by a fabricated 8 × 8 array

  9. 3D capacitive tactile sensor using DRIE micromachining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Chiehtang; Chen, Rongshun

    2005-07-01

    This paper presents a three dimensional micro capacitive tactile sensor that can detect normal and shear forces which is fabricated using deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) bulk silicon micromachining. The tactile sensor consists of a force transmission plate, a symmetric suspension system, and comb electrodes. The sensing character is based on the changes of capacitance between coplanar sense electrodes. High sensitivity is achieved by using the high aspect ratio interdigital electrodes with narrow comb gaps and large overlap areas. The symmetric suspension mechanism of this sensor can easily solve the coupling problem of measurement and increase the stability of the structure. In this paper, the sensor structure is designed, the capacitance variation of the proposed device is theoretically analyzed, and the finite element analysis of mechanical behavior of the structures is performed.

  10. A Magnetoresistive Tactile Sensor for Harsh Environment Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Alfadhel, Ahmed

    2016-05-07

    A magnetoresistive tactile sensor is reported, which is capable of working in high temperatures up to 140 °C. Hair-like bioinspired structures, known as cilia, made out of permanent magnetic nanocomposite material on top of spin-valve giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensors are used for tactile sensing at high temperatures. The magnetic nanocomposite, consisting of iron nanowires incorporated into the polymer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is very flexible, biocompatible, has high remanence, and is also resilient to antagonistic sensing ambient. When the cilia come in contact with a surface, they deflect in compliance with the surface topology. This yields a change of the GMR sensor signal, enabling the detection of extremely fine features. The spin-valve is covered with a passivation layer, which enables adequate performance in spite of harsh environmental conditions, as demonstrated in this paper for high temperature.

  11. Three Realizations and Comparison of Hardware for Piezoresistive Tactile Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-Verdú, Fernando; Oballe-Peinado, Óscar; Sánchez-Durán, José A.; Castellanos-Ramos, Julián; Navas-González, Rafael

    2011-01-01

    Tactile sensors are basically arrays of force sensors that are intended to emulate the skin in applications such as assistive robotics. Local electronics are usually implemented to reduce errors and interference caused by long wires. Realizations based on standard microcontrollers, Programmable Systems on Chip (PSoCs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have been proposed by the authors for the case of piezoresistive tactile sensors. The solution employing FPGAs is especially relevant since their performance is closer to that of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) than that of the other devices. This paper presents an implementation of such an idea for a specific sensor. For the purpose of comparison, the circuitry based on the other devices is also made for the same sensor. This paper discusses the implementation issues, provides details regarding the design of the hardware based on the three devices and compares them. PMID:22163797

  12. A Magnetoresistive Tactile Sensor for Harsh Environment Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Alfadhel

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available A magnetoresistive tactile sensor is reported, which is capable of working in high temperatures up to 140 °C. Hair-like bioinspired structures, known as cilia, made out of permanent magnetic nanocomposite material on top of spin-valve giant magnetoresistive (GMR sensors are used for tactile sensing at high temperatures. The magnetic nanocomposite, consisting of iron nanowires incorporated into the polymer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS, is very flexible, biocompatible, has high remanence, and is also resilient to antagonistic sensing ambient. When the cilia come in contact with a surface, they deflect in compliance with the surface topology. This yields a change of the GMR sensor signal, enabling the detection of extremely fine features. The spin-valve is covered with a passivation layer, which enables adequate performance in spite of harsh environmental conditions, as demonstrated in this paper for high temperature.

  13. Sensory adaptation to electrical stimulation of the somatosensory nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graczyk, Emily Lauren; Delhaye, Benoit; Schiefer, Matthew A; Bensmaia, Sliman J; Tyler, Dustin J

    2018-03-19

    Sensory systems adapt their sensitivity to ambient stimulation levels to improve their responsiveness to changes in stimulation. The sense of touch is also subject to adaptation, as evidenced by the desensitization produced by prolonged vibratory stimulation of the skin. Electrical stimulation of nerves elicits tactile sensations that can convey feedback for bionic limbs. In this study, we investigate whether artificial touch is also subject to adaptation, despite the fact that the peripheral mechanotransducers are bypassed. Approach: Using well-established psychophysical paradigms, we characterize the time course and magnitude of sensory adaptation caused by extended electrical stimulation of the residual somatosensory nerves in three human amputees implanted with cuff electrodes. Main results: We find that electrical stimulation of the nerve also induces perceptual adaptation that recovers after cessation of the stimulus. The time course and magnitude of electrically-induced adaptation are equivalent to their mechanically-induced counterparts. Significance: We conclude that, in natural touch, the process of mechanotransduction is not required for adaptation, and artificial touch naturally experiences adaptation-induced adjustments of the dynamic range of sensations. Further, as it does for native hands, adaptation confers to bionic hands enhanced sensitivity to changes in stimulation and thus a more natural sensory experience. . Creative Commons Attribution license.

  14. Tactile and visual perception of injection moulded plastic parts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jacob Tobias; Akbas, Erkan; Madsen, Mads

    In today’s world the technical development have reached high levels in many products. This means that the technical specifications are not as high a competition factor as it has been. Therefore the visual appeal (aesthetics) and tactile perception (ergonomics) have become much more important in t...... in a number of ways including measuring of surface roughness, contact angle, gloss measurement and human perception....

  15. Flow of cortical activity underlying a tactile decision in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Guo, Zengcai V.; Li, Nuo; Huber, Daniel; Ophir, Eran; Gutnisky, Diego; Ting, Jonathan T.; Feng, Guoping; Svoboda, Karel

    2013-01-01

    Perceptual decisions involve distributed cortical activity. Does information flow sequentially from one cortical area to another, or do networks of interconnected areas contribute at the same time? Here we delineate when and how activity in specific areas drives a whisker-based decision in mice. A short-term memory component temporally separated tactile “sensation” and “action” (licking). Using optogenetic inhibition (spatial resolution, 2 mm; temporal resolution, 100 ms), we surveyed the neo...

  16. On the effects of tactile touch in Parkinson's disease patients

    OpenAIRE

    Skogar, Örjan

    2013-01-01

    Background: Tactile Touch as a treatment modality is, in broad terms, scientifically unexplored. Patients use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) forms of treatment outside the area of pharmaceuticals to a great extent, particularly patients suffering from chronic diseases. Delineating and evaluating patients’ own experiences of alleviation using different treatment forms are important tasks for modern health services. The search for humoral substrates that reflect bodily experie...

  17. Manual command component with tactile and/or kinesthetic feedback

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foumier, R.

    1995-01-01

    The invention concerns a manual command component designed to be use by a human hand in order to control a slave system, with a tactile and/or kinesthetic feedback. It is composed by a handle and by piece(s) for the feedback. The handle contains a captor to signalize the move and the speed. The signals are transmitted to the slave system. The later send feedbacks which are transformed in a couple for the handle. (TEC)

  18. Tactile Feedback for Above-Device Gesture Interfaces

    OpenAIRE

    Freeman, Euan; Brewster, Stephen; Lantz, Vuokko

    2014-01-01

    Above-device gesture interfaces let people interact in the space above mobile devices using hand and finger movements. For example, users could gesture over a mobile phone or wearable without having to use the touchscreen. We look at how above-device interfaces can also give feedback in the space over the device. Recent haptic and wearable technologies give new ways to provide tactile feedback while gesturing, letting touchless gesture interfaces give touch feedback. In this paper we take a f...

  19. Artificial Skin Ridges Enhance Local Tactile Shape Discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuzhi Sam Ge

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available One of the fundamental requirements for an artificial hand to successfully grasp and manipulate an object is to be able to distinguish different objects’ shapes and, more specifically, the objects’ surface curvatures. In this study, we investigate the possibility of enhancing the curvature detection of embedded tactile sensors by proposing a ridged fingertip structure, simulating human fingerprints. In addition, a curvature detection approach based on machine learning methods is proposed to provide the embedded sensors with the ability to discriminate the surface curvature of different objects. For this purpose, a set of experiments were carried out to collect tactile signals from a 2 × 2 tactile sensor array, then the signals were processed and used for learning algorithms. To achieve the best possible performance for our machine learning approach, three different learning algorithms of Naïve Bayes (NB, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN, and Support Vector Machines (SVM were implemented and compared for various parameters. Finally, the most accurate method was selected to evaluate the proposed skin structure in recognition of three different curvatures. The results showed an accuracy rate of 97.5% in surface curvature discrimination.

  20. Tactile sensor of hardness recognition based on magnetic anomaly detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Lingyun; Zhang, Dongfang; Chen, Qingguang; Rao, Huanle; Xu, Ping

    2018-03-01

    Hardness, as one kind of tactile sensing, plays an important role in the field of intelligent robot application such as gripping, agricultural harvesting, prosthetic hand and so on. Recently, with the rapid development of magnetic field sensing technology with high performance, a number of magnetic sensors have been developed for intelligent application. The tunnel Magnetoresistance(TMR) based on magnetoresistance principal works as the sensitive element to detect the magnetic field and it has proven its excellent ability of weak magnetic detection. In the paper, a new method based on magnetic anomaly detection was proposed to detect the hardness in the tactile way. The sensor is composed of elastic body, ferrous probe, TMR element, permanent magnet. When the elastic body embedded with ferrous probe touches the object under the certain size of force, deformation of elastic body will produce. Correspondingly, the ferrous probe will be forced to displace and the background magnetic field will be distorted. The distorted magnetic field was detected by TMR elements and the output signal at different time can be sampled. The slope of magnetic signal with the sampling time is different for object with different hardness. The result indicated that the magnetic anomaly sensor can recognize the hardness rapidly within 150ms after the tactile moment. The hardness sensor based on magnetic anomaly detection principal proposed in the paper has the advantages of simple structure, low cost, rapid response and it has shown great application potential in the field of intelligent robot.

  1. Arborealities: The Tactile Ecology of Hardy’s Woodlanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William A. Cohen

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This article asks what consequences two recent movements in scholarship - affect theory and environmental studies - might have for understanding the Victorian tactile imagination. Thomas Hardy's 1887 novel 'The Woodlanders' provides a means of addressing this question, for it shares with posthumanist critics a view that people are material things in a world of things, and that the world is itself a collection of vital agencies and networked actors. Hardy shows how a tactile modality provides a point of entry into discussions of both affect and ecology, situating the human in a proximate, contiguous relation to both bodily and environmental materialities. 'The Woodlanders' offers a world in which trees, in particular, work on - and are in turn worked on by - human objects; a world in which, one might say, the trees are people and the people are trees. This arboreality is far from a sentimental oneness with nature, nor is it an exercise in anthropomorphization. Instead, it provides a recognition of the inhuman, material, and sensate aspects of the human; or, perhaps better, of the human as rooted, budding, leafy, and abloom. Like some recent theoretical accounts, 'The Woodlanders' disperses agency among human and non-human elements alike, employing a tactile mode of representation to break down distinctions between them. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

  2. Improved tactile resonance sensor for robotic assisted surgery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva Uribe, David; Schoukens, Johan; Stroop, Ralf

    2018-01-01

    This paper presents an improved tactile sensor using a piezoelectric bimorph able to differentiate soft materials with similar mechanical characteristics. The final aim is to develop intelligent surgical tools for brain tumour resection using integrated sensors in order to improve tissue tumour delineation and tissue differentiation. The bimorph sensor is driven using a random phase multisine and the properties of contact between the sensor's tip and a certain load are evaluated by means of the evaluation of the nonparametric FRF. An analysis of the nonlinear contributions is presented to show that the use of a linear model is feasible for the measurement conditions. A series of gelatine phantoms were tested. The tactile sensor is able to identify minimal differences in the consistency of the measured samples considering viscoelastic behaviour. A variance analysis was performed to evaluate the reliability of the sensors and to identify possible error sources due to inconsistencies in the preparation method of the phantoms. The results of the variance analysis are discussed showing that ability of the proposed tactile sensor to perform high quality measurements.

  3. Neural correlates associated with superior tactile symmetry perception in the early blind

    OpenAIRE

    Bauer, Corinna; Yazzolino, Lindsay; Hirsch, Gabriella; Cattaneo, Zaira; Vecchi, Tomaso; Merabet, Lotfi B.

    2014-01-01

    Symmetry is an organizational principle that is ubiquitous throughout the visual world. However, this property can also be detected through non-visual modalities such as touch. The role of prior visual experience on detecting tactile patterns containing symmetry remains unclear. We compared the behavioral performance of early blind and sighted (blindfolded) controls on a tactile symmetry detection task. The tactile patterns used were similar in design and complexity as in previous visual perc...

  4. Intuitive tactile algorithms to guide blind runners by means of a belt with vibrators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durá-Gil, Juan V; Bazuelo-Ruiz, Bruno; Mollà, Fernando; Barberà-Guillem, Ricard; Jakab, Àgnes; Csielka, Tamás

    2015-01-01

    Visually impaired people do not have equal possibilities to practice sports. In the case of running they need a sighted guide. This paper compare different possibilities for indicating direction to blind people by means of a belt that transmits tactile messages, and defines design requirements based on anthropometric analysis. The results shows that intuitive tactile messages are achieved with tactile stimuli applied in the ventral section, from the iliac crests to the navel.

  5. Sensory over responsivity and obsessive compulsive symptoms: A cluster analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Sasson, Ayelet; Podoly, Tamar Yonit

    2017-02-01

    Several studies have examined the sensory component in Obsesseive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and described an OCD subtype which has a unique profile, and that Sensory Phenomena (SP) is a significant component of this subtype. SP has some commonalities with Sensory Over Responsivity (SOR) and might be in part a characteristic of this subtype. Although there are some studies that have examined SOR and its relation to Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms (OCS), literature lacks sufficient data on this interplay. First to further examine the correlations between OCS and SOR, and to explore the correlations between SOR modalities (i.e. smell, touch, etc.) and OCS subscales (i.e. washing, ordering, etc.). Second, to investigate the cluster analysis of SOR and OCS dimensions in adults, that is, to classify the sample using the sensory scores to find whether a sensory OCD subtype can be specified. Our third goal was to explore the psychometric features of a new sensory questionnaire: the Sensory Perception Quotient (SPQ). A sample of non clinical adults (n=350) was recruited via e-mail, social media and social networks. Participants completed questionnaires for measuring SOR, OCS, and anxiety. SOR and OCI-F scores were moderately significantly correlated (n=274), significant correlations between all SOR modalities and OCS subscales were found with no specific higher correlation between one modality to one OCS subscale. Cluster analysis revealed four distinct clusters: (1) No OC and SOR symptoms (NONE; n=100), (2) High OC and SOR symptoms (BOTH; n=28), (3) Moderate OC symptoms (OCS; n=63), (4) Moderate SOR symptoms (SOR; n=83). The BOTH cluster had significantly higher anxiety levels than the other clusters, and shared OC subscales scores with the OCS cluster. The BOTH cluster also reported higher SOR scores across tactile, vision, taste and olfactory modalities. The SPQ was found reliable and suitable to detect SOR, the sample SPQ scores was normally distributed (n=350). SOR is a

  6. Speed of reaction to sensory stimulation is enhanced during movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juravle, Georgiana; Spence, Charles

    2015-10-01

    We report four experiments on the speed of people's reactions to sensory stimulation while throwing and catching a basketball. Thirty participants participated in Experiment 1, split according to basketball expertise: none, intermediate (6years on average), or advanced (20years or more). The participants had to catch a bouncing basketball. The movement triggered a short tactile pulse in a tactor attached to their wrist to which they made a speeded vocal response (RT). The pulse could be presented either at rest, at two time-points during the reaching movement, or when the hand reached forward to catch the ball. The results indicated that participants responded more rapidly to vibrations on the moving hand relative to preparing or catching the ball, with expert athletes responding significantly faster than novices. In a second experiment, participants made a speeded vocal response to an auditory signal. As in Experiment 1, faster auditory RTs were observed when the hand was moving, as compared to the other time-points. In a third study, the participants responded to a pulse delivered at their resting hand at various time-points corresponding to the average timings of stimulation in Experiment 1. The results revealed comparable RTs across the tested time-points. In a final experiment, the participants made a vocal response to a pulse presented at various time-points while they were throwing the basketball. The results indicated faster tactile RTs while the ball was being thrown. These results are discussed with reference to the literature on goal-directed movements and in terms of current theories of attention and sensory suppression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Evaluating tactile feedback in robotic surgery for potential clinical application using an animal model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wottawa, Christopher R; Genovese, Bradley; Nowroozi, Bryan N; Hart, Steven D; Bisley, James W; Grundfest, Warren S; Dutson, Erik P

    2016-08-01

    The aims of this study were to evaluate (1) grasping forces with the application of a tactile feedback system in vivo and (2) the incidence of tissue damage incurred during robotic tissue manipulation. Robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery has been shown to be beneficial in a variety of surgical specialties, particularly radical prostatectomy. This innovative surgical tool offers advantages over traditional laparoscopic techniques, such as improved wrist-like maneuverability, stereoscopic video displays, and scaling of surgical gestures to increase precision. A widely cited disadvantage associated with robotic systems is the absence of tactile feedback. Nineteen subjects were categorized into two groups: 5 experts (six or more robotic cases) and 14 novices (five cases or less). The subjects used the da Vinci with integrated tactile feedback to run porcine bowel in the following conditions: (T1: deactivated tactile feedback; T2: activated tactile feedback; and T3: deactivated tactile feedback). The grasping force, incidence of tissue damage, and the correlation of grasping force and tissue damage were analyzed. Tissue damage was evaluated both grossly and histologically by a pathologist blinded to the sample. Tactile feedback resulted in significantly decreased grasping forces for both experts and novices (P system was deactivated (P > 0.05 in all subjects). The in vivo application of integrated tactile feedback in the robotic system demonstrates significantly reduced grasping forces, resulting in significantly less tissue damage. This tactile feedback system may improve surgical outcomes and broaden the use of robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

  8. The effect of chronic low back pain on tactile suppression during back movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Damme, Stefaan; Van Hulle, Lore; Danneels, Lieven; Spence, Charles; Crombez, Geert

    2014-10-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine whether tactile suppression, the phenomenon whereby tactile perception is suppressed during movement, would occur in the context of back movements. Of particular interest, it was investigated if tactile suppression in the back would be attenuated in those suffering from chronic low back pain. Individuals with chronic low back pain (N = 30) and a matched control group (N = 24) detected tactile stimuli on three possible locations (back, arm, chest) while performing a back or arm movement, or no movement. We hypothesized that the movements would induce tactile suppression, and that this effect would be largest for low-intense stimuli on the moving body part. We further hypothesized that, during back movements, tactile suppression on the back would be less pronounced in the chronic low back pain group than in the control group. The results showed the expected general tactile suppression effects. The hypothesis of back-specific attenuation of tactile suppression in the chronic low back pain group was not supported. However, back-specific tactile suppression in the chronic low back pain group was less pronounced in those who performed the back movements more slowly. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. El universo plástico y sensorial de la mano (Wong Kar Wai, 2004

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana MELENDO CRUZ

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we show how Wong Kar Wai, heir to a filmography closely linked to cinematographic modernity, explores themes such as loneliness, melancholy, or self-absorption in his short film The Hand (2004. These themes, together with his study of geometry, saturated colours and pictorial qualities through the prism of metaphysical realism, give rise to purely optical, sonorous and tactile situations. In this way, the Chinese film director reveals, through the presence of a body fragment and metonymy, the colourful and sonorous textures that form the sensory-motor spaces of the underworld in which the story is set

  10. Studying Sensory Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, Spafford C.

    2001-01-01

    Explains the vestibular organ's role in balancing the body and stabilizing the visual world using the example of a hunter. Describes the relationship between sensory perception and learning. Recommends using optical illusions to illustrate the distinctions between external realities and internal perceptions. (Contains 13 references.) (YDS)

  11. Transcendence and Sensoriness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Protestant theology and culture are known for a reserved, at times skeptical, attitude to the use of art and aesthetic forms of expression in a religious context. In Transcendence and Sensoriness, this attitude is analysed and discussed both theoretically and through case studies considered...

  12. Sensory matched filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warrant, Eric J

    2016-10-24

    As animals move through their environments they are subjected to an endless barrage of sensory signals. Of these, some will be of utmost importance, such as the tell-tale aroma of a potential mate, the distinctive appearance of a vital food source or the unmistakable sound of an approaching predator. Others will be less important. Indeed some will not be important at all. There are, for instance, wide realms of the sensory world that remain entirely undetected, simply because an animal lacks the physiological capacity to detect and analyse the signals that characterise this realm. Take ourselves for example: we are completely insensitive to the Earth's magnetic field, a sensory cue of vital importance as a compass for steering the long distance migration of animals as varied as birds, lobsters and sea turtles. We are also totally oblivious to the rich palette of ultraviolet colours that exist all around us, colours seen by insects, crustaceans, birds, fish and lizards (in fact perhaps by most animals). Nor can we hear the ultrasonic sonar pulses emitted by bats in hot pursuit of flying insect prey. The simple reason for these apparent deficiencies is that we either lack the sensory capacity entirely (as in the case of magnetoreception) or that our existing senses are incapable of detecting specific ranges of the stimulus (such as the ultraviolet wavelength range of light). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The Psychometric Properties of a New Measure of Sensory Behaviors in Autistic Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neil, Louise; Green, Dido; Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    Unusual reactions to sensory input became part of the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder in the DSM-5. Measures accurately assessing these symptoms are important for clinical decisions. This study examined the reliability and validity of the Sensory Behavior Questionnaire, a parent-report scale designed to assess frequency and impact…

  14. Assessment of rival males through the use of multiple sensory cues in the fruitfly Drosophila pseudoobscura.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris P Maguire

    Full Text Available Environments vary stochastically, and animals need to behave in ways that best fit the conditions in which they find themselves. The social environment is particularly variable, and responding appropriately to it can be vital for an animal's success. However, cues of social environment are not always reliable, and animals may need to balance accuracy against the risk of failing to respond if local conditions or interfering signals prevent them detecting a cue. Recent work has shown that many male Drosophila fruit flies respond to the presence of rival males, and that these responses increase their success in acquiring mates and fathering offspring. In Drosophila melanogaster males detect rivals using auditory, tactile and olfactory cues. However, males fail to respond to rivals if any two of these senses are not functioning: a single cue is not enough to produce a response. Here we examined cue use in the detection of rival males in a distantly related Drosophila species, D. pseudoobscura, where auditory, olfactory, tactile and visual cues were manipulated to assess the importance of each sensory cue singly and in combination. In contrast to D. melanogaster, male D. pseudoobscura require intact olfactory and tactile cues to respond to rivals. Visual cues were not important for detecting rival D. pseudoobscura, while results on auditory cues appeared puzzling. This difference in cue use in two species in the same genus suggests that cue use is evolutionarily labile, and may evolve in response to ecological or life history differences between species.

  15. Kinesthetic information facilitates saccades towards proprioceptive-tactile targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voudouris, Dimitris; Goettker, Alexander; Mueller, Stefanie; Fiehler, Katja

    2016-05-01

    Saccades to somatosensory targets have longer latencies and are less accurate and precise than saccades to visual targets. Here we examined how different somatosensory information influences the planning and control of saccadic eye movements. Participants fixated a central cross and initiated a saccade as fast as possible in response to a tactile stimulus that was presented to either the index or the middle fingertip of their unseen left hand. In a static condition, the hand remained at a target location for the entire block of trials and the stimulus was presented at a fixed time after an auditory tone. Therefore, the target location was derived only from proprioceptive and tactile information. In a moving condition, the hand was first actively moved to the same target location and the stimulus was then presented immediately. Thus, in the moving condition additional kinesthetic information about the target location was available. We found shorter saccade latencies in the moving compared to the static condition, but no differences in accuracy or precision of saccadic endpoints. In a second experiment, we introduced variable delays after the auditory tone (static condition) or after the end of the hand movement (moving condition) in order to reduce the predictability of the moment of the stimulation and to allow more time to process the kinesthetic information. Again, we found shorter latencies in the moving compared to the static condition but no improvement in saccade accuracy or precision. In a third experiment, we showed that the shorter saccade latencies in the moving condition cannot be explained by the temporal proximity between the relevant event (auditory tone or end of hand movement) and the moment of the stimulation. Our findings suggest that kinesthetic information facilitates planning, but not control, of saccadic eye movements to proprioceptive-tactile targets. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Guidelines for the use of vibro-tactile displays in human computer interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erp, J.B.F. van

    2002-01-01

    Vibro-tactile displays convey messages by presenting vibration to the user's skin. In recent years, the interest in and application of vibro-tactile displays is growing. Vibratory displays are introduced in mobile devices, desktop applications and even in aircraft [1]. Despite the growing interest,

  17. Braille and Tactile Graphics: Youths with Visual Impairments Share Their Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, L. Penny; Herzberg, Tina S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Data were collected from youths with visual impairment about their experiences with tactile graphics and braille materials used in mathematics and science classes. Methods: Youths answered questions and explored four tactile graphics made using different production methods. They located specific information on each graphic and shared…

  18. Recruitment of the middle temporal area by tactile motion in congenital blindness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ptito, Maurice; Matteau, Isabelle; Gjedde, Albert

    2009-01-01

    We used positron emission tomography to investigate whether tactile motion discrimination activates the dorsal visual stream in congenitally blind (CB) participants compared with sighted controls. The tactile stimuli consisted of either static dots, dots moving coherently in one of two possible...

  19. Audio-tactile stimulation: A tool to improve health and well-being?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, E.O.; Nijholt, A.; Erp, J.B.F. van; Wolferen, G. van; Kuyper, E.

    2013-01-01

    Stimulation of the tactile sense or the hearing sense can be used to improve a person's health and well-being. For example, to make someone relax, feel better or sleep better. In this position paper, we present the concept of auditory-tactile stimulation for health and well-being. Through carefully

  20. How Do Batters Use Visual, Auditory, and Tactile Information about the Success of a Baseball Swing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Rob

    2009-01-01

    Bat/ball contact produces visual (the ball leaving the bat), auditory (the "crack" of the bat), and tactile (bat vibration) feedback about the success of the swing. We used a batting simulation to investigate how college baseball players use visual, tactile, and auditory feedback. In Experiment 1, swing accuracy (i.e., the lateral separation…

  1. Effect of Electrostatic Tactile Feedback on Accuracy and Efficiency of Pan Gestures on Touch Screens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Guohong; Sun, Xiaoying; Wang, Dangxiao; Liu, Yue; Zhang, Yuru

    2018-01-01

    Recently, many studies examined electrostatic tactile feedback on touch screens to enrich interaction experience. However, it is unclear as to whether added tactile feedback during a sliding process increases the accuracy of pan gestures with velocity constraints. In this study, a custom-designed electrostatic tactile display was considered. Initially, the accuracy and efficiency of pan gestures were compared under two conditions, namely with and without electrostatic tactile feedback. This was followed by exploring the evolution of completion time (CT) with different indices of difficulties (ID). Experimental results with 12 participants indicated that the accuracy and completion time of pan gestures with added tactile feedback significantly exceeded those without tactile feedback. Furthermore, the relationship between CT and ID satisfied Fitts' Law with a correlation coefficient exceeding 0.9. Based on the findings, a "Tactile Fruit Sorting" game was designed, and subjective and objective evaluations were conducted. The results confirmed that the added tactile feedback enhanced both user performance and interest with respect to the game.

  2. Vestibulo-tactile interactions regarding motion perception and eye movements in yaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, J.E.; Erp, J.B.F. van; Groen, E.L.; Veen, H.J. van

    2005-01-01

    This paper shows that tactile stimulation can override vestibular information regarding spinning sensations and eye movements. However, we conclude that the current data do not support the hypothesis that tactile stimulation controls eye movements directly. To this end, twenty-four subjects were

  3. Presentation of Various Tactile Sensations Using Micro-Needle Electrotactile Display.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayuko Tezuka

    Full Text Available Tactile displays provoke tactile sensations by artificially stimulating tactile receptors. While many types of tactile displays have been developed, electrotactile displays that exploit electric stimulation can be designed to be thin, light, flexible and thus, wearable. However, the high voltages required to stimulate tactile receptors and limited varieties of possible sensations pose problems. In our previous work, we developed an electrotactile display using a micro-needle electrode array that can drastically reduce the required voltage by penetrating through the high-impedance stratum corneum painlessly, but displaying various tactile sensations was still a challenge. In this work, we demonstrate presentation of tactile sensation of different roughness to the subjects, which is enabled by the arrangement of the electrodes; the needle electrodes are on the fingertip and the ground electrode is on the fingernail. With this arrangement, the display can stimulate the tactile receptors that are located not only in the shallow regions of the finger but also those in the deep regions. It was experimentally revealed that the required voltage was further reduced compared to previous devices and that the roughness presented by the display was controlled by the pulse frequency and the switching time, or the stimulation flow rate. The proposed electrotactile display is readily applicable as a new wearable haptic device for advanced information communication technology.

  4. Weber's Illusion and Body Shape: Anisotropy of Tactile Size Perception on the Hand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Matthew R.; Haggard, Patrick

    2011-01-01

    The perceived distance between touches on a single skin surface is larger on regions of high tactile sensitivity than those with lower acuity, an effect known as "Weber's illusion". This illusion suggests that tactile size perception involves a representation of the perceived size of body parts preserving characteristics of the somatosensory…

  5. Evidence for embodied predictive coding: the anterior insula coordinates cortical processing of tactile deviancy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Allen, Micah; Fardo, Francesca; Dietz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    this possibility in the somatosensory domain, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging while healthy participants discriminated tactile stimuli in a roving oddball design. Dynamic Causal Modelling revealed that unexpected stimuli increased the strength of forward connections...... processing of tactile changes to support body awareness....

  6. Participation of Parents in the Early Exploration of Tactile Graphics by Children Who Are Visually Impaired

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryles, Ruby; Bell, Edward

    2009-01-01

    Seventy-three children with visual impairments aged 2-10 and their parents participated in a project that examined the children's interest in and exploration of tactile graphics. The parents reported that the children's interest in and conceptual understanding of the project's tactile workbook were high and that the children explored the…

  7. Shared Neural Mechanisms for the Evaluation of Intense Sensory Stimulation and Economic Reward, Dependent on Stimulation-Seeking Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norbury, Agnes; Valton, Vincent; Rees, Geraint; Roiser, Jonathan P; Husain, Masud

    2016-09-28

    Why are some people strongly motivated by intense sensory experiences? Here we investigated how people encode the value of an intense sensory experience compared with economic reward, and how this varies according to stimulation-seeking preference. Specifically, we used a novel behavioral task in combination with computational modeling to derive the value individuals assigned to the opportunity to experience an intense tactile stimulus (mild electric shock). We then examined functional imaging data recorded during task performance to see how the opportunity to experience the sensory stimulus was encoded in stimulation-seekers versus stimulation-avoiders. We found that for individuals who positively sought out this kind of sensory stimulation, there was common encoding of anticipated economic and sensory rewards in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Conversely, there was robust encoding of the modeled probability of receiving such stimulation in the insula only in stimulation-avoidant individuals. Finally, we found preliminary evidence that sensory prediction error signals may be positively signed for stimulation-seekers, but negatively signed for stimulation-avoiders, in the posterior cingulate cortex. These findings may help explain why high intensity sensory experiences are appetitive for some individuals, but not for others, and may have relevance for the increased vulnerability for some psychopathologies, but perhaps increased resilience for others, in high sensation-seeking individuals. People vary in their preference for intense sensory experiences. Here, we investigated how different individuals evaluate the prospect of an unusual sensory experience (electric shock), compared with the opportunity to gain a more traditional reward (money). We found that in a subset of individuals who sought out such unusual sensory stimulation, anticipation of the sensory outcome was encoded in the same way as that of monetary gain, in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex

  8. Cassini Scientist for a Day: a tactile experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canas, L.; Altobelli, N.

    2012-09-01

    In September 2011, the Cassini spacecraft took images of three targets and a challenge was launched to all students: to choose the one target they thought would provide the best science and to write an essay explaining their reasons (more information on the "Cassini Scientist for a Day" essay contest official webpage in: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/scientistforaday10thedition/, run by NASA/JPL) The three targets presented were: Hyperion, Rhea and Titan, and Saturn. The idea behind "Cassini Scientist for a Day: a tactile experience" was to transform each of these images into schematic tactile images, highlighting relevant features apprehended through a tactile key, accompanied by a small text in Braille with some additional information. This initial approach would allow reach a broader community of students, more specifically those with visual impairment disabilities. Through proper implementation and careful study cases the adapted images associated with an explanatory key provide more resources in tactile astronomy. As the 2012 edition approaches a new set of targeted objet images will be once again transformed and adapted to visually impaired students and will aim to reach more students into participate in this international competition and to engage them in a quest to expand their knowledge in the amazing Cassini discoveries and the wonders of Saturn and its moons. As the winning essays will be published on the Cassini website and contest winners invited to participate in a dedicated teleconference with Cassini scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this initiative presents a great chance to all visually impaired students and teachers to participate in an exciting experience. These initiatives must be complemented with further information to strengthen the learning experience. However they stand as a good starting point to tackle further astronomical concepts in the classroom, especially this field that sometimes lacks the resources. Although

  9. Tactile Sensing From Laser-Ablated Metallized PET Films

    KAUST Repository

    Nag, Anindya

    2016-10-17

    This paper reports the design, fabrication, and implementation of a novel sensor patch developed from commercial polyethylene terephthalate films metallized with aluminum on one side. The aluminum was ablated with laser to form interdigitated electrodes to make sensor prototypes. The interdigitated electrodes were patterned on the substrate with a laser cutter. Characterization of the prototypes was done to determine their operating frequency followed by experimentation. The prototypes have been used as a tactile sensor showing promising results for using these patches in applications with contact pressures considerably lesser than normal human contact pressure.

  10. Tactile shoe inlays for high speed pressure monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin; Mátéfi-Tempfli, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    This work describes the development of flexible tactile sensor shoe inlays for humanoid robots. Their design is based on a sandwich structure of flexible layers with a thin sheet of piezoresistive rubber as main transducer element. The layout and patterning of top and bottom electrodes give 1024...... pressure sensitive cells and the use of high speed electronics and multiplexing algorithms provides frame rates of 100 Hz. The sensors tolerate overloads while showing a consistent output. The developed prototypes show a high potential not only for robotics, but also for use in sensorised human prosthetics....

  11. Individual Differences in the Rubber Hand Illusion Are Related to Sensory Suggestibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Marotta

    Full Text Available In the rubber hand illusion (RHI, watching a rubber hand being stroked in synchrony with one's own hidden hand may induce a sense of ownership over the rubber hand. The illusion relies on bottom-up multisensory integration of visual, tactile, and proprioceptive information, and on top-down processes through which the rubber hand is incorporated into pre-existing representations of the body. Although the degree of illusory experience varies largely across individuals, the factors influencing individual differences are unknown. We investigated whether sensory suggestibility might modulate susceptibility to the RHI. Sensory suggestibility is a personality trait related to how individuals react to sensory information. Because of its sensory nature, this trait could be relevant for studies using the RHI paradigm. Seventy healthy volunteers were classified by Sensory Suggestibility Scale (SSS scores as having high or low suggestibility and assigned to either a high- (High-SSS or a low-suggestibility (Low-SSS group. Two components of the RHI were evaluated in synchronous and asynchronous stroking conditions: subjective experience of sense of ownership over the rubber hand via a 9-statement questionnaire, and proprioceptive drift as measured with a ruler. The High-SSS group was generally more susceptible to the subjective component; in the synchronous condition, they rated the statement assessing the sense of ownership higher than the Low-SSS group. The scores for this statement significantly correlated with the total SSS score, indicating that the higher the sensory suggestibility, the stronger the sense of ownership. No effect of sensory suggestibility on proprioceptive drift was observed, suggesting that the effect is specific for the subjective feeling of ownership. This study demonstrates that sensory suggestibility may contribute to participants' experience of the illusion and should be considered when using the RHI paradigm.

  12. Individual Differences in the Rubber Hand Illusion Are Related to Sensory Suggestibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marotta, Angela; Tinazzi, Michele; Cavedini, Clelia; Zampini, Massimiliano; Fiorio, Mirta

    2016-01-01

    In the rubber hand illusion (RHI), watching a rubber hand being stroked in synchrony with one's own hidden hand may induce a sense of ownership over the rubber hand. The illusion relies on bottom-up multisensory integration of visual, tactile, and proprioceptive information, and on top-down processes through which the rubber hand is incorporated into pre-existing representations of the body. Although the degree of illusory experience varies largely across individuals, the factors influencing individual differences are unknown. We investigated whether sensory suggestibility might modulate susceptibility to the RHI. Sensory suggestibility is a personality trait related to how individuals react to sensory information. Because of its sensory nature, this trait could be relevant for studies using the RHI paradigm. Seventy healthy volunteers were classified by Sensory Suggestibility Scale (SSS) scores as having high or low suggestibility and assigned to either a high- (High-SSS) or a low-suggestibility (Low-SSS) group. Two components of the RHI were evaluated in synchronous and asynchronous stroking conditions: subjective experience of sense of ownership over the rubber hand via a 9-statement questionnaire, and proprioceptive drift as measured with a ruler. The High-SSS group was generally more susceptible to the subjective component; in the synchronous condition, they rated the statement assessing the sense of ownership higher than the Low-SSS group. The scores for this statement significantly correlated with the total SSS score, indicating that the higher the sensory suggestibility, the stronger the sense of ownership. No effect of sensory suggestibility on proprioceptive drift was observed, suggesting that the effect is specific for the subjective feeling of ownership. This study demonstrates that sensory suggestibility may contribute to participants' experience of the illusion and should be considered when using the RHI paradigm.

  13. Altered functional magnetic resonance imaging responses to nonpainful sensory stimulation in fibromyalgia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Solà, Marina; Pujol, Jesus; Wager, Tor D; Garcia-Fontanals, Alba; Blanco-Hinojo, Laura; Garcia-Blanco, Susana; Poca-Dias, Violant; Harrison, Ben J; Contreras-Rodríguez, Oren; Monfort, Jordi; Garcia-Fructuoso, Ferran; Deus, Joan

    2014-11-01

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disorder characterized by chronic pain and enhanced responses to acute noxious events. However, the sensory systems affected in FM may extend beyond pain itself, as FM patients show reduced tolerance to non-nociceptive sensory stimulation. Characterizing the neural substrates of multisensory hypersensitivity in FM may thus provide important clues about the underlying pathophysiology of the disorder. The aim of this study was to characterize brain responses to non-nociceptive sensory stimulation in FM patients and their relationship to subjective sensory sensitivity and clinical pain severity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to assess brain response to auditory, visual, and tactile motor stimulation in 35 women with FM and 25 matched controls. Correlation and mediation analyses were performed to establish the relationship between brain responses and 3 types of outcomes: subjective hypersensitivity to daily sensory stimulation, spontaneous pain, and functional disability. Patients reported increased subjective sensitivity (increased unpleasantness) in response to multisensory stimulation in daily life. Functional MRI revealed that patients showed reduced task-evoked activation in primary/secondary visual and auditory areas and augmented responses in the insula and anterior lingual gyrus. Reduced responses in visual and auditory areas were correlated with subjective sensory hypersensitivity and clinical severity measures. FM patients showed strong attenuation of brain responses to nonpainful events in early sensory cortices, accompanied by an amplified response at later stages of sensory integration in the insula. These abnormalities are associated with core FM symptoms, suggesting that they may be part of the pathophysiology of the disease. Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Rheumatology.

  14. Interhemispheric Inhibition Induced by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Over Primary Sensory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Yasuyuki; Jono, Yasutomo; Mizusawa, Hiroki; Kinoshita, Atsushi; Hiraoka, Koichi

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated whether the long-interval interhemispheric inhibition (LIHI) is induced by the transcranial magnetic stimulation over the primary sensory area (S1-TMS) without activation of the conditioning side of the primary motor area (M1) contributing to the contralateral motor evoked potential (MEP), whether the S1-TMS-induced LIHI is dependent on the status of the S1 modulated by the tactile input, and whether the pathways mediating the LIHI are different from those mediating the M1-TMS-induced LIHI. In order to give the TMS over the S1 without eliciting the MEP, the intensity of the S1-TMS was adjusted to be the sub-motor-threshold level and the trials with the MEP response elicited by the S1-TMS were discarded online. The LIHI was induced by the S1-TMS given 40 ms before the test TMS in the participants with the attenuation of the tactile perception of the digit stimulation (TPDS) induced by the S1-TMS, indicating that the LIHI is induced by the S1-TMS without activation of the conditioning side of the M1 contributing to the contralateral MEP in the participants in which the pathways mediating the TPDS is sensitive to the S1-TMS. The S1-TMS-induced LIHI was positively correlated with the attenuation of the TPDS induced by the S1-TMS, indicating that the S1-TMS-induced LIHI is dependent on the effect of the S1-TMS on the pathways mediating the TPDS at the S1. In another experiment, the effect of the digit stimulation given before the conditioning TMS on the S1- or M1-TMS-induced LIHI was examined. The digit stimulation produces tactile input to the S1 causing change in the status of the S1. The S1-TMS-induced LIHI was enhanced when the S1-TMS was given in the period in which the tactile afferent volley produced by the digit stimulation just arrived at the S1, while the LIHI induced by above-motor-threshold TMS over the contralateral M1 was not enhanced by the tactile input. Thus, the S1-TMS-induced LIHI is dependent on the status of the S1

  15. Descriptive sensory evaluations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dehlholm, Christian

    A recent trend in descriptive sensory evaluation methodology has been the application of rapid evaluation techniques. The ease in use makes the techniques extremely easy to implement by industry and university environments. Thus, one might not consider validity in the choice of method. The overall...... aim of this thesis is to compare and evaluate selected rapid evaluation techniques for sensory profiling. Method variations have been suggested for evaluations in product development and quality control, and method insight is provided. The thesis includes three original studies, designed...... as a consequence of the current practices and needs faced in the industry. Study I compared applicability and validity of rapid methods across several panels of trained assessors. Two rapid approaches were introduced for the evaluation of foods. The first method, ‘Free Multiple Sorting’, allows subjects to perform...

  16. Effect of sensory substitution on suture-manipulation forces for robotic surgical systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitagawa, Masaya; Dokko, Daniell; Okamura, Allison M; Yuh, David D

    2005-01-01

    Direct haptic (force or tactile) feedback is not yet available in commercial robotic surgical systems. Previous work by our group and others suggests that haptic feedback might significantly enhance the execution of surgical tasks requiring fine suture manipulation, specifically those encountered in cardiothoracic surgery. We studied the effects of substituting direct haptic feedback with visual and auditory cues to provide the operating surgeon with a representation of the forces he or she is applying with robotic telemanipulators. Using the robotic da Vinci surgical system (Intuitive Surgical, Inc, Sunnyvale, Calif), we compared applied forces during a standardized surgical knot-tying task under 4 different sensory-substitution scenarios: no feedback, auditory feedback, visual feedback, and combined auditory-visual feedback. The forces applied with these sensory-substitution modes more closely approximate suture tensions achieved under ideal haptic conditions (ie, hand ties) than forces applied without such sensory feedback. The consistency of applied forces during robot-assisted suture tying aided by visual feedback or combined auditory-visual feedback sensory substitution is superior to that achieved with hand ties. Robot-assisted ties aided with auditory feedback revealed levels of consistency that were generally equivalent or superior to those attained with hand ties. Visual feedback and auditory feedback improve the consistency of robotically applied forces. Sensory substitution, in the form of visual feedback, auditory feedback, or both, confers quantifiable advantages in applied force accuracy and consistency during the performance of a simple surgical task.

  17. Sensory feedback for upper limb prostheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiao, Steven S; Fettiplace, Michael; Darbandi, Bejan

    2011-01-01

    In this chapter, we discuss the neurophysiological basis of how to provide sensory feedback to users with an upper limb prosthesis and discuss some of the theoretical issues that need to be considered when directly stimulating neurons in the somatosensory system. We focus on technologies that are currently available and discuss approaches that are most likely to succeed in providing natural perception from the artificial hand to the user. First, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of providing feedback by stimulating directly the remaining afferents that originally innervated the arm and hand. In particular, we pay close attention to the normal functional roles that the peripheral afferents play in perception. What are the consequences and implications of stimulating these afferents? We then discuss whether it is reasonable to stimulate neurons in the ascending pathways that carry the information from the afferents to the cortex or directly in neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex. We show that for some modalities there are advantages for stimulating in the spinal cord, while for others it is advantageous to stimulate directly in the somatosensory cortex. Finally, we discuss results from a current experiment in which we used electrical stimuli in primary somatosensory cortex to restore the percept of the intensity of a mechanical probe indented into the hand. The results suggest that the simple percept of stimulus intensity can be provided to the animal from a single finger using four electrodes. We propose that significantly more electrodes will be needed to reproduce more complex aspects of tactile perception. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. TMS-induced neural noise in sensory cortex interferes with short-term memory storage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler D Bancroft

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In a previous study, Harris et al. (2002 found disruption of vibrotactile short-term memory after applying single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to primary somatosensory cortex (SI early in the maintenance period, and suggested that this demonstrated a role for SI in vibrotactile memory storage. While such a role is compatible with recent suggestions that sensory cortex is the storage substrate for working memory, it stands in contrast to a relatively large body of evidence from human EEG and single-cell recording in primates that instead points to prefrontal cortex as the storage substrate for vibrotactile memory. In the present study, we use computational methods to demonstrate how Harris et al.’s results can be reproduced by TMS-induced activity in sensory cortex and subsequent feedforward interference with memory traces stored in prefrontal cortex, thereby reconciling discordant findings in the tactile memory literature.

  19. The motive for sensory pleasure: enjoyment of nature and its representation in painting, music, and literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberger, Robert; Sucharski, Ivan L; Yalowitz, Steven; Kent, Robert J; Loomis, Ross J; Jones, Jason R; Paylor, Sarah; Aselage, Justin; Mueller, Meta Steiger; McLaughlin, John P

    2010-04-01

    Eight studies assessed the motive for sensory pleasure (MSP) involving a general disposition to enjoy and pursue pleasant nature-related experiences and avoid unpleasant nature-related experiences. The stated enjoyment of pleasant sights, smells, sounds, and tactile sensations formed a unitary construct that was distinct from sensation seeking, novelty preference, and need for cognition. MSP was found to be related to (a) enjoyment of pleasant nature scenes and music of high but not low clarity; (b) enjoyment of writings that portrayed highly detailed nature scenes; (c) enjoyment of pleasantly themed paintings and dislike of unpleasant paintings, as distinct from findings with Openness to Experience; (d) choice of pleasant nature scenes over exciting or intellectually stimulating scenes; (e) view duration and memory of artistically rendered quilts; (f) interest in detailed information about nature scenes; and (g) frequency of sensory-type suggestions for improvement of a museum exhibit.

  20. Feasibility study of patient motion monitoring using tactile array sensor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Tae Ho; Kang, Seong Hee; Kim, Dong Su; Cho, Min Seok; Kim, Kyeong Hyeon; Suh, Tae Suk; Kim, Si Yong

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate patient pretreatment set-up error and intra-fraction motion using the tactile array sensors (Pressure Profile Systems Inc, Los Angeles, CA) which could measure distributed pressure profiles along the contacting surface and to check a feasibility of the sensor (tactile array sensor) in the patient motion monitoring. Laser alignment and optical camera based monitoring system are very useful for reduce patient set-up error but these systems could not monitor the blind area like patient's back position. Actually after patient alignment using laser or optical monitoring system, it was assumed that there is no error in the patient's back position (pressure profile distribution). But if an error occurs in the patient's back position, it will affect the radiation therapy accuracy. In spite of optical motion monitoring or using the immobilization tool, distributed pressure profiles of patient's back position was changed during inter and intra-fraction. For more accurate patient set-up, blind area (patient's back) monitoring was necessary. We expect that the proposed method will be very useful for make up for the weakness of optical monitoring method

  1. A ferrofluid based artificial tactile sensor with magnetic field control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Volkova, T.I., E-mail: tatiana.volkova@tu-ilmenau.de [Technical Mechanics Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau D-98684 (Germany); Böhm, V., E-mail: valter.boehm@tu-ilmenau.de [Technical Mechanics Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau D-98684 (Germany); Naletova, V.A., E-mail: naletova@imec.msu.ru [Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow (Russian Federation); Kaufhold, T., E-mail: tobias.kaufhold@tu-ilmenau.de [Technical Mechanics Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau D-98684 (Germany); Becker, F., E-mail: felix.becker@tu-ilmenau.de [Technical Mechanics Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau D-98684 (Germany); Zeidis, I., E-mail: igor.zeidis@tu-ilmenau.de [Technical Mechanics Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau D-98684 (Germany); Zimmermann, K., E-mail: klaus.zimmermann@tu-ilmenau.de [Technical Mechanics Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau D-98684 (Germany)

    2017-06-01

    The paper deals with a tactile sensor inspired by biological hairs of mammals. The working principle is based on the effect of the magnetic force exerted on a paramagnetic body submerged into a ferrofluid volume under the influence of a nonuniform magnetic field. The deflection of the sensor's rod caused by external mechanical stimuli may be unambiguously identified by the distortion of the magnetic field, which occurs due to the motion of the attached body in the ferrofluid. The magnetic force acting on the body is evaluated experimentally and theoretically for the nonuniform magnetic field of a permanent magnet. The controlled oscillations of the rod are realised by applying a nonuniform magnetic field of periodically altering direction. - Highlights: • A design approach of a tactile sensor inspired by special mammalian hairs is presented. • The working principle is based on magnetic properties of a ferrofluid in magnetic fields. • The magnetic force acting on a body submerged into a ferrofluid volume is evaluated. • External mechanical stimuli may be identified by the distortion of the magnetic field. • The controlled whisking-like oscillations of the sensor's rod are realised experimentally.

  2. A ferrofluid based artificial tactile sensor with magnetic field control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volkova, T.I.; Böhm, V.; Naletova, V.A.; Kaufhold, T.; Becker, F.; Zeidis, I.; Zimmermann, K.

    2017-01-01

    The paper deals with a tactile sensor inspired by biological hairs of mammals. The working principle is based on the effect of the magnetic force exerted on a paramagnetic body submerged into a ferrofluid volume under the influence of a nonuniform magnetic field. The deflection of the sensor's rod caused by external mechanical stimuli may be unambiguously identified by the distortion of the magnetic field, which occurs due to the motion of the attached body in the ferrofluid. The magnetic force acting on the body is evaluated experimentally and theoretically for the nonuniform magnetic field of a permanent magnet. The controlled oscillations of the rod are realised by applying a nonuniform magnetic field of periodically altering direction. - Highlights: • A design approach of a tactile sensor inspired by special mammalian hairs is presented. • The working principle is based on magnetic properties of a ferrofluid in magnetic fields. • The magnetic force acting on a body submerged into a ferrofluid volume is evaluated. • External mechanical stimuli may be identified by the distortion of the magnetic field. • The controlled whisking-like oscillations of the sensor's rod are realised experimentally.

  3. Tactile memory of deaf-blind adults on four tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Paul; Heiron, Karen

    2002-02-01

    The performance of ten deaf-blind and ten sighted-hearing participants on four tactile memory tasks was investigated. Recognition and recall memory tasks and a matching pairs game were used. It was hypothesized that deaf-blind participants would be superior on each task. Performance was measured in terms of the time taken, and the number of items correctly recalled. In Experiments 1 and 2, which measured recognition memory in terms of the time taken to remember target items, the hypothesis was supported, but not by the length of time taken to recognize the target items, or for the number of target items correctly identified. The hypothesis was supported by Experiment 3, which measured recall memory, with regard to time taken to complete some of the tasks but not for the number of correctly recalled positions. Experiment 4, which used the matching pairs game, supported the hypothesis in terms of both time taken and the number of moves required. It is concluded that the deaf-blind people's tactile encoding is more efficient than that of sighted-hearing people, and that it is probable that their storage and retrieval are normal.

  4. Using tactile features to help functionally blind individuals denominate banknotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederman, Susan J; Hamilton, Cheryl

    2002-01-01

    This study, which was conducted for the Bank of Canada, assessed the feasibility of presenting a raised texture feature together with a tactile denomination code on the next Canadian banknote series ($5, $10, $20, $50, and $100). Adding information accessible by hand would permit functionally blind individuals to independently denominate banknotes. In Experiment 1, 20 blindfolded, sighted university students denominated a set of 8 alternate tactile feature designs. Across the 8 design series, the proportion of correct responses never fell below .97; the mean response time per banknote ranged from 11.4 to 13.1 s. In Experiment 2, 27 functionally blind participants denominated 4 of the previous 8 candidate sets of banknotes. The proportion of correct responses never fell below .92; the corresponding mean response time per banknote ranged from 11.7 to 13.0 s. The Bank of Canada selected one of the four raised-texture designs for inclusion on its new banknote series. Other potential applications include designing haptic displays for teleoperation and virtual environment systems.

  5. Feasibility study of patient motion monitoring using tactile array sensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Tae Ho; Kang, Seong Hee; Kim, Dong Su; Cho, Min Seok; Kim, Kyeong Hyeon; Suh, Tae Suk [Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Research Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Si Yong [Dept. of Radiation Oncology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (United States)

    2014-11-15

    The aim of this study is to evaluate patient pretreatment set-up error and intra-fraction motion using the tactile array sensors (Pressure Profile Systems Inc, Los Angeles, CA) which could measure distributed pressure profiles along the contacting surface and to check a feasibility of the sensor (tactile array sensor) in the patient motion monitoring. Laser alignment and optical camera based monitoring system are very useful for reduce patient set-up error but these systems could not monitor the blind area like patient's back position. Actually after patient alignment using laser or optical monitoring system, it was assumed that there is no error in the patient's back position (pressure profile distribution). But if an error occurs in the patient's back position, it will affect the radiation therapy accuracy. In spite of optical motion monitoring or using the immobilization tool, distributed pressure profiles of patient's back position was changed during inter and intra-fraction. For more accurate patient set-up, blind area (patient's back) monitoring was necessary. We expect that the proposed method will be very useful for make up for the weakness of optical monitoring method.

  6. A Cross-Platform Tactile Capabilities Interface for Humanoid Robots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie eMa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the core elements of a cross-platform tactile capabilities interface (TCI for humanoid arms. The aim of the interface is to reduce the cost of developing humanoid robot capabilities by supporting reuse through cross-platform deployment. The article presents a comparative analysis of existing robot middleware frameworks, as well as the technical details of the TCI framework that builds on the the existing YARP platform. The TCI framework currently includes robot arm actuators with robot skin sensors. It presents such hardware in a platform independent manner, making it possible to write robot control software that can be executed on different robots through the TCI frameworks. The TCI framework supports multiple humanoid platforms and this article also presents a case study of a cross-platform implementation of a set of tactile protective withdrawal reflexes that have been realised on both the Nao and iCub humanoid robot platforms using the same high-level source code.

  7. Abilities in tactile discrimination of textures in adult rats exposed to enriched or impoverished environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeon, Stéphanie; Xerri, Christian; Coq, Jacques-Olivier

    2004-08-12

    In previous studies, we have shown that housing in enriched environment for about 3 months after weaning improved the topographic organization and decreased the size of the receptive fields (RFs) located on the glabrous skin surfaces in the forepaw maps of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in rats [Exp. Brain Res. 121 (1998) 191]. In contrast, housing in impoverished environment induced a degradation of the SI forepaw representation, characterized by topographic disruptions, a reduction of the cutaneous forepaw area and an enlargement of the glabrous RFs [Exp. Brain Res. 129 (1999) 518]. Based on these two studies, we postulated that these representational alterations could underlie changes in haptic perception. Therefore, the present study was aimed at determining the influence of housing conditions on the rat's abilities in tactile texture discrimination. After a 2-month exposure to enriched or impoverished environments, rats were trained to perform a discrimination task during locomotion on floorboards of different roughness. At the end of every daily behavioral session, rats were replaced in their respective housing environment. Rats had to discriminate homogeneous (low roughness) from heterogeneous floorboards (combination of two different roughness levels). To determine the maximum performance in texture discrimination, the roughness contrast of the heterogeneous texture was gradually reduced, so that homogeneous and heterogeneous floorboards became harder to differentiate. We found that the enriched rats learned the first steps of the behavioral task faster than the impoverished rats, whereas both groups exhibited similar performances in texture discrimination. An individual "predilection" for either homogeneous or heterogeneous floorboards, presumably reflecting a behavioral strategy, seemed to account for the absence of differences in haptic discrimination between groups. The sensory experience depending on the rewarded texture discrimination task

  8. Analysis of lesions in patients with unilateral tactile agnosia using cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hömke, Lars; Amunts, Katrin; Bönig, Lutz; Fretz, Christian; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Zilles, Karl; Weder, Bruno

    2009-05-01

    We propose a novel methodical approach to lesion analyses involving high-resolution MR images in combination with probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps. 3D-MR images of the whole brain and the manually segmented lesion mask are spatially normalized to the reference brain of a stereotaxic probabilistic cytoarchitectonic atlas using a multiscale registration algorithm based on an elastic model. The procedure is demonstrated in three patients suffering from aperceptive tactile agnosia of the right hand due to chronic infarction of the left parietal cortex. Patient 1 presents a lesion in areas of the postcentral sulcus, Patient 3 in areas of the superior parietal lobule and adjacent intraparietal sulcus, and Patient 2 lesions in both regions. On the basis of neurobehavioral data, we conjectured degradation of sequential elementary sensory information processing within the postcentral gyrus, impeding texture recognition in Patients 1 and 2, and disturbed kinaesthetic information processing in the posterior parietal lobe, causing degraded shape recognition in the patients 2 and 3. The involvement of Brodmann areas 4a, 4p, 3a, 3b, 1, 2, and areas IP1 and IP2 of the intraparietal sulcus was assessed in terms of the voxel overlap between the spatially transformed lesion masks and the 50%-isocontours of the cytoarchitectonic maps. The disruption of the critical cytoarchitectonic areas and the impaired subfunctions, texture and shape recognition, relate as conjectured above. We conclude that the proposed method represents a promising approach to hypothesis-driven lesion analyses, yielding lesion-function correlates based on a cytoarchitectonic model. Finally, the lesion-function correlates are validated by functional imaging reference data. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Variation in rhinarium temperature indicates sensory specializations in placental mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gläser, Nele; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2017-07-01

    The rhinarium, a specialized nose-tip characterized by an area of naked and wet skin around the nostrils, is a typical mammalian structure. The type and amount of innervation suggests a sensory role and morphological diversity implies so far unidentified species-specific functional specializations. Rhinaria also vary in temperature and this may be related to the functions of these sensory organs. We performed a comparative study on rhinarium temperature in order to learn more about possible correlations with phylogeny and ecology. We have concentrated on terrestrial carnivorans and large herbivores, but also investigated a number of other species, some of them lacking typical rhinaria. We used infrared (IR) thermography to determine nose skin temperatures from safe distances and without interfering with the animals' behavior. In all groups studied, the temperature of the rhinarium/nose-tip decreased with decreasing ambient temperature. At all ambient temperatures, rhinarium temperature was lower, by 9-17°C, in carnivorans compared to herbivores. Glires (rodents and lagomorphs), haplorrhine primates, and omnivorous Perisso- and Artiodactyla were intermediate. In strepsirrhine primates, rhinarium temperature was similar to ambient temperature. Our findings in Strepsirrhini are consistent with the hypothesis that their rhinaria have an indirect role in chemical communication. Warm rhinaria in herbivores suggest a tactile function, while the low skin temperatures on carnivoran rhinaria may make the skin particularly sensitive to warming. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Sensory stimulation programme to improve recovery in comatose patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Hyunsoo; Seo, Whasook

    2003-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether positive changes in consciousness level after applying a sensory stimulation programme exceed natural recovery. A single experimental group interrupted time series design was used. Subjects were brain-injured patients who were hospitalized at a university hospital in South Korea. The sensory stimulation programme was composed of auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, tactile and physical stimulation. Levels of consciousness were evaluated using the Glasgow Coma Scale. The intervention was carried out twice, first for 4 weeks, then a recession period was allowed for 4 weeks, and immediately after this the second intervention was implemented for 4 weeks. Results showed significant alterations in consciousness levels 2 weeks after starting intervention 1. This effect increased gradually and was maintained for 3-4 weeks. However, consciousness levels began to decrease 2 weeks after terminating intervention 1 and this decrement continued until starting intervention 2. The pattern of improvement of intervention 1 could be represented as a gradual onset and temporary duration model. At the beginning of intervention 2, consciousness levels were maintained at a low level. However, they began to increase again after 2 weeks and this increment continued even after terminating intervention 2. Therefore, the effect of intervention 2 could be represented as a gradual onset and permanent duration model. These results suggest that an intervention programme should be applied for more than 1 month to achieve a permanent effect on consciousness levels and that at least 2 weeks are required for any significant effect.

  11. Exploring mouthfeel in model wines: Sensory-to-instrumental approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laguna, Laura; Sarkar, Anwesha; Bryant, Michael G; Beadling, Andrew R; Bartolomé, Begoña; Victoria Moreno-Arribas, M

    2017-12-01

    Wine creates a group of oral-tactile stimulations not related to taste or aroma, such as astringency or fullness; better known as mouthfeel. During wine consumption, mouthfeel is affected by ethanol content, phenolic compounds and their interactions with the oral components. Mouthfeel arises through changes in the salivary film when wine is consumed. In order to understand the role of each wine component, eight different model wines with/without ethanol (8%), glycerol (10g/L) and commercial tannins (1g/L) were described using a trained panel. Descriptive analysis techniques were used to train the panel and measure the intensity of the mouthfeel attributes. Alongside, the suitability of different instrumental techniques (rheology, particle size, tribology and microstructure, using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) to measure wine mouthfeel sensation was investigated. Panelists discriminated samples based on their tactile-related components (ethanol, glycerol and tannins) at the levels found naturally in wine. Higher scores were found for all sensory attributes in the samples containing ethanol. Sensory astringency was associated mainly with the addition of tannins to the wine model and glycerol did not seem to play a discriminating role at the levels found in red wines. Visual viscosity was correlated with instrumental viscosity (R=0.815, p=0.014). Hydrodynamic diameter of saliva showed an increase in presence of tannins (almost 2.5-3-folds). However, presence of ethanol or glycerol decreased hydrodynamic diameter. These results were related with the sensory astringency and earthiness as well as with the formation of nano-complexes as observed by TEM. Rheologically, the most viscous samples were those containing glycerol or tannins. Tribology results showed that at a boundary lubrication regime, differences in traction coefficient lubrication were due by the presence of glycerol. However, no differences in traction coefficients were observed in presence

  12. Miniaturization of a Microcontroller for the Tactile Situational Awareness System

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wood, Terrence

    1999-01-01

    ...). The primary objective of TSAS is to enhance pilot performance and reduce SA related aircrew/aircraft losses by providing continuous non-visual information using the normally underutilized sensory channel of touch...

  13. Your place or mine: shared sensory experiences elicit a remapping of peripersonal space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maister, Lara; Cardini, Flavia; Zamariola, Giorgia; Serino, Andrea; Tsakiris, Manos

    2015-04-01

    Our perceptual systems integrate multisensory information about objects that are close to our bodies, which allow us to respond quickly and appropriately to potential threats, as well as act upon and manipulate useful tools. Intriguingly, the representation of this area close to our body, known as the multisensory 'peripersonal space' (PPS), can expand or contract during social interactions. However, it is not yet known how different social interactions can alter the representation of PPS. In particular, shared sensory experiences, such as those elicited by bodily illusions such as the enfacement illusion, can induce feelings of ownership over the other's body which has also been shown to increase the remapping of the other's sensory experiences onto our own bodies. The current study investigated whether such shared sensory experiences between two people induced by the enfacement illusion could alter the way PPS was represented, and whether this alteration could be best described as an expansion of one's own PPS towards the other or a remapping of the other's PPS onto one's own. An audio-tactile integration task allowed us to measure the extent of the PPS before and after a shared sensory experience with a confederate. Our results showed a clear increase in audio-tactile integration in the space close to the confederate's body after the shared experience. Importantly, this increase did not extend across the space between participant and confederate, as would be expected if the participant's PPS had expanded. Thus, the pattern of results is more consistent with a partial remapping of the confederate's PPS onto the participant's own PPS. These results have important consequences for our understanding of interpersonal space during different kinds of social interactions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Immediate effects of thermal-tactile stimulation on timing of swallow in idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, Julie; Walshe, Margaret; Tobin, W Oliver

    2010-09-01

    Oropharyngeal dysphagia frequently presents in people with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). Clinical sequelae of dysphagia in this group include weight loss and aspiration pneumonia, the latter of which is the leading cause of hospital admissions and death in IPD. Thermal-tactile stimulation (TTS) is a sensory technique whereby stimulation is provided to the anterior faucial pillars to speed up the pharyngeal swallow. The effects of TTS on swallowing have not yet been investigated in IPD. The aim of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of TTS on the timing of swallow in a cohort of people with IPD and known oropharyngeal dysphagia. Thirteen participants with IPD and known dysphagia attended for videofluoroscopy during which standardised volumes of liquid barium and barium paste were administered preceding and immediately subsequent to TTS. The immediate effects of TTS on swallowing were examined using oral, pharyngeal, and total transit times and pharyngeal delay times as outcome measures. TTS significantly reduced median pharyngeal transit time on fluids (0.20 s, 95% CI = 0.12-0.28, p = 0.004) and on paste (0.3 s, 95% CI = 0.08-0.66, p = 0.01). Median total transit time was also reduced on fluids (0.48 s, 95% CI = 0.00-1.17, p = 0.049) and on paste (0.52 s, 95% CI = 0.08-1.46, p = 0.033). Median pharyngeal delay time was reduced on fluids (0.20 s, 95% CI = 0.12-0.34, p = 0.002). TTS did not significantly alter median oral transit time on either fluid or paste consistency. TTS significantly reduced temporal measures of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing in the IPD population. Significant results may be attributed to the role of sensory stimulation in improving motor function in IPD, with emphasis on the impaired glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves in this population. It is still unclear whether these findings will translate into a clinically beneficial effect.

  15. Immediate effects of thermal-tactile stimulation on timing of swallow in idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Regan, Julie

    2012-02-01

    Oropharyngeal dysphagia frequently presents in people with idiopathic Parkinson\\'s disease (IPD). Clinical sequelae of dysphagia in this group include weight loss and aspiration pneumonia, the latter of which is the leading cause of hospital admissions and death in IPD. Thermal-tactile stimulation (TTS) is a sensory technique whereby stimulation is provided to the anterior faucial pillars to speed up the pharyngeal swallow. The effects of TTS on swallowing have not yet been investigated in IPD. The aim of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of TTS on the timing of swallow in a cohort of people with IPD and known oropharyngeal dysphagia. Thirteen participants with IPD and known dysphagia attended for videofluoroscopy during which standardised volumes of liquid barium and barium paste were administered preceding and immediately subsequent to TTS. The immediate effects of TTS on swallowing were examined using oral, pharyngeal, and total transit times and pharyngeal delay times as outcome measures. TTS significantly reduced median pharyngeal transit time on fluids (0.20 s, 95% CI = 0.12-0.28, p = 0.004) and on paste (0.3 s, 95% CI = 0.08-0.66, p = 0.01). Median total transit time was also reduced on fluids (0.48 s, 95% CI = 0.00-1.17, p = 0.049) and on paste (0.52 s, 95% CI = 0.08-1.46, p = 0.033). Median pharyngeal delay time was reduced on fluids (0.20 s, 95% CI = 0.12-0.34, p = 0.002). TTS did not significantly alter median oral transit time on either fluid or paste consistency. TTS significantly reduced temporal measures of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing in the IPD population. Significant results may be attributed to the role of sensory stimulation in improving motor function in IPD, with emphasis on the impaired glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves in this population. It is still unclear whether these findings will translate into a clinically beneficial effect.

  16. A magnetoencephalography study of multi-modal processing of pain anticipation in primary sensory cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, R; Burgess, R C; Plow, E B; Floden, D P; Machado, A G

    2015-09-24

    Pain anticipation plays a critical role in pain chronification and results in disability due to pain avoidance. It is important to understand how different sensory modalities (auditory, visual or tactile) may influence pain anticipation as different strategies could be applied to mitigate anticipatory phenomena and chronification. In this study, using a countdown paradigm, we evaluated with magnetoencephalography the neural networks associated with pain anticipation elicited by different sensory modalities in normal volunteers. When encountered with well-established cues that signaled pain, visual and somatosensory cortices engaged the pain neuromatrix areas early during the countdown process, whereas the auditory cortex displayed delayed processing. In addition, during pain anticipation, the visual cortex displayed independent processing capabilities after learning the contextual meaning of cues from associative and limbic areas. Interestingly, cross-modal activation was also evident and strong when visual and tactile cues signaled upcoming pain. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and mid-cingulate cortex showed significant activity during pain anticipation regardless of modality. Our results show pain anticipation is processed with great time efficiency by a highly specialized and hierarchical network. The highest degree of higher-order processing is modulated by context (pain) rather than content (modality) and rests within the associative limbic regions, corroborating their intrinsic role in chronification. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The sensory construction of dreams and nightmare frequency in congenitally blind and late blind individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meaidi, Amani; Jennum, Poul; Ptito, Maurice; Kupers, Ron

    2014-05-01

    We aimed to assess dream content in groups of congenitally blind (CB), late blind (LB), and age- and sex-matched sighted control (SC) participants. We conducted an observational study of 11 CB, 14 LB, and 25 SC participants and collected dream reports over a 4-week period. Every morning participants filled in a questionnaire related to the sensory construction of the dream, its emotional and thematic content, and the possible occurrence of nightmares. We also assessed participants' ability of visual imagery during waking cognition, sleep quality, and depression and anxiety levels. All blind participants had fewer visual dream impressions compared to SC participants. In LB participants, duration of blindness was negatively correlated with duration, clarity, and color content of visual dream impressions. CB participants reported more auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory dream components compared to SC participants. In contrast, LB participants only reported more tactile dream impressions. Blind and SC participants did not differ with respect to emotional and thematic dream content. However, CB participants reported more aggressive interactions and more nightmares compared to the other two groups. Our data show that blindness considerably alters the sensory composition of dreams and that onset and duration of blindness plays an important role. The increased occurrence of nightmares in CB participants may be related to a higher number of threatening experiences in daily life in this group. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Sensory and cognitive neurophysiology in rats. Part 2: Validation and demonstration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitriadis, George; Fransen, Anne M M; Maris, Eric

    2014-07-30

    We have developed a novel setup for rats that allows for controlled sensory input to an animal engaged in a task while recording both electrophysiological signals and behavioral output. Our setup is described in a companion paper. We validate our setup by replicating (1) the functionally nonspecific spread of neural activity following tactile stimulation, and (2) the effects of anesthesia on the tactile evoked responses. We also demonstrate for the first time that the ECoG can be used to record evoked responses in a signal that reflects neural output (spiking activity), and illustrate the usefulness of our setup by demonstrating that these evoked responses are modulated by both the phase of pre-stimulus oscillations and by expectation. Compared with high-density wire recordings, micro-ECoG offers a much more stable signal without readjustments, and a much better scalability. Compared with extracranial and regular ECoG recordings, micro-ECoG allows us to measure signals that reflect both neural input and neural output. For sensory and cognitive research, our setup provides a unique combination of possibilities that cannot be achieved in other setups for rodents. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Integrated trimodal SSEP experimental setup for visual, auditory and tactile stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuś, Rafał; Spustek, Tomasz; Zieleniewska, Magdalena; Duszyk, Anna; Rogowski, Piotr; Suffczyński, Piotr

    2017-12-01

    Objective. Steady-state evoked potentials (SSEPs), the brain responses to repetitive stimulation, are commonly used in both clinical practice and scientific research. Particular brain mechanisms underlying SSEPs in different modalities (i.e. visual, auditory and tactile) are very complex and still not completely understood. Each response has distinct resonant frequencies and exhibits a particular brain topography. Moreover, the topography can be frequency-dependent, as in case of auditory potentials. However, to study each modality separately and also to investigate multisensory interactions through multimodal experiments, a proper experimental setup appears to be of critical importance. The aim of this study was to design and evaluate a novel SSEP experimental setup providing a repetitive stimulation in three different modalities (visual, tactile and auditory) with a precise control of stimuli parameters. Results from a pilot study with a stimulation in a particular modality and in two modalities simultaneously prove the feasibility of the device to study SSEP phenomenon. Approach. We developed a setup of three separate stimulators that allows for a precise generation of repetitive stimuli. Besides sequential stimulation in a particular modality, parallel stimulation in up to three different modalities can be delivered. Stimulus in each modality is characterized by a stimulation frequency and a waveform (sine or square wave). We also present a novel methodology for the analysis of SSEPs. Main results. Apart from constructing the experimental setup, we conducted a pilot study with both sequential and simultaneous stimulation paradigms. EEG signals recorded during this study were analyzed with advanced methodology based on spatial filtering and adaptive approximation, followed by statistical evaluation. Significance. We developed a novel experimental setup for performing SSEP experiments. In this sense our study continues the ongoing research in this field. On the

  20. Development of a System to Assist Automatic Translation of Hand-Drawn Maps into Tactile Graphics and Its Usability Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianjun Chen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Tactile graphics are images that use raised surfaces so that a visually impaired person can feel them. Tactile maps are used by blind and partially sighted people when navigating around an environment, and they are also used prior to a visit for orientation purposes. Since the ability to read tactile graphics deeply depends on individuals, providing tactile graphics individually is needed. This implies that producing tactile graphics should be as simple as possible. Based on this background, we are developing a system for automating production of tactile maps from hand-drawn figures. In this paper, we first present a pattern recognition method for hand-drawn maps. The usability of our system is then evaluated by comparing it with the two different methods to produce tactile graphics.

  1. Tactile pavement for guiding walking direction: An assessment of heading direction and gait stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pluijter, Nanda; de Wit, Lieke P W; Bruijn, Sjoerd M; Plaisier, Myrthe A

    2015-10-01

    For maintaining heading direction while walking we heavily rely on vision. Therefore, walking in the absence of vision or with visual attention directed elsewhere potentially leads to dangerous situations. Here we investigated whether tactile information from the feet can be used as a (partial) substitute for vision in maintaining a stable heading direction. If so, participants should be better able to keep a constant heading direction on tactile pavement that indicates directionality than on regular flat pavement. However, such a pavement may also be destabilizing. Thus we asked participants to walk straight ahead on regular pavement, and on tactile pavement (tiles with ridges along the walking direction) while varying the amount of vision. We assessed the effects of the type of pavement as well as the amount of vision on the variability of the heading direction as well as gait stability. Both of these measures were calculated from accelerations and angular velocities recorded from a smartphone attached to the participants trunk. Results showed that on tactile pavement participants had a less variations in their heading direction than on regular pavement. The drawback, however, was that the tactile pavement used in this study decreased gait stability. In sum, tactile pavement can be used as a partial substitute for vision in maintaining heading direction, but it can also decrease gait stability. Future work should focus on designing tactile pavement that does provided directional clues, but is less destabilizing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Movement Induces the Use of External Spatial Coordinates for Tactile Localization in Congenitally Blind Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heed, Tobias; Möller, Johanna; Röder, Brigitte

    2015-01-01

    To localize touch, the brain integrates spatial information coded in anatomically based and external spatial reference frames. Sighted humans, by default, use both reference frames in tactile localization. In contrast, congenitally blind individuals have been reported to rely exclusively on anatomical coordinates, suggesting a crucial role of the visual system for tactile spatial processing. We tested whether the use of external spatial information in touch can, alternatively, be induced by a movement context. Sighted and congenitally blind humans performed a tactile temporal order judgment task that indexes the use of external coordinates for tactile localization, while they executed bimanual arm movements with uncrossed and crossed start and end postures. In the sighted, start posture and planned end posture of the arm movement modulated tactile localization for stimuli presented before and during movement, indicating automatic, external recoding of touch. Contrary to previous findings, tactile localization of congenitally blind participants, too, was affected by external coordinates, though only for stimuli presented before movement start. Furthermore, only the movement's start posture, but not the planned end posture affected blind individuals' tactile performance. Thus, integration of external coordinates in touch is established without vision, though more selectively than when vision has developed normally, and possibly restricted to movement contexts. The lack of modulation by the planned posture in congenitally blind participants suggests that external coordinates in this group are not mediated by motor efference copy. Instead the task-related frequent posture changes, that is, movement consequences rather than planning, appear to have induced their use of external coordinates.

  3. Exploring potential social influences on brain potentials during anticipation of tactile stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Guannan; Saby, Joni N; Drew, Ashley R; Marshall, Peter J

    2017-03-15

    This study explored interpersonal influences on electrophysiological responses during the anticipation of tactile stimulation. It is well-known that broad, negative-going potentials are present in the event-related potential (ERP) between a forewarning cue and a tactile stimulus. It has also been shown that the alpha-range mu rhythm shows a lateralized desynchronization over central electrode sites during anticipation of tactile stimulation of the hand. The current study used a tactile discrimination task in which a visual cue signaled that an upcoming stimulus would either be delivered 1500ms later to the participant's hand, to a task partner's hand, or to neither person. For the condition in which participants anticipated the tactile stimulation to their own hand, a negative potential (contingent negative variation, CNV) was observed in the ERP at central sites in the 1000ms prior to the tactile stimulus. Significant mu rhythm desynchronization was also present in the same time window. The magnitudes of the ERPs and of the mu desynchronization were greater in the contralateral than in the ipsilateral hemisphere prior to right hand stimulation. Similar ERP and EEG changes were not present when the visual cue indicated that stimulation would be delivered to the task partner or to neither person. The absence of social influences during anticipation of tactile stimulation, and the relationship between the two brain signatures of anticipatory attention (CNV and mu rhythm) are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. A flexible tactile sensitive sheet using a hetero-core fiber optic sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujino, S.; Yamazaki, H.; Hosoki, A.; Watanabe, K.

    2014-05-01

    In this report, we have designed a tactile sensitive sheet based on a hetero-core fiber-optic sensor, which realize an areal sensing by using single sensor potion in one optical fiber line. Recently, flexible and wide-area tactile sensing technology is expected to applied to acquired biological information in living space and robot achieve long-term care services such as welfare and nursing-care and humanoid technology. A hetero-core fiber-optic sensor has several advantages such as thin and flexible transmission line, immunity to EMI. Additionally this sensor is sensitive to moderate bending actions with optical loss changes and is independent of temperature fluctuation. Thus, the hetero-core fiber-optic sensor can be suitable for areal tactile sensing. We measure pressure characteristic of the proposed sensitive sheet by changing the pressure position and pinching characteristic on the surface. The proposed tactile sensitive sheet shows monotonic responses on the whole sensitive sheet surface although different sensitivity by the position is observed at the sensitive sheet surface. Moreover, the tactile sensitive sheet could sufficiently detect the pinching motion. In addition, in order to realize the discrimination between pressure and pinch, we fabricated a doubled-over sensor using a set of tactile sensitive sheets, which has different kinds of silicon robbers as a sensitive sheet surface. In conclusion, the flexible material could be given to the tactile sensation which is attached under proposed sensitive sheet.

  5. When Content Matters: The Role of Processing Code in Tactile Display Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, Thomas K; Sarter, Nadine

    2010-01-01

    The distribution of tasks and stimuli across multiple modalities has been proposed as a means to support multitasking in data-rich environments. Recently, the tactile channel and, more specifically, communication via the use of tactile/haptic icons have received considerable interest. Past research has examined primarily the impact of concurrent task modality on the effectiveness of tactile information presentation. However, it is not well known to what extent the interpretation of iconic tactile patterns is affected by another attribute of information: the information processing codes of concurrent tasks. In two driving simulation studies (n = 25 for each), participants decoded icons composed of either spatial or nonspatial patterns of vibrations (engaging spatial and nonspatial processing code resources, respectively) while concurrently interpreting spatial or nonspatial visual task stimuli. As predicted by Multiple Resource Theory, performance was significantly worse (approximately 5-10 percent worse) when the tactile icons and visual tasks engaged the same processing code, with the overall worst performance in the spatial-spatial task pairing. The findings from these studies contribute to an improved understanding of information processing and can serve as input to multidimensional quantitative models of timesharing performance. From an applied perspective, the results suggest that competition for processing code resources warrants consideration, alongside other factors such as the naturalness of signal-message mapping, when designing iconic tactile displays. Nonspatially encoded tactile icons may be preferable in environments which already rely heavily on spatial processing, such as car cockpits.

  6. Design Methodology for Magnetic Field-Based Soft Tri-Axis Tactile Sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongbo; de Boer, Greg; Kow, Junwai; Alazmani, Ali; Ghajari, Mazdak; Hewson, Robert; Culmer, Peter

    2016-08-24

    Tactile sensors are essential if robots are to safely interact with the external world and to dexterously manipulate objects. Current tactile sensors have limitations restricting their use, notably being too fragile or having limited performance. Magnetic field-based soft tactile sensors offer a potential improvement, being durable, low cost, accurate and high bandwidth, but they are relatively undeveloped because of the complexities involved in design and calibration. This paper presents a general design methodology for magnetic field-based three-axis soft tactile sensors, enabling researchers to easily develop specific tactile sensors for a variety of applications. All aspects (design, fabrication, calibration and evaluation) of the development of tri-axis soft tactile sensors are presented and discussed. A moving least square approach is used to decouple and convert the magnetic field signal to force output to eliminate non-linearity and cross-talk effects. A case study of a tactile sensor prototype, MagOne, was developed. This achieved a resolution of 1.42 mN in normal force measurement (0.71 mN in shear force), good output repeatability and has a maximum hysteresis error of 3.4%. These results outperform comparable sensors reported previously, highlighting the efficacy of our methodology for sensor design.

  7. Sensory Science Education

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Otrel-Cass, Kathrin

    2018-01-01

    little note of the body-mind interactions we have with the material world. Utilizing examples from primary schools, it is argued that a sensory pedagogy in science requires a deliberate sensitization and validation of the senses’ presence and that a sensor pedagogy approach may reveal the unique ways...... in how we all experience the world. Troubling science education pedagogy is therefore also a reconceptualization of who we are and how we make sense of the world and the acceptance that the body-mind is present, imbalanced and complex....

  8. The changing sensory room

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2018-01-01

    In 2017 the kindergarten The Milky Way in the city Vejle in Denmark made a sensory room that has the special ability change whenever wanted by the children and social educators. Kjetil Sandvik (to the right) from Copenhagen University and Klaus Thestrup from Aarhus University reflects upon what...... they saw, took part in and talked with the social educators about. Jacob Knudsen from VIFIN filmed the two gentlemen and organised the project. it is a room composed around common experiments, many self-made objects, open narrative structures. and a combination of digital and analogue elements....

  9. 3D Printing Technologies for Flexible Tactile Sensors toward Wearable Electronics and Electronic Skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changyong Liu

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available 3D printing has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Over the past three decades, various 3D printing technologies have been developed including photopolymerization-based, materials extrusion-based, sheet lamination-based, binder jetting-based, power bed fusion-based and direct energy deposition-based processes. 3D printing offers unparalleled flexibility and simplicity in the fabrication of highly complex 3D objects. Tactile sensors that emulate human tactile perceptions are used to translate mechanical signals such as force, pressure, strain, shear, torsion, bend, vibration, etc. into electrical signals and play a crucial role toward the realization of wearable electronics and electronic skin. To date, many types of 3D printing technologies have been applied in the manufacturing of various types of tactile sensors including piezoresistive, capacitive and piezoelectric sensors. This review attempts to summarize the current state-of-the-art 3D printing technologies and their applications in tactile sensors for wearable electronics and electronic skin. The applications are categorized into five aspects: 3D-printed molds for microstructuring substrate, electrodes and sensing element; 3D-printed flexible sensor substrate and sensor body for tactile sensors; 3D-printed sensing element; 3D-printed flexible and stretchable electrodes for tactile sensors; and fully 3D-printed tactile sensors. Latest advances in the fabrication of tactile sensors by 3D printing are reviewed and the advantages and limitations of various 3D printing technologies and printable materials are discussed. Finally, future development of 3D-printed tactile sensors is discussed.

  10. Contextual cueing of tactile search is coded in an anatomical reference frame.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assumpção, Leonardo; Shi, Zhuanghua; Zang, Xuelian; Müller, Hermann J; Geyer, Thomas

    2018-04-01

    This work investigates the reference frame(s) underlying tactile context memory, a form of statistical learning in a tactile (finger) search task. In this task, if a searched-for target object is repeatedly encountered within a stable spatial arrangement of task-irrelevant distractors, detecting the target becomes more efficient over time (relative to nonrepeated arrangements), as learned target-distractor spatial associations come to guide tactile search, thus cueing attention to the target location. Since tactile search displays can be represented in several reference frames, including multiple external and an anatomical frame, in Experiment 1 we asked whether repeated search displays are represented in tactile memory with reference to an environment-centered or anatomical reference frame. In Experiment 2, we went on examining a hand-centered versus anatomical reference frame of tactile context memory. Observers performed a tactile search task, divided into a learning and test session. At the transition between the two sessions, we introduced postural manipulations of the hands (crossed ↔ uncrossed in Expt. 1; palm-up ↔ palm-down in Expt. 2) to determine the reference frame of tactile contextual cueing. In both experiments, target-distractor associations acquired during learning transferred to the test session when the placement of the target and distractors was held constant in anatomical, but not external, coordinates. In the latter, RTs were even slower for repeated displays. We conclude that tactile contextual learning is coded in an anatomical reference frame. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  12. Modularity in Sensory Auditory Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Clement, Sylvain; Moroni, Christine; Samson, Séverine

    2004-01-01

    The goal of this paper was to review various experimental and neuropsychological studies that support the modular conception of auditory sensory memory or auditory short-term memory. Based on initial findings demonstrating that verbal sensory memory system can be dissociated from a general auditory memory store at the functional and anatomical levels. we reported a series of studies that provided evidence in favor of multiple auditory sensory stores specialized in retaining eit...

  13. A silicon-based flexible tactile sensor for ubiquitous robot companion applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Kunnyun; Lee, Kang Ryeol; Lee, Dae Sung; Cho, Nam-Kyu; Kim, Won Hyo; Park, Kwang-Bum; Park, Hyo-Derk; Kim, Yong Kook; Park, Yon-Kyu; Kim, Jong-Ho

    2006-01-01

    We present the fabrication process and characteristics of a 3-axes flexible tactile sensor available for normal and shear mode fabricated using Si micromachining and packaging technologies. The fabrication processes for the 3 axes flexible tactile sensor were classified in the fabrication of sensor chips and their packaging on the flexible PCB. The variation rate of resistance was about 2.1%/N and 0.5%/N in applying normal and shear force, respectively. Because this tactile sensor can measure the variations of resistance of the semiconductor strain gauge for normal and shear force, it can be used to sense touch, pressure, hardness, and slip

  14. Design of a Large-scale Three-dimensional Flexible Arrayed Tactile Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junxiang Ding

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a new type of large-scale three-dimensional flexible arrayed tactile sensor based on conductive rubber. It can be used to detect three-dimensional force information on the continuous surface of the sensor, which realizes a true skin type tactile sensor. The widely used method of liquid rubber injection molding (LIMS method is used for "the overall injection molding" sample preparation. The structure details of staggered nodes and a new decoupling algorithm of force analysis are given. Simulation results show that the sensor based on this structure can achieve flexible measurement of large-scale 3-D tactile sensor arrays.

  15. Use of early tactile stimulation in rehabilitation of digital nerve injuries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A S

    2000-01-01

    Digital nerves are the most frequently injured peripheral nerve. To improve the recovery of functional sensibility of digital nerve injuries, a prospective randomized controlled study was conducted to see the effect of using early tactile stimulation in rehabilitation of digital nerve injuries. Two specific tactile stimulators were made and prescribed for patients with digital nerve-injury. Twenty-four participants with 32 digital nerve injuries received the prescribed tactile stimulators (experimental group), and another 25 participants with 33 digital nerve injuries received only routine conventional therapy (control group). A significant difference (p sensibility in digital nerve injuries without combined nerve, tendon, and bone injuries.

  16. [Advances in the research of function of Merkel cells in tactile formation of skin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, X; Wei, Z R

    2018-01-20

    Skin is the largest sense organ of human, with many mechanoreceptor cells under epidermis or dermis of skin and Merkel cell is one of them. It has been confirmed that Merkel cells play an important role in the process of mechanical transmission of mammalian soft tactile stimulation. Researches showed that Merkel cells had close relation to tactile formation and functioned by Merkel cell-neurite complexes and ion channels Piezo2. This article reviews Merkel cells and the function, problem and prospect of Merkel cells in tactile formation.

  17. SENSORY AND CONSUMER TESTING LABORATORY

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — These laboratories conduct a wide range of studies to characterize the sensory properties of and consumer responses to foods, beverages, and other consumer products....

  18. Variable sensory perception in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Sarah M

    2018-03-01

    Autism is associated with sensory and cognitive abnormalities. Individuals with autism generally show normal or superior early sensory processing abilities compared to healthy controls, but deficits in complex sensory processing. In the current opinion paper, it will be argued that sensory abnormalities impact cognition by limiting the amount of signal that can be used to interpret and interact with environment. There is a growing body of literature showing that individuals with autism exhibit greater trial-to-trial variability in behavioural and cortical sensory responses. If multiple sensory signals that are highly variable are added together to process more complex sensory stimuli, then this might destabilise later perception and impair cognition. Methods to improve sensory processing have shown improvements in more general cognition. Studies that specifically investigate differences in sensory trial-to-trial variability in autism, and the potential changes in variability before and after treatment, could ascertain if trial-to-trial variability is a good mechanism to target for treatment in autism. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. A revised method for measuring distraction by tactile stimulation [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/42o

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline R. Schechter

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Sensory hypersensitivity (SH refers to the tendency to attend to subtle stimuli, to persist in attending to them, and to find them noxious. SH is relatively common in several developmental disorders including Tourette Syndrome and Chronic Tic Disorder (TS/CTD. This study was an attempt to quantify the extent to which a mild tactile stimulus distracts one’s attention in TS/CTD. Fourteen adults with TS/CTD and 14 tic-free control subjects completed questionnaires regarding SH and ADHD, and TS/CTD subjects completed self-report measures of current and past tic disorder symptoms and of current obsessions and compulsions. All subjects performed a sustained attention choice reaction time task during alternating blocks in which a mildly annoying stimulus (von Frey hair was applied to the ankle (“ON” or was not applied (“OFF”. We present here the clinical and cognitive task data for each subject.

  20. Human locognosic acuity on the arm varies with explicit and implicit manipulations of attention: implications for interpreting elevated tactile acuity on an amputation stump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Boyle, D J; Moore, C E; Poliakoff, E; Butterworth, R; Sutton, A; Cody, F W

    2001-06-01

    In Experiment 1, normal subjects' ability to localize tactile stimuli (locognosia) delivered to the upper arm was significantly higher when they were instructed explicitly to direct their attention selectively to that segment than when they were instructed explicitly to distribute their attention across the whole arm. This elevation of acuity was eliminated when subjects' attentional resources were divided by superimposition of an effortful, secondary task during stimulation. In Experiment 2, in the absence of explicit attentional instruction, subjects' locognosic acuity on one of three arm segments was significantly higher when stimulation of that segment was 2.5 times more probable than that of stimulation of the other two segments. We surmise that the attentional mechanisms responsible for such modulations of locognosic acuity in normal subjects may contribute to the elevated sensory acuity observed on the stumps of amputees.

  1. Spatial imagery relies on a sensory independent, though sensory sensitive, functional organization within the parietal cortex: a fMRI study of angle discrimination in sighted and congenitally blind individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonino, Daniela; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Bernardi, Giulio; Sani, Lorenzo; Gentili, Claudio; Vecchi, Tomaso; Pietrini, Pietro

    2015-02-01

    Although vision offers distinctive information to space representation, individuals who lack vision since birth often show perceptual and representational skills comparable to those found in sighted individuals. However, congenitally blind individuals may result in impaired spatial analysis, when engaging in 'visual' spatial features (e.g., perspective or angle representation) or complex spatial mental abilities. In the present study, we measured behavioral and brain responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging in sighted and congenitally blind individuals during spatial imagery based on a modified version of the mental clock task (e.g., angle discrimination) and a simple recognition control condition, as conveyed across distinct sensory modalities: visual (sighted individuals only), tactile and auditory. Blind individuals were significantly less accurate during the auditory task, but comparable-to-sighted during the tactile task. As expected, both groups showed common neural activations in intraparietal and superior parietal regions across visual and non-visual spatial perception and imagery conditions, indicating the more abstract, sensory independent functional organization of these cortical areas, a property that we named supramodality. At the same time, however, comparisons in brain responses and functional connectivity patterns across experimental conditions demonstrated also a functional lateralization, in a way that correlated with the distinct behavioral performance in blind and sighted individuals. Specifically, blind individuals relied more on right parietal regions, mainly in the tactile and less in the auditory spatial processing. In sighted, spatial representation across modalities relied more on left parietal regions. In conclusions, intraparietal and superior parietal regions subserve supramodal spatial representations in sighted and congenitally blind individuals. Differences in their recruitment across non-visual spatial processing in

  2. HIV Associated Sensory Neuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    G, Amruth; S, Praveen-Kumar; B, Nataraju; Bs, Nagaraja

    2014-07-01

    In the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy, sensory neuropathies have increased in prevalence. We have documented the frequency and profile of the two most common forms of sensory neuropathies associated with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and looked into clinicoelectrophysiological correlates to differentiate the two entities. The study population comprised of all consecutive patients detected to be HIV positive and attending the Neurology outpatient department (from March 2011 to March 2012) who were aged ≥ 18 years and were able to give informed consent. The data were collected from the patient records (including CD4 counts and treatment details) and questionnaire based interview with each patient. All patients underwent detailed clinical examination and nerve conduction studies (NCSs). Among the total study population of 50 patients, there were 31 men and 19 women. Thirty two patients were in age range of 21 - 40 years and rest were above 40 years. 25 were on antiretroviral therapy (18 on regimen containing zidovudine; seven on regimen containing stavudine). The mean duration of antiretroviral therapy was 16.6±8.4 months. Low CD4 counts ( 40 years. Subclinical neuropathy was common in those on antiretroviral therapy. Axonal neuropathy was the commonest pattern noted in patients who were receiving antiretroviral therapy and demyelinating neuropathy in patients not on antiretroviral therapy. Surprisingly no significant correlation was found between low CD4 counts and symptomatic neuropathy.

  3. Developmental sequelae and neurophysiologic substrates of sensory seeking in infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cara R. Damiano-Goodwin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that early differences in sensory responsiveness arise from atypical neural function and produce cascading effects on development across domains. This longitudinal study prospectively followed infants at heightened risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD based on their status as younger siblings of children diagnosed with ASD (Sibs-ASD and infants at relatively lower risk for ASD (siblings of typically developing children; Sibs-TD to examine the developmental sequelae and possible neurophysiological substrates of a specific sensory response pattern: unusually intense interest in nonsocial sensory stimuli or “sensory seeking.” At 18 months, sensory seeking and social orienting were measured with the Sensory Processing Assessment, and a potential neural signature for sensory seeking (i.e., frontal alpha asymmetry was measured via resting state electroencephalography. At 36 months, infants’ social symptomatology was assessed in a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Sibs-ASD showed elevated sensory seeking relative to Sibs-TD, and increased sensory seeking was concurrently associated with reduced social orienting across groups and resting frontal asymmetry in Sibs-ASD. Sensory seeking also predicted later social symptomatology. Findings suggest that sensory seeking may produce cascading effects on social development in infants at risk for ASD and that atypical frontal asymmetry may underlie this atypical pattern of sensory responsiveness. Keywords: Sensory, Autism, Infant siblings, Longitudinal, Frontal asymmetry, EEG

  4. A Portable Piezoelectric Tactile Terminal for Braille Readers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramiro Velázquez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces a novel concept on reading assistive technologies for the blind: the TactoBook, a system that is able to translate entire electronic books (eBooks to Braille code and to reproduce them in portable electronic Braille terminals. The TactoBook consists of a computer-based translator that converts fast and automatically any eBook into Braille. The Braille version of the eBook is then encrypted as a file and stored in a USB memory drive which is later inserted and reproduced in a compact, lightweight, and highly-portable tactile terminal. In particular, this paper presents a piezoelectric ultrasonic actuation approach to design and implement such portable Braille terminal. Actuating mechanism, design concept, first prototype, and performance results are presented and discussed.

  5. Tactile Architectural Models as Universal ‘Urban Furniture’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kłopotowska, Agnieszka

    2017-10-01

    Tactile architectural models and maquettes have been built in the external public spaces of Polish cities since the latter half of the 00s of the 21st century. These objects are designed for the blind, but also other people - tourists, children, and those who arrive in wheelchairs. This collection has got currently more than 70 implements, which places Poland in the group of European leaders. Unfortunately, this “furniture”, is not always “convenient” and safe for all recipients. Studies, which have been conducted together with Maciej Kłopotowski since 2016 across the country, show a number of serious design and executive mistakes or examples of misuse. The purpose of this article is drawing attention to these issues and pointing out ways how they can be avoided. These objects may become completely valuable, universal tool for learning and a great way of studying architecture in an alternative way.

  6. Tactile feedback display with spatial and temporal resolutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishniakou, Siarhei; Lewis, Brian W; Niu, Xiaofan; Kargar, Alireza; Sun, Ke; Kalajian, Michael; Park, Namseok; Yang, Muchuan; Jing, Yi; Brochu, Paul; Sun, Zhelin; Li, Chun; Nguyen, Truong; Pei, Qibing; Wang, Deli

    2013-01-01

    We report the electronic recording of the touch contact and pressure using an active matrix pressure sensor array made of transparent zinc oxide thin-film transistors and tactile feedback display using an array of diaphragm actuators made of an interpenetrating polymer elastomer network. Digital replay, editing and manipulation of the recorded touch events were demonstrated with both spatial and temporal resolutions. Analog reproduction of the force is also shown possible using the polymer actuators, despite of the high driving voltage. The ability to record, store, edit, and replay touch information adds an additional dimension to digital technologies and extends the capabilities of modern information exchange with the potential to revolutionize physical learning, social networking, e-commerce, robotics, gaming, medical and military applications.

  7. Tapered whiskers are required for active tactile sensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hires, Samuel Andrew; Pammer, Lorenz; Svoboda, Karel; Golomb, David

    2013-11-19

    Many mammals forage and burrow in dark constrained spaces. Touch through facial whiskers is important during these activities, but the close quarters makes whisker deployment challenging. The diverse shapes of facial whiskers reflect distinct ecological niches. Rodent whiskers are conical, often with a remarkably linear taper. Here we use theoretical and experimental methods to analyze interactions of mouse whiskers with objects. When pushed into objects, conical whiskers suddenly slip at a critical angle. In contrast, cylindrical whiskers do not slip for biologically plausible movements. Conical whiskers sweep across objects and textures in characteristic sequences of brief sticks and slips, which provide information about the tactile world. In contrast, cylindrical whiskers stick and remain stuck, even when sweeping across fine textures. Thus the conical whisker structure is adaptive for sensor mobility in constrained environments and in feature extraction during active haptic exploration of objects and surfaces. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01350.001.

  8. Tactile Feedback Display with Spatial and Temporal Resolutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishniakou, Siarhei; Lewis, Brian W.; Niu, Xiaofan; Kargar, Alireza; Sun, Ke; Kalajian, Michael; Park, Namseok; Yang, Muchuan; Jing, Yi; Brochu, Paul; Sun, Zhelin; Li, Chun; Nguyen, Truong; Pei, Qibing; Wang, Deli

    2013-08-01

    We report the electronic recording of the touch contact and pressure using an active matrix pressure sensor array made of transparent zinc oxide thin-film transistors and tactile feedback display using an array of diaphragm actuators made of an interpenetrating polymer elastomer network. Digital replay, editing and manipulation of the recorded touch events were demonstrated with both spatial and temporal resolutions. Analog reproduction of the force is also shown possible using the polymer actuators, despite of the high driving voltage. The ability to record, store, edit, and replay touch information adds an additional dimension to digital technologies and extends the capabilities of modern information exchange with the potential to revolutionize physical learning, social networking, e-commerce, robotics, gaming, medical and military applications.

  9. Visual and tactile length matching in spatial neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisiach, Edoardo; McIntosh, Robert D; Dijkerman, H Chris; McClements, Kevin I; Colombo, Mariarosa; Milner, A David

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that many patients with spatial neglect underestimate the horizontal extent of leftwardly located shapes (presented on screen or on paper) relative to rightwardly located shapes. This has been used to help explain their leftward biases in line bisection. In the present study we have tested patients with right hemisphere damage, either with or without neglect, on a comparable length matching task, but using 3-dimensional objects. The task was executed first visually without tactile contact, and second through touch without vision. In both sense modalities, we found that patients with neglect, but not those without, tended to underestimate leftward located objects relative to rightward located objects, differing significantly in this regard from healthy subjects. However these lateral biases were not as frequent or as pronounced as in previous studies using 2-D visual shapes. Despite the similar asymmetries in the two sense modalities, we found only a small correlation between them, and clear double dissociations were observed among our patients. We conclude that leftward length underestimation cannot be attributed to any one single cause. First it cannot be entirely due to impairments in the visual pathways, such as hemianopia and/or processing biases, since the disorder is also seen in the tactile modality. At the same time, however, length underestimation phenomena cannot be fully explained as a disruption of a supramodal central size processor, since they can occur in either vision or touch alone. Our data would fit best with a multiple-factor model in which some patients show leftward length underestimation for modality-specific reasons, while others do so due to a more high-level disruption of size judgements.

  10. Tactile Digital Video Globes: a New Way to Outreach Oceanography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poteau, A.; Claustre, H.; Scheurle, C.; Jessin, T.; Fontana, C.

    2016-02-01

    One objective of the "Ocean Autonomous Observation" team of the Laboratory of Oceanography of Villefranche-sur-mer is to develop new means to outreach our science activities to various audiences. Besides the scientific community, this includes students and targets the general public, school pupils, and stakeholders. In this context, we have acquired a digital video globe with tactile capabilities and we will present here the various applications that we have been developing. A first type of products concerns the visualization of oceanic properties (SST, salinity, density, Chla, O2, NO3, irradiance) by diving from the surface (generally from satellite data) into the Ocean interior (through the use of global data bases, Argo, WOA). In second place, specific applications deal with surface animations allowing highlighting the seasonality of some properties (Chla, SST, ice cover, currents; based on satellite as well as modeling outputs). Finally, we show a variety of applications developed using the tactile functionality of the spherical display. In particular real-time vertical profiles acquired by Bio-Argo floats become directly accessible for the entire open ocean. Such a new tool plus its novel applications has been presented to school children, and to the wider public (at the so-called "fête de la science") as well as to potential sponsors of our science-outreach activities. Their feedback has always been highly positive and encouraging in terms of impact. From the scientists point of view, the use of this new support can easily compete with the classical PowerPoint, is much more attractive and fun and undeniably helps to outreach the various aspects of our pluridisciplinary science.

  11. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplementation and sensory processing in toddlers with ASD symptomology born preterm: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Kelly M; Gracious, Barbara; Klebanoff, Mark A; Rogers, Lynette K; Rausch, Joseph; Coury, Daniel L; Keim, Sarah A

    2017-12-01

    Despite advances in the health and long-term survival of infants born preterm, they continue to face developmental challenges including higher risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and atypical sensory processing patterns. This secondary analysis aimed to describe sensory profiles and explore effects of combined dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) supplementation on parent-reported sensory processing in toddlers born preterm who were exhibiting ASD symptoms. 90-day randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial. 31 children aged 18-38months who were born at ≤29weeks' gestation. Mixed effects regression analyses followed intent to treat and explored effects on parent-reported sensory processing measured by the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile (ITSP). Baseline ITSP scores reflected atypical sensory processing, with the majority of atypical scores falling below the mean. Sensory processing sections: auditory (above=0%, below=65%), vestibular (above=13%, below=48%), tactile (above=3%, below=35%), oral sensory (above=10%; below=26%), visual (above=10%, below=16%); sensory processing quadrants: low registration (above=3%; below=71%), sensation avoiding (above=3%; below=39%), sensory sensitivity (above=3%; below=35%), and sensation seeking (above=10%; below=19%). Twenty-eight of 31 children randomized had complete outcome data. Although not statistically significant (p=0.13), the magnitude of the effect for reduction in behaviors associated with sensory sensitivity was medium to large (effect size=0.57). No other scales reflected a similar magnitude of effect size (range: 0.10 to 0.32). The findings provide support for larger randomized trials of omega fatty acid supplementation for children at risk of sensory processing difficulties, especially those born preterm. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Psychophysical sensory examination in individuals with a history of methylmercury exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takaoka, Shigeru; Fujino, Tadashi; Sekikawa, Tomoko; Miyaoka, Tetsu

    2004-01-01

    Paresthesias are the first symptom that people report following toxic doses of methylmercury. The authors conducted a psychophysical study of tactile sensation to evaluate the somatosensory abilities of subjects living in a methylmercury-polluted area around Minamata City, Japan. The authors examined control subjects and methylmercury-exposed subjects with and without numbness. A history of methylmercury exposure was taken and a neurological examination performed. Aluminum-oxide abrasive papers were used as stimuli in a psychophysical sensory examination of fine-surface-texture discrimination. Difference thresholds from 3 μm were calculated by the two-alternative, forced-choice technique. Difference thresholds in control subjects were also calculated for comparison. The difference threshold was 6.3 μm in exposed subjects with sensory symptoms, 4.9 μm in exposed subjects without sensory symptoms, and 2.7 μm in control subjects. Acuity of fine-surface-texture discrimination was disturbed not only in subjects with clinical complaints of hand numbness, but also in subjects without hand numbness who lived in the district where methylmercury exposure occurred. Sensory testing using a psychophysical test of fine-surface-texture discrimination in this population suggests that the number of individuals affected by methylmercury exposure in the polluted area was greater than previously reported

  13. Using hardware models to quantify sensory data acquisition across the rat vibrissal array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopal, Venkatesh; Hartmann, Mitra J Z

    2007-12-01

    Our laboratory investigates how animals acquire sensory data to understand the neural computations that permit complex sensorimotor behaviors. We use the rat whisker system as a model to study active tactile sensing; our aim is to quantitatively describe the spatiotemporal structure of incoming sensory information to place constraints on subsequent neural encoding and processing. In the first part of this paper we describe the steps in the development of a hardware model (a 'sensobot') of the rat whisker array that can perform object feature extraction. We show how this model provides insights into the neurophysiology and behavior of the real animal. In the second part of this paper, we suggest that sensory data acquisition across the whisker array can be quantified using the complete derivative. We use the example of wall-following behavior to illustrate that computing the appropriate spatial gradients across a sensor array would enable an animal or mobile robot to predict the sensory data that will be acquired at the next time step.

  14. Exploring the Invisible Universe: A Tactile and Braille Exhibit of Astronomical Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcand, K. K.; Watzke, M.; de Pree, C.

    2010-06-01

    A tactile/Braille exhibit for the visually impaired community in the USA was launched in July 2009. The exhibit is part of the global From Earth to the Universe (FETTU) project, a Cornerstone of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The science content of the travelling tactile/Braille exhibit includes explanations of our Sun, Eta Carinae, the Crab Nebula, the Whirlpool Galaxy and the electromagnetic spectrum, and was adapted from the tactile/Braille book Touch the Invisible Sky. We present some of the early observations and findings on the tactile/Braille FETTU exhibit. The new exhibit opens a wider door to experiencing and understanding astronomy for the underserved visually impaired population.

  15. A novel flexible tactile sensor based on Ce-doped BaTiO3 nanofibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Yongyong; Xu, Zhuo; Fu, Xiaotian; Li, Fei; Li, Jinglei; Liao, Zhipeng; Liu, Weihua

    2017-07-01

    The performance of a robotic hand is severely limited by the tactile feedback information similar to a human hand. Hence, a novel and robust tactile sensor has been developed to cope with the challenge of robotic hand technology. Piezoelectric material is proposed as a suitable candidate for a new efficient tactile sensor due to its excellent piezoelectric properties. In this paper, a novel flexible tactile sensor based on Ce-doped BTO nanofibers was developed. The doping mechanism of cerium ions and the working process of the sensor were analysed. The results showed that sheer stress had no contribution to the sensor, this indicated that the sensor was easy to control according to the individual’s wish. The output voltage of the sensor could reach up to 0.078 V which showed great potential for the future of intelligent robot skin application.

  16. Making sense. What can we learn from experts of tactile knowledge?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla Groth

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This article describes an embodied way of making sense through making with the hands. We examine the potential o ftactile experience in the making process and analyse what tactile experiences mean. The study takes place in the context of an era marked by audio-visual dominance.The article presents a case study that observed and interviewed deafblind makers while they worked with clay. The findings reveal that modelling in clay resembles the visualisation process of sketching. As such, it may contribute to thinking through the hands. Language is not a self-evident communication tool for transferring tactile skills. Based on our case study, we propose the use of tactile communication in the process of transferring tactile knowledge through making with another person’s hands.

  17. A Dexterity and Tactility Evaluation of the Australian Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) Glove

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Scanlan, S

    2004-01-01

    This report details the tactility and dexterity of four different glove types, including the Australian in-service NBC butyl rubber glove and Nomex flying glove for standardized (Purdue pegboard) and operational...

  18. Sensory adaptation for timing perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roseboom, Warrick; Linares, Daniel; Nishida, Shin'ya

    2015-04-22

    Recent sensory experience modifies subjective timing perception. For example, when visual events repeatedly lead auditory events, such as when the sound and video tracks of a movie are out of sync, subsequent vision-leads-audio presentations are reported as more simultaneous. This phenomenon could provide insights into the fundamental problem of how timing is represented in the brain, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we show that the effect of recent experience on timing perception is not just subjective; recent sensory experience also modifies relative timing discrimination. This result indicates that recent sensory history alters the encoding of relative timing in sensory areas, excluding explanations of the subjective phenomenon based only on decision-level changes. The pattern of changes in timing discrimination suggests the existence of two sensory components, similar to those previously reported for visual spatial attributes: a lateral shift in the nonlinear transducer that maps relative timing into perceptual relative timing and an increase in transducer slope around the exposed timing. The existence of these components would suggest that previous explanations of how recent experience may change the sensory encoding of timing, such as changes in sensory latencies or simple implementations of neural population codes, cannot account for the effect of sensory adaptation on timing perception.

  19. Sensory characteristics of camphor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, B G

    1990-05-01

    The perceptual effects of camphor on hairy skin were measured in a psychophysical experiment. Subjects rated the intensity and quality of sensations produced when a solution of 20% camphor (in a vehicle of ethanol and deionized H2O) was applied topically to the volar forearm. Under conditions in which skin temperature was varied either from 33-43 degrees C or from 33-18 degrees C, it was found that camphor increased the perceived intensity of the cutaneous sensations produced during heating and cooling. Although camphor's effect appeared to be greater during warming, neither effect was large. Camphor also produced a significant increase in the frequency of reports of "burning." It is concluded that camphor is a relatively weak sensory irritant that may have a modest excitatory effect on thermosensitive (and perhaps nociceptive) cutaneous fibers.

  20. Inhibitory Mechanisms in Primary Somatosensory Cortex Mediate the Effects of Peripheral Electrical Stimulation on Tactile Spatial Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Kei; Otsuru, Naofumi; Inukai, Yasuto; Kojima, Sho; Miyaguchi, Shota; Tsuiki, Shota; Sasaki, Ryoki; Onishi, Hideaki

    2018-06-01

    Selective afferent activation can be used to improve somatosensory function, possibly by altering cortical inhibitory circuit activity. Peripheral electrical stimulation (PES) is widely used to induce selective afferent activation, and its effect may depend on PES intensity. Therefore, we investigated the effects of high- and low-intensity PES applied to the right index finger on tactile discrimination performance and cortical sensory-evoked potential paired-pulse depression (SEP-PPD) in 25 neurologically healthy subjects. In Experiment 1, a grating orientation task (GOT) was performed before and immediately after local high- and low-intensity PES (both delivered as 1-s, 20-Hz trains of 0.2-ms electrical pulses at 5-s intervals). In Experiment 2, PPD of SEP components N20/P25_SEP-PPD and N20_SEP-PPD, respectively, were assessed before and immediately after high- and low-intensity PES. Improved GOT discrimination performance after high-intensity PES (reduced discrimination threshold) was associated with lower baseline performance (higher baseline discrimination threshold). Subjects were classified into low and high (baseline) GOT performance groups. Improved GOT discrimination performance in the low GOT performance group was significantly associated with a greater N20_SEP-PPD decrease (weaker PPD). Subjects were also classified into GOT improvement and GOT decrement groups. High-intensity PES decreased N20_SEP-PPD in the GOT improvement group but increased N20_SEP-PPD in the GOT decrement group. Furthermore, a greater decrease in GOT discrimination threshold was significantly associated with a greater N20_SEP-PPD decrease in the GOT improvement group. These results suggest that high-intensity PES can improve sensory perception in subjects with low baseline function by modulating cortical inhibitory circuits in primary somatosensory cortex. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Task demands affect spatial reference frame weighting during tactile localization in sighted and congenitally blind adults

    OpenAIRE

    Heed, Tobias; Roeder, Brigitte; Badde, Stephanie; Schubert, Jonathan

    2017-01-01

    Task demands modulate tactile localization in sighted humans, presumably through weight adjustments in the spatial integration of anatomical, skin-based, and external, posture-based information. In contrast, previous studies have suggested that congenitally blind humans, by default, refrain from automatic spatial integration and localize touch using only skin-based information. Here, sighted and congenitally blind participants localized tactile targets on the palm or back of one hand, while i...

  2. Integration of force reflection with tactile sensing for minimally invasive robotics-assisted tumor localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talasaz, A; Patel, R V

    2013-01-01

    Tactile sensing and force reflection have been the subject of considerable research for tumor localization in soft-tissue palpation. The work presented in this paper investigates the relevance of force feedback (presented visually as well as directly) during tactile sensing (presented visually only) for tumor localization using an experimental setup close to one that could be applied for real robotics-assisted minimally invasive surgery. The setup is a teleoperated (master-slave) system facilitated with a state-of-the-art minimally invasive probe with a rigidly mounted tactile sensor at the tip and an externally mounted force sensor at the base of the probe. The objective is to capture the tactile information and measure the interaction forces between the probe and tissue during palpation and to explore how they can be integrated to improve the performance of tumor localization. To quantitatively explore the effect of force feedback on tactile sensing tumor localization, several experiments were conducted by human subjects to locate artificial tumors embedded in the ex vivo bovine livers. The results show that using tactile sensing in a force-controlled environment can realize, on average, 57 percent decrease in the maximum force and 55 percent decrease in the average force applied to tissue while increasing the tumor detection accuracy by up to 50 percent compared to the case of using tactile feedback alone. The results also show that while visual presentation of force feedback gives straightforward quantitative measures, improved performance of tactile sensing tumor localization is achieved at the expense of longer times for the user. Also, the quickness and intuitive data mapping of direct force feedback makes it more appealing to experienced users.

  3. Introducing the tactile speller: an ERP-based brain-computer interface for communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Waal, Marjolein; Severens, Marianne; Geuze, Jeroen; Desain, Peter

    2012-08-01

    In this study, a tactile speller was developed and compared with existing visual speller paradigms in terms of classification performance and elicited event-related potentials (ERPs). The fingertips of healthy participants were stimulated with short mechanical taps while electroencephalographic activity was measured. The letters of the alphabet were allocated to different fingers and subjects could select one of the fingers by silently counting the number of taps on that finger. The offline and online performance of the tactile speller was compared to the overt and covert attention visual matrix speller and the covert attention Hex-o-Spell speller. For the tactile speller, binary target versus non-target classification accuracy was 67% on average. Classification and decoding accuracies of the tactile speller were lower than the overt matrix speller, but higher than the covert matrix speller, and similar to Hex-o-Spell. The average maximum information transfer rate of the tactile speller was 7.8 bits min-1 (1.51 char min-1), with the best subject reaching a bit-rate of 27 bits min-1 (5.22 char min-1). An increased amplitude of the P300 ERP component was found in response to attended stimuli versus unattended stimuli in all speller types. In addition, the tactile and overt matrix spellers also used the N2 component for discriminating between targets and non-targets. Overall, this study shows that it is possible to use a tactile speller for communication. The tactile speller provides a useful alternative to the visual speller, especially for people whose eye gaze is impaired.

  4. The Design of a Novel Flexible Tactile Sensor Based on Pressure-conductive Rubber

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Xu

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel flexible tactile sensor using conductive rubber with electrical-wires knitted method is presented. The sensor’s design is based on rubber’s pressure-sensitive property. It is flexible and can be mounted on any object to measure tactile information. The mathematic piezoresistivity model of the rubber is described, and we also discuss the sensor’s structure and scanning method. The simulation results show that the sensor can detect pressure accurately.

  5. Tic Modulation Using Sensory Tricks

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    Rebecca W. Gilbert

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: A sensory trick, or geste antagoniste, is defined as a physical gesture (such as a touch on a particular body part that mitigates the production of an involuntary movement. This phenomenon is most commonly described as a feature of dystonia. Here we present a case of successful modulation of tics using sensory tricks.Case Report:: A case report and video are presented. The case and video demonstrate a 19-year-old male who successfully controlled his tics with various sensory tricks.Discussion: It is underappreciated by movement disorder physicians that sensory tricks can play a role in tics. Introducing this concept to patients could potentially help in tic control. In addition, understanding the pathophysiological underpinnings of sensory tricks could help in the understanding of the pathophysiology of tics.

  6. Sensory analysis of pet foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppel, Kadri

    2014-08-01

    Pet food palatability depends first and foremost on the pet and is related to the pet food sensory properties such as aroma, texture and flavor. Sensory analysis of pet foods may be conducted by humans via descriptive or hedonic analysis, pets via acceptance or preference tests, and through a number of instrumental analysis methods. Sensory analysis of pet foods provides additional information on reasons behind palatable and unpalatable foods as pets lack linguistic capabilities. Furthermore, sensory analysis may be combined with other types of information such as personality and environment factors to increase understanding of acceptable pet foods. Most pet food flavor research is proprietary and, thus, there are a limited number of publications available. Funding opportunities for pet food studies would increase research and publications and this would help raise public awareness of pet food related issues. This mini-review addresses current pet food sensory analysis literature and discusses future challenges and possibilities. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. Detection of optogenetic stimulation in somatosensory cortex by non-human primates--towards artificial tactile sensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Travis; Ozden, Ilker; Brush, Benjamin; Borton, David; Wagner, Fabien; Agha, Naubahar; Sheinberg, David L; Nurmikko, Arto V

    2014-01-01

    Neuroprosthesis research aims to enable communication between the brain and external assistive devices while restoring lost functionality such as occurs from stroke, spinal cord injury or neurodegenerative diseases. In future closed-loop sensorimotor prostheses, one approach is to use neuromodulation as direct stimulus to the brain to compensate for a lost sensory function and help the brain to integrate relevant information for commanding external devices via, e.g. movement intention. Current neuromodulation techniques rely mainly of electrical stimulation. Here we focus specifically on the question of eliciting a biomimetically relevant sense of touch by direct stimulus of the somatosensory cortex by introducing optogenetic techniques as an alternative to electrical stimulation. We demonstrate that light activated opsins can be introduced to target neurons in the somatosensory cortex of non-human primates and be optically activated to create a reliably detected sensation which the animal learns to interpret as a tactile sensation localized within the hand. The accomplishment highlighted here shows how optical stimulation of a relatively small group of mostly excitatory somatosensory neurons in the nonhuman primate brain is sufficient for eliciting a useful sensation from data acquired by simultaneous electrophysiology and from behavioral metrics. In this first report to date on optically neuromodulated behavior in the somatosensory cortex of nonhuman primates we do not yet dissect the details of the sensation the animals exerience or contrast it to those evoked by electrical stimulation, issues of considerable future interest.

  8. Detection of optogenetic stimulation in somatosensory cortex by non-human primates--towards artificial tactile sensation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis May

    Full Text Available Neuroprosthesis research aims to enable communication between the brain and external assistive devices while restoring lost functionality such as occurs from stroke, spinal cord injury or neurodegenerative diseases. In future closed-loop sensorimotor prostheses, one approach is to use neuromodulation as direct stimulus to the brain to compensate for a lost sensory function and help the brain to integrate relevant information for commanding external devices via, e.g. movement intention. Current neuromodulation techniques rely mainly of electrical stimulation. Here we focus specifically on the question of eliciting a biomimetically relevant sense of touch by direct stimulus of the somatosensory cortex by introducing optogenetic techniques as an alternative to electrical stimulation. We demonstrate that light activated opsins can be introduced to target neurons in the somatosensory cortex of non-human primates and be optically activated to create a reliably detected sensation which the animal learns to interpret as a tactile sensation localized within the hand. The accomplishment highlighted here shows how optical stimulation of a relatively small group of mostly excitatory somatosensory neurons in the nonhuman primate brain is sufficient for eliciting a useful sensation from data acquired by simultaneous electrophysiology and from behavioral metrics. In this first report to date on optically neuromodulated behavior in the somatosensory cortex of nonhuman primates we do not yet dissect the details of the sensation the animals exerience or contrast it to those evoked by electrical stimulation, issues of considerable future interest.

  9. Toward an Interdisciplinary Understanding of Sensory Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Integration of the Neural and Symptom Literatures

    OpenAIRE

    Schauder, Kimberly B.; Bennetto, Loisa

    2016-01-01

    Sensory processing differences have long been associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and they have recently been added to the diagnostic criteria for the disorder. The focus on sensory processing in ASD research has increased substantially in the last decade. This research has been approached from two different perspectives: the first focuses on characterizing the symptoms that manifest in response to real world sensory stimulation, and the second focuses on the neural pathways and m...

  10. Tactile Perception of Roughness and Hardness to Discriminate Materials by Friction-Induced Vibration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuyang Ding

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The human fingertip is an exquisitely powerful bio-tactile sensor in perceiving different materials based on various highly-sensitive mechanoreceptors distributed all over the skin. The tactile perception of surface roughness and material hardness can be estimated by skin vibrations generated during a fingertip stroking of a surface instead of being maintained in a static position. Moreover, reciprocating sliding with increasing velocities and pressures are two common behaviors in humans to discriminate different materials, but the question remains as to what the correlation of the sliding velocity and normal load on the tactile perceptions of surface roughness and hardness is for material discrimination. In order to investigate this correlation, a finger-inspired crossed-I beam structure tactile tester has been designed to mimic the anthropic tactile discrimination behaviors. A novel method of characterizing the fast Fourier transform integral (FFT slope of the vibration acceleration signal generated from fingertip rubbing on surfaces at increasing sliding velocity and normal load, respectively, are defined as kv and kw, and is proposed to discriminate the surface roughness and hardness of different materials. Over eight types of materials were tested, and they proved the capability and advantages of this high tactile-discriminating method. Our study may find applications in investigating humanoid robot perceptual abilities.

  11. Investigating the time course of tactile reflexive attention using a non-spatial discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Eleanor; Poliakoff, Ellen; Brown, Richard J

    2008-06-01

    Peripheral cues are thought to facilitate responses to stimuli presented at the same location because they lead to exogenous attention shifts. Facilitation has been observed in numerous studies of visual and auditory attention, but there have been only four demonstrations of tactile facilitation, all in studies with potential confounds. Three studies used a spatial (finger versus thumb) discrimination task, where the cue could have provided a spatial framework that might have assisted the discrimination of subsequent targets presented on the same side as the cue. The final study circumvented this problem by using a non-spatial discrimination; however, the cues were informative and interspersed with visual cues which may have affected the attentional effects observed. In the current study, therefore, we used a non-spatial tactile frequency discrimination task following a non-informative tactile white noise cue. When the target was presented 150 ms after the cue, we observed faster discrimination responses to targets presented on the same side compared to the opposite side as the cue; by 1000 ms, responses were significantly faster to targets presented on the opposite side to the cue. Thus, we demonstrated that tactile attentional facilitation can be observed in a non-spatial discrimination task, under unimodal conditions and with entirely non-predictive cues. Furthermore, we provide the first demonstration of significant tactile facilitation and tactile inhibition of return within a single experiment.

  12. Tactile-Foot Stimulation Can Assist the Navigation of People with Visual Impairment

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    Ramiro Velázquez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Tactile interfaces that stimulate the plantar surface with vibrations could represent a step forward toward the development of wearable, inconspicuous, unobtrusive, and inexpensive assistive devices for people with visual impairments. Objective. To study how people understand information through their feet and to maximize the capabilities of tactile-foot perception for assisting human navigation. Methods. Based on the physiology of the plantar surface, three prototypes of electronic tactile interfaces for the foot have been developed. With important technological improvements between them, all three prototypes essentially consist of a set of vibrating actuators embedded in a foam shoe-insole. Perceptual experiments involving direction recognition and real-time navigation in space were conducted with a total of 60 voluntary subjects. Results. The developed prototypes demonstrated that they are capable of transmitting tactile information that is easy and fast to understand. Average direction recognition rates were 76%, 88.3%, and 94.2% for subjects wearing the first, second, and third prototype, respectively. Exhibiting significant advances in tactile-foot stimulation, the third prototype was evaluated in navigation tasks. Results show that subjects were capable of following directional instructions useful for navigating spaces. Conclusion. Footwear providing tactile stimulation can be considered for assisting the navigation of people with visual impairments.

  13. Retention of high tactile acuity throughout the life span in blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, Gordon E; Madison, Cindee; Vaughn, Brenna N; Cheong, Allen M Y; Miller, Joseph C

    2008-11-01

    Previous studies of tactile acuity on the fingertip, using passive touch, have demonstrated an age-related decline in spatial resolution for both sighted and blind subjects. We have reexamined this age dependence with two newly designed tactile-acuity charts that require active exploration of the test symbols. One chart used dot patterns similar to braille, and the other used embossed Landolt rings. Groups of blind braille readers and sighted subjects ranging from 12 to 85 years old were tested in two experiments. We replicated previous findings for sighted subjects by showing an age-related decrease in tactile acuity by nearly 1% per year. Surprisingly, the blind subjects retained high acuity into old age, showing no age-related decline. For the blind subjects, tactile acuity did not correlate with braille reading speed, the amount of daily reading, or the age at which braille was learned. We conclude that when measured with active touch, blind subjects retain high tactile acuity into old age, unlike their aging sighted peers. We propose that blind people's use of active touch in daily activities, not specifically braille reading, results in preservation of tactile acuity across the life span.

  14. Structural design and output characteristic analysis of magnetostrictive tactile sensor for robotic applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Wendong; Wang, Bowen; Liu, Huaping; Li, Yunkai; Zhao, Ran; Weng, Ling; Zhang, Changgeng

    2018-05-01

    A novel magnetostrictive tactile sensor has been designed according to the transduction mechanism of cilia and Villari effect of iron-gallium alloy. The tactile sensor consists of a Galfenol beam, a pair of permanent magnets, a Hall sensor and a signal processing system. Compared with the conventional tactile sensor, our proposed tactile sensor can not only detect the contact-force, but also sense stiffness of an object. The performance and measurement range of tactile sensor have theoretically been analyzed and experimentally investigated. The results have revealed that the sensibility of tactile sensor for sensing force is up to 22.81mV/N at applied bias magnetic field of 2.56kA/m. Moreover, the sensor can effectively discriminate objects with different stiffness. The sensor is characterized by high sensitivity, good linearity, and quick response. It has the potential of being miniaturized and integrated into the finger of a robotic hand to realize force sensing and object recognition in real-time.

  15. Tactile spatial acuity in childhood: effects of age and fingertip size.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan M Peters

    Full Text Available Tactile acuity is known to decline with age in adults, possibly as the result of receptor loss, but less is understood about how tactile acuity changes during childhood. Previous research from our laboratory has shown that fingertip size influences tactile spatial acuity in young adults: those with larger fingers tend to have poorer acuity, possibly because mechanoreceptors are more sparsely distributed in larger fingers. We hypothesized that a similar relationship would hold among children. If so, children's tactile spatial acuity might be expected to worsen as their fingertips grow. However, concomitant CNS maturation might result in more efficient perceptual processing, counteracting the effect of fingertip growth on tactile acuity. To investigate, we conducted a cross-sectional study, testing 116 participants ranging in age from 6 to 16 years on a precision-controlled tactile grating orientation task. We measured each participant's grating orientation threshold on the dominant index finger, along with physical properties of the fingertip: surface area, volume, sweat pore spacing, and temperature. We found that, as in adults, children with larger fingertips (at a given age had significantly poorer acuity, yet paradoxically acuity did not worsen significantly with age. We propose that finger growth during development results in a gradual decline in innervation density as receptive fields reposition to cover an expanding skin surface. At the same time, central maturation presumably enhances perceptual processing.

  16. Primary or secondary tasks? Dual-task interference between cyclist hazard perception and cadence control using cross-modal sensory aids with rider assistance bike computers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chao-Yang; Wu, Cheng-Tse

    2017-03-01

    This research investigated the risks involved in bicycle riding while using various sensory modalities to deliver training information. To understand the risks associated with using bike computers, this study evaluated hazard perception performance through lab-based simulations of authentic riding conditions. Analysing hazard sensitivity (d') of signal detection theory, the rider's response time, and eye glances provided insights into the risks of using bike computers. In this study, 30 participants were tested with eight hazard perception tasks while they maintained a cadence of 60 ± 5 RPM and used bike computers with different sensory displays, namely visual, auditory, and tactile feedback signals. The results indicated that synchronously using different sense organs to receive cadence feedback significantly affects hazard perception performance; direct visual information leads to the worst rider distraction, with a mean sensitivity to hazards (d') of -1.03. For systems with multiple interacting sensory aids, auditory aids were found to result in the greatest reduction in sensitivity to hazards (d' mean = -0.57), whereas tactile sensory aids reduced the degree of rider distraction (d' mean = -0.23). Our work complements existing work in this domain by advancing the understanding of how to design devices that deliver information subtly, thereby preventing disruption of a rider's perception of road hazards. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Sensory Processing Difficulties in Toddlers With Nonorganic Failure-to-Thrive and Feeding Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Sook-Hee; Joung, Yoo-Sook; Choe, Yon Ho; Kim, Eun-Hye; Kwon, Jeong-Yi

    2015-06-01

    Failure-to-thrive is defined as an abnormally low weight and/or height for age. The term "nonorganic failure-to-thrive" (NOFT) has been used to describe "failure-to-thrive" without an obvious cause underlying the growth failure. The purpose of the present study was to compare sensory processing abilities between toddlers with NOFT and feeding problems and age-matched controls. Toddlers with NOFT and feeding problems (N = 16) were recruited from the pediatric feeding clinic in a tertiary university hospital, and age-matched controls (N = 16) were recruited from community volunteers. They were evaluated for sensory processing ability using an Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile (ITSP), and for development of cognition, motor skills, and language using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II and Sequenced Language Scale for Infants. Behavior at mealtime was evaluated using the Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale. In the NOFT with feeding problems group, atypical performances were more frequently observed in 3 of 5 ITSP section items (tactile, vestibular, and oral) compared with those in the control group. Significant delayed development of cognition, motor skills, and language was observed in the NOFT with feeding problems group compared with that in the control group. In addition, children who showed 1 or more atypical performances in ITSP had delayed development in cognition, motor skills, and language. Sensory processing problems were more commonly observed in toddlers with feeding problems and growth deficiency. The present study could provide a preliminary evidence for a possible impact of the sensory processing problems on the feeding difficulties in toddlers with NOFT. Future large studies should be conducted to clarify the relation between sensory processing difficulties and feeding problems in toddlers.

  18. Quantitative sensory testing of temperature, pain, and touch in adults with Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Knegt, Nanda; Defrin, Ruth; Schuengel, Carlo; Lobbezoo, Frank; Evenhuis, Heleen; Scherder, Erik

    2015-12-01

    The spinothalamic pathway mediates sensations of temperature, pain, and touch. These functions seem impaired in children with Down syndrome (DS), but have not been extensively examined in adults. The objective of the present study was to compare the spinothalamic-mediated sensory functions between adults with DS and adults from the general population and to examine in the DS group the relationship between the sensory functions and level of intellectual functioning. Quantitative sensory testing (QST) was performed in 188 adults with DS (mean age 37.5 years) and 142 age-matched control participants (median age 40.5 years). Temperature, pain, and touch were evaluated with tests for cold-warm discrimination, sharp-dull discrimination (pinprick), and tactile threshold, respectively. Level of intellectual functioning was estimated with the Social Functioning Scale for Intellectual Disability (intellectual disability level) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence--Revised (intelligence level). Overall, the difference in spinothalamic-mediated sensory functions between the DS and control groups was not statistically significant. However, DS participants with a lower intelligence level had a statistically significant lower performance on the sharp-dull discrimination test than DS participants with higher intelligence level (adjusted p=.006) and control participants (adjusted p=.017). It was concluded that intellectual functioning level is an important factor to take into account for the assessment of spinothalamic-mediated sensory functioning in adults with DS: a lower level could coincide with impaired sensory functioning, but could also hamper QST assessment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Prevalence of distal diabetic polyneuropathy using quantitative sensory methods in a population with diabetes of more than 10 years' disease duration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miralles-García, José M; de Pablos-Velasco, Pedro; Cabrerizo, Lucio; Pérez, María; López-Gómez, Vanessa

    2010-11-01

    Results of studies on the prevalence of distal diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) are contradictory. Conventional methods used for the diagnosis of DPN in clinical practice have limited effectiveness. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of DPN in a population with long-standing diabetes (more than 10 years disease duration) by measuring vibratory, thermal and tactile sensitivities with quantitative sensory devices, as well as their relationship with associated clinical risk factors. A total of 1011 diabetic patients were evaluated in a multicenter, cross-sectional, observational study. The three sensitivities were assessed by ultrabiothesiometer, aesthesiometer and thermoskin devices, respectively. The prevalence of neuropathic pain was validated by the DN4 questionnaire. Of the 1011 cases included, 400 (39.6%) met the diagnostic criteria of DPN, while no DPN was found in the remaining 611 (60.4%). Of the 400 patients with DPN, 253 (63.2%) showed clinical manifestations, while 147 (36.8%) were diagnosed as subclinical DPN. The prevalence of DPN increased with disease duration. There was a progressive loss of the three sensitivities with increased disease duration, particularly thermal and vibratory sensitivities. This loss was statistically significant for the latter two sensitivities. Among patients with clinical DPN, 84.2% had painful neuropathic symptoms. The prevalence of DPN was positively related to micro- and macroangiopathic complications and with dyslipidemia. This study reveals a high degree of underdiagnosis of DPN, most likely due to the asymptomatic nature of the disease in a considerable proportion of patients. Our observations provide evidence of the usefulness of specific equipment for quantitative and objective assessment of polyneuropathy. Copyright © 2010 SEEN. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  20. Stimulus-dependent effects on tactile spatial acuity

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    Tommerdahl M

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous studies have shown that spatio-tactile acuity is influenced by the clarity of the cortical response in primary somatosensory cortex (SI. Stimulus characteristics such as frequency, amplitude, and location of tactile stimuli presented to the skin have been shown to have a significant effect on the response in SI. The present study observes the effect of changing stimulus parameters of 25 Hz sinusoidal vertical skin displacement stimulation ("flutter" on a human subject's ability to discriminate between two adjacent or near-adjacent skin sites. Based on results obtained from recent neurophysiological studies of the SI response to different conditions of vibrotactile stimulation, we predicted that the addition of 200 Hz vibration to the same site that a two-point flutter stimulus was delivered on the skin would improve a subject's spatio-tactile acuity over that measured with flutter alone. Additionally, similar neurophysiological studies predict that the presence of either a 25 Hz flutter or 200 Hz vibration stimulus on the unattended hand (on the opposite side of the body from the site of two-point limen testing – the condition of bilateral stimulation – which has been shown to evoke less SI cortical activity than the contralateral-only stimulus condition would decrease a subject's ability to discriminate between two points on the skin. Results A Bekesy tracking method was employed to track a subject's ability to discriminate between two-point stimuli delivered to the skin. The distance between the two points of stimulation was varied on a trial-by-trial basis, and several different stimulus conditions were examined: (1 The "control" condition, in which 25 Hz flutter stimuli were delivered simultaneously to the two points on the skin of the attended hand, (2 the "complex" condition, in which a combination of 25 Hz flutter and 200 Hz vibration stimuli were delivered to the two points on the attended hand, and (3 a

  1. Development of tactile floor plan for the blind and the visually impaired by 3D printing technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raša Urbas

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the research was to produce tactile floor plans for blind and visually impaired people for the use in the museum. For the production of tactile floor plans 3D printing technique was selected among three different techniques. 3D prints were made of white and colored ABS polymer materials. Development of different elements of tactile floor plans, as well as the problems and the solutions during 3D printing, are described in the paper.

  2. Comparative evaluation of audio and audio - tactile methods to improve oral hygiene status of visually impaired school children

    OpenAIRE

    R Krishnakumar; Swarna Swathi Silla; Sugumaran K Durai; Mohan Govindarajan; Syed Shaheed Ahamed; Logeshwari Mathivanan

    2016-01-01

    Background: Visually impaired children are unable to maintain good oral hygiene, as their tactile abilities are often underdeveloped owing to their visual disturbances. Conventional brushing techniques are often poorly comprehended by these children and hence, it was decided to evaluate the effectiveness of audio and audio-tactile methods in improving the oral hygiene of these children. Objective: To evaluate and compare the effectiveness of audio and audio-tactile methods in improving oral h...

  3. Esophageal motor and sensory disorders: presentation, evaluation, and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massey, Benson T

    2007-09-01

    Esophageal motor and sensory disorders are relatively rare conditions in the general population and afflicted patients are often initially misdiagnosed as having gastroesophageal reflux disease. Tests for these disorders have imperfect gold standards and are adjuncts to sound diagnostic reasoning. Treatments are palliative and have not been rigorously evaluated for some disorders. Symptoms and complications from disease progression and relapse are common, so that patients need continued follow-up.

  4. Research progress of functional magnetic resonance imaging in cross-modal activation of visual cortex during tactile perception

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhan Jie; Gong Honghan

    2013-01-01

    An increasing amount of neuroimaging studies recently demonstrated activation of visual cortex in both blind and sighted participants when performing a variety of tactile tasks such as Braille reading and tactile object recognition, which indicates that visual cortex not only receives visual information, but may participate in tactile perception. To address these cross-modal changes of visual cortex and the neurophysiological mechanisms, many researchers conducted explosive studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and have made some achievements. This review focuses on cross-modal activation of visual cortex and the underlying mechanisms during tactile perception in both blind and sighted individuals. (authors)

  5. Other ways of seeing: From behavior to neural mechanisms in the online “visual” control of action with sensory substitution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proulx, Michael J.; Gwinnutt, James; Dell’Erba, Sara; Levy-Tzedek, Shelly; de Sousa, Alexandra A.; Brown, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Vision is the dominant sense for perception-for-action in humans and other higher primates. Advances in sight restoration now utilize the other intact senses to provide information that is normally sensed visually through sensory substitution to replace missing visual information. Sensory substitution devices translate visual information from a sensor, such as a camera or ultrasound device, into a format that the auditory or tactile systems can detect and process, so the visually impaired can see through hearing or touch. Online control of action is essential for many daily tasks such as pointing, grasping and navigating, and adapting to a sensory substitution device successfully requires extensive learning. Here we review the research on sensory substitution for vision restoration in the context of providing the means of online control for action in the blind or blindfolded. It appears that the use of sensory substitution devices utilizes the neural visual system; this suggests the hypothesis that sensory substitution draws on the same underlying mechanisms as unimpaired visual control of action. Here we review the current state of the art for sensory substitution approaches to object recognition, localization, and navigation, and the potential these approaches have for revealing a metamodal behavioral and neural basis for the online control of action. PMID:26599473

  6. Posterior Thalamic Nucleus Modulation of Tactile Stimuli Processing in Rat Motor and Primary Somatosensory Cortices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Casas-Torremocha

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Rodents move rhythmically their facial whiskers and compute differences between signals predicted and those resulting from the movement to infer information about objects near their head. These computations are carried out by a large network of forebrain structures that includes the thalamus and the primary somatosensory (S1BF and motor (M1wk cortices. Spatially and temporally precise mechanorreceptive whisker information reaches the S1BF cortex via the ventroposterior medial thalamic nucleus (VPM. Other whisker-related information may reach both M1wk and S1BF via the axons from the posterior thalamic nucleus (Po. However, Po axons may convey, in addition to direct sensory signals, the dynamic output of computations between whisker signals and descending motor commands. It has been proposed that this input may be relevant for adjusting cortical responses to predicted vs. unpredicted whisker signals, but the effects of Po input on M1wk and S1BF function have not been directly tested or compared in vivo. Here, using electrophysiology, optogenetics and pharmacological tools, we compared in adult rats M1wk and S1BF in vivo responses in the whisker areas of the motor and primary somatosensory cortices to passive multi-whisker deflection, their dependence on Po activity, and their changes after a brief intense activation of Po axons. We report that the latencies of the first component of tactile-evoked local field potentials in M1wk and S1BF are similar. The evoked potentials decrease markedly in M1wk, but not in S1BF, by injection in Po of the GABAA agonist muscimol. A brief high-frequency electrical stimulation of Po decreases the responsivity of M1wk and S1BF cells to subsequent whisker stimulation. This effect is prevented by the local application of omega-agatoxin, suggesting that it may in part depend on GABA release by fast-spiking parvalbumin (PV-expressing cortical interneurons. Local optogenetic activation of Po synapses in different

  7. [Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type 4A].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shagina, O A; Dadali, E L; Fedotov, V P; Tiburkova, T B; Poliakov, A V

    2010-01-01

    The first in the Russian Federation clinical cases of patients with autosomal-recessive type of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, type 4A, (HMSN 4A) are presented. In all cases, the diagnosis has been verified using molecular-genetic methods (DNA diagnostics). An analysis of features of clinical manifestations was performed in patients, aged from 5 to 34 years, with different disease duration (from 3-to 29 years). Criteria of selection of patients for DNA diagnostics for searching mutations in the GDAP1 gene are specified.

  8. Motion makes sense: an adaptive motor-sensory strategy underlies the perception of object location in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraf-Sinik, Inbar; Assa, Eldad; Ahissar, Ehud

    2015-06-10

    Tactile perception is obtained by coordinated motor-sensory processes. We studied the processes underlying the perception of object location in freely moving rats. We trained rats to identify the relative location of two vertical poles placed in front of them and measured at high resolution the motor and sensory variables (19 and 2 variables, respectively) associated with this whiskers-based perceptual process. We found that the rats developed stereotypic head and whisker movements to solve this task, in a manner that can be described by several distinct behavioral phases. During two of these phases, the rats' whiskers coded object position by first temporal and then angular coding schemes. We then introduced wind (in two opposite directions) and remeasured their perceptual performance and motor-sensory variables. Our rats continued to perceive object location in a consistent manner under wind perturbations while maintaining all behavioral phases and relatively constant sensory coding. Constant sensory coding was achieved by keeping one group of motor variables (the "controlled variables") constant, despite the perturbing wind, at the cost of strongly modulating another group of motor variables (the "modulated variables"). The controlled variables included coding-relevant variables, such as head azimuth and whisker velocity. These results indicate that consistent perception of location in the rat is obtained actively, via a selective control of perception-relevant motor variables. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358777-13$15.00/0.

  9. Differences in Early Stages of Tactile ERP Temporal Sequence (P100) in Cortical Organization during Passive Tactile Stimulation in Children with Blindness and Controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz Alonso, Tomás; Santos, Juan Matías; Ortiz Terán, Laura; Borrego Hernández, Mayelin; Poch Broto, Joaquín; de Erausquin, Gabriel Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Compared to their seeing counterparts, people with blindness have a greater tactile capacity. Differences in the physiology of object recognition between people with blindness and seeing people have been well documented, but not when tactile stimuli require semantic processing. We used a passive vibrotactile device to focus on the differences in spatial brain processing evaluated with event related potentials (ERP) in children with blindness (n = 12) vs. normally seeing children (n = 12), when learning a simple spatial task (lines with different orientations) or a task involving recognition of letters, to describe the early stages of its temporal sequence (from 80 to 220 msec) and to search for evidence of multi-modal cortical organization. We analysed the P100 of the ERP. Children with blindness showed earlier latencies for cognitive (perceptual) event related potentials, shorter reaction times, and (paradoxically) worse ability to identify the spatial direction of the stimulus. On the other hand, they are equally proficient in recognizing stimuli with semantic content (letters). The last observation is consistent with the role of P100 on somatosensory-based recognition of complex forms. The cortical differences between seeing control and blind groups, during spatial tactile discrimination, are associated with activation in visual pathway (occipital) and task-related association (temporal and frontal) areas. The present results show that early processing of tactile stimulation conveying cross modal information differs in children with blindness or with normal vision. PMID:26225827

  10. Human detection and discrimination of tactile repeatability, mechanical backlash, and temporal delay in a combined tactile-kinesthetic haptic display system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doxon, Andrew J; Johnson, David E; Tan, Hong Z; Provancher, William R

    2013-01-01

    Many of the devices used in haptics research are over-engineered for the task and are designed with capabilities that go far beyond human perception levels. Designing devices that more closely match the limits of human perception will make them smaller, less expensive, and more useful. However, many device-centric perception thresholds have yet to be evaluated. To this end, three experiments were conducted, using one degree-of-freedom contact location feedback device in combination with a kinesthetic display, to provide a more explicit set of specifications for similar tactile-kinesthetic haptic devices. The first of these experiments evaluated the ability of humans to repeatedly localize tactile cues across the fingerpad. Subjects could localize cues to within 1.3 mm and showed bias toward the center of the fingerpad. The second experiment evaluated the minimum perceptible difference of backlash at the tactile element. Subjects were able to discriminate device backlash in excess of 0.46 mm on low-curvature models and 0.93 mm on high-curvature models. The last experiment evaluated the minimum perceptible difference of system delay between user action and device reaction. Subjects were able to discriminate delays in excess of 61 ms. The results from these studies can serve as the maximum (i.e., most demanding) device specifications for most tactile-kinesthetic haptic systems.

  11. Detection of fever in children emergency care: comparisons of tactile and rectal temperatures in Nigerian children

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    Okafor Olubukola O

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical thermometry is the objective method for temperature measurements but tactile assessment of fever at home is usually the basis for seeking medical attention especially where the cost and level of literacy preclude the use of thermometers. This study was carried out to determine the reliability of tactile perception of fever by caregivers, nurses and house physicians in comparison to rectal thermometry and also the use of commonly practiced surface of the hand in the care of ill children. All caregivers of children aged 6 to 59 months who presented to the emergency department were approached consecutively at the triage stage but 182 children participated. Each child had tactile assessment of fever using palmar and dorsal surfaces of the hand by the caregivers, House Physicians and Nursing Officers. Rectal temperature was also measured and read independently by nurses and house physicians. Comparisons were made between tactile assessments and thermometer readings using a cut-off for fever, 38.0°C and above. Findings The caregivers' perception of fever had a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV and negative predictive value (NPV of 95%, 23%, 66% and 73%, respectively compared with 93%, 26%, 67% and 69%, respectively for nursing officers. Irrespective of the groups studied, 77.1% of 336 assessors opined that the dorsal surface of the hand was more sensitive in tactile assessment of temperature and the frequently used site for assessment of fever were the head (35.6% and neck (33.3%. Tactile assessment of temperature over-detected fever in ≥ 24% of cases among the three groups of assessors. Conclusions The present study suggests that tactile assessment of temperature may over estimate the prevalence of fever, it does not detect some cases and the need for objective measurement of temperature is emphasised in paediatric emergency care.

  12. Bouba/Kiki in Touch: Associations Between Tactile Perceptual Qualities and Japanese Phonemes

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    Maki Sakamoto

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown cross-modal associations between sounds and vision or gustation by asking participants to match pre-defined sound-symbolic words (SSWs, such as “bouba” or “kiki,” with visual or gustatory materials. Here, we conducted an explorative study on cross-modal associations of tactile sensations using spontaneous production of Japanese SSWs and semantic ratings. The Japanese language was selected, because it has a large number of SSWs that can represent a wide range of tactile perceptual spaces with fine resolution, and it shows strong associations between sound and touch. In the experiment, we used 120 everyday materials to cover basic material categories that could be associated with fundamental dimensions of tactile perception. Upon contact with these materials, participants expressed their tactile sensations by using Japanese SSWs, and at the same time, evaluated the tactile sensations by semantic differential scales using adjective pairs. Thanks to the variety of testing materials, we were able to demonstrate the existence of systematic associations between sounds and tactile fundamental perceptual dimensions in a more detailed and comprehensive way than ever done so before. In particular, we found that for vowels, positive tactile ratings were associated with the back vowel (/u/, while negative ratings were associated with the front vowels (/i/ and /e/. The central vowels (/o/ and /a/ were mainly associated with rough, hard, and dry feelings. Consonants were categorized based on vocal features and articulation. The category of the voiced consonants (e.g., /dz/ and /g/ corresponded to feelings of roughness, while that of voiceless consonants (e.g., /ʦ/, and /s/ corresponded to feelings of smoothness. The categories of the bilabial plosive (/p/ and /b/ and voiced alveolar nasal (/n/ consonants were mainly related to soft, sticky and wet feelings, while that of voiceless alveolar affricate (/ʦ/ and voiceless velar

  13. Integration of tactile input across fingers in a patient with finger agnosia.

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    Anema, Helen A; Overvliet, Krista E; Smeets, Jeroen B J; Brenner, Eli; Dijkerman, H Chris

    2011-01-01

    Finger agnosia has been described as an inability to explicitly individuate between the fingers, which is possibly due to fused neural representations of these fingers. Hence, are patients with finger agnosia unable to keep tactile information perceived over several fingers separate? Here, we tested a finger agnosic patient (GO) on two tasks that measured the ability to keep tactile information simultaneously perceived by individual fingers separate. In experiment 1 GO performed a haptic search task, in which a target (the absence of a protruded line) needed to be identified among distracters (protruded lines). The lines were presented simultaneously to the fingertips of both hands. Similarly to the controls, her reaction time decreased when her fingers were aligned as compared to when her fingers were stretched and in an unaligned position. This suggests that she can keep tactile input from different fingers separate. In experiment two, GO was required to judge the position of a target tactile stimulus to the index finger, relatively to a reference tactile stimulus to the middle finger, both in fingers uncrossed and crossed position. GO was able to indicate the relative position of the target stimulus as well as healthy controls, which indicates that she was able to keep tactile information perceived by two neighbouring fingers separate. Interestingly, GO performed better as compared to the healthy controls in the finger crossed condition. Together, these results suggest the GO is able to implicitly distinguish between tactile information perceived by multiple fingers. We therefore conclude that finger agnosia is not caused by minor disruptions of low-level somatosensory processing. These findings further underpin the idea of a selective impaired higher order body representation restricted to the fingers as underlying cause of finger agnosia. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Fabrication of strain gauge based sensors for tactile skins

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    Baptist, Joshua R.; Zhang, Ruoshi; Wei, Danming; Saadatzi, Mohammad Nasser; Popa, Dan O.

    2017-05-01

    Fabricating cost effective, reliable and functional sensors for electronic skins has been a challenging undertaking for the last several decades. Application of such skins include haptic interfaces, robotic manipulation, and physical human-robot interaction. Much of our recent work has focused on producing compliant sensors that can be easily formed around objects to sense normal, tension, or shear forces. Our past designs have involved the use of flexible sensors and interconnects fabricated on Kapton substrates, and piezoresistive inks that are 3D printed using Electro Hydro Dynamic (EHD) jetting onto interdigitated electrode (IDE) structures. However, EHD print heads require a specialized nozzle and the application of a high-voltage electric field; for which, tuning process parameters can be difficult based on the choice of inks and substrates. Therefore, in this paper we explore sensor fabrication techniques using a novel wet lift-off photolithographic technique for patterning the base polymer piezoresistive material, specifically Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate) or PEDOT:PSS. Fabricated sensors are electrically and thermally characterized, and temperaturecompensated designs are proposed and validated. Packaging techniques for sensors in polymer encapsulants are proposed and demonstrated to produce a tactile interface device for a robot.

  15. Mutual capacitance of liquid conductors in deformable tactile sensing arrays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Bin [Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (United States); Fontecchio, Adam K. [Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering Departments, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (United States); Visell, Yon [Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Media Arts and Technology, California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States)

    2016-01-04

    Advances in highly deformable electronics are needed in order to enable emerging categories of soft computing devices ranging from wearable electronics, to medical devices, and soft robotic components. The combination of highly elastic substrates with intrinsically stretchable conductors holds the promise of enabling electronic sensors that can conform to curved objects, reconfigurable displays, or soft biological tissues, including the skin. Here, we contribute sensing principles for tactile (mechanical image) sensors based on very low modulus polymer substrates with embedded liquid metal microfluidic arrays. The sensors are fabricated using a single-step casting method that utilizes fine nylon filaments to produce arrays of cylindrical channels on two layers. The liquid metal (gallium indium alloy) conductors that fill these channels readily adopt the shape of the embedding membrane, yielding levels of deformability greater than 400%, due to the use of soft polymer substrates. We modeled the sensor performance using electrostatic theory and continuum mechanics, yielding excellent agreement with experiments. Using a matrix-addressed capacitance measurement technique, we are able to resolve strain distributions with millimeter resolution over areas of several square centimeters.

  16. Object Recognition and Localization: The Role of Tactile Sensors

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    Achint Aggarwal

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Tactile sensors, because of their intrinsic insensitivity to lighting conditions and water turbidity, provide promising opportunities for augmenting the capabilities of vision sensors in applications involving object recognition and localization. This paper presents two approaches for haptic object recognition and localization for ground and underwater environments. The first approach called Batch Ransac and Iterative Closest Point augmented Particle Filter (BRICPPF is based on an innovative combination of particle filters, Iterative-Closest-Point algorithm, and a feature-based Random Sampling and Consensus (RANSAC algorithm for database matching. It can handle a large database of 3D-objects of complex shapes and performs a complete six-degree-of-freedom localization of static objects. The algorithms are validated by experimentation in ground and underwater environments using real hardware. To our knowledge this is the first instance of haptic object recognition and localization in underwater environments. The second approach is biologically inspired, and provides a close integration between exploration and recognition. An edge following exploration strategy is developed that receives feedback from the current state of recognition. A recognition by parts approach is developed which uses the BRICPPF for object sub-part recognition. Object exploration is either directed to explore a part until it is successfully recognized, or is directed towards new parts to endorse the current recognition belief. This approach is validated by simulation experiments.

  17. Tactile interactions activate mirror system regions in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKyton, Ayelet

    2011-12-07

    Communicating with others is essential for the development of a society. Although types of communications, such as language and visual gestures, were thoroughly investigated in the past, little research has been done to investigate interactions through touch. To study this we used functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twelve participants were scanned with their eyes covered while stroking four kinds of items, representing different somatosensory stimuli: a human hand, a realistic rubber hand, an object, and a simple texture. Although the human and the rubber hands had the same overall shape, in three regions there was significantly more blood oxygen level dependent activation when touching the real hand: the anterior medial prefrontal cortex, the ventral premotor cortex, and the posterior superior temporal cortex. The last two regions are part of the mirror network and are known to be activated through visual interactions such as gestures. Interestingly, in this study, these areas were activated through a somatosensory interaction. A control experiment was performed to eliminate confounds of temperature, texture, and imagery, suggesting that the activation in these areas was correlated with the touch of a human hand. These results reveal the neuronal network working behind human tactile interactions, and highlight the participation of the mirror system in such functions.

  18. Age-related loss in attention-based modulation of tactile stimuli at early stages of somatosensory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, David A E; Staines, W Richard

    2012-06-01

    Normal aging has been linked to impairments in gating of irrelevant sensory information and neural markers of diminished cognitive processing. Whilst much of the research in this area has focussed on visual and auditory modalities it is unclear to what degree these findings apply to somatosensation. Therefore we investigated how age impacts early event-related potentials (ERPs) arising from relevant or irrelevant vibrotactile stimuli to the fingertips. Specifically, we hypothesised that older adults would demonstrate reduced attention-based modulation of tactile ERPs generated at early stages of cortical somatosensory processing. In accord with previous research we also expected to observe diminished P300 responses to attended targets and behavioural deficits. Participants received vibrotactile stimulation to the second and fifth digit on the left hand and reported target stimuli on one digit only (as instructed) with comparisons between two age groups: (1) Young adults (age range 20-39) and (2) Older adults (age range 62-89). ERP amplitudes for the P50, N70, P100, N140 and long latency positivity (LLP) were quantified for attended and non-attended trials at several electrodes (C4, CP4, CP3 and FC4). The P300 in response to attended target stimuli was measured at CPZ. There was no effect of attention on the P50 and N70 however the P100, N140 and LLP were modulated with attention. In both age groups the P100 and LLP were more positive during trials where the stimuli were atte