This paper aims to investigate whether electroencephalography (EEG) technology is effective in qualifying the tactile sensation evoked by non-steady cutaneous electrical stimulation. EEG is a novel method for electrotactile analysis and has demonstrated the discrimination ability for electrotactile sensation under steady contact conditions in recent years. However, in non-steady contact conditions, it is necessary to test its effectiveness. This study aims to explore an objective analysis method in comparison to psychophysical approach and to provide a methodology for non-steady electrotactile research.
With EEG experimentation on 13 volunteers, the authors collected evoked potentials by the predesigned “1” and “0” stimulation events. In addition, with a series of data preprocessing including artifact elimination, band-pass filtering, baseline normalization, data superposition and fast Fourier transform transformation, the authors got the power spectrum of alpha, beta and gamma rhythms. Furthermore, statistics analysis and ANOVA test were adopted for exploring the discrepancy of the spectrum characterizations for different non-steady electrostimulation events.
The EEG power spectrum of the central cortical brain is valuable in discriminating the two types of stimulation events. The power of alpha rhythm especially in the central cortical brain evoked by event “1,” whose current level is equal to the threshold, was significantly lower than that evoked by event “0,” whose level is less than the threshold (p < 0.05). Then, the power of the beta rhythm presented counter-change (p < 0.05). This study suggests that EEG may have the potential to qualify non-steady electrotactile sensation for engineering applications.
Limiting factors of non-steady electrotactile stimulation were considered in this study. Different tapping frequency and contact time should be investigated in future studies.
This paper fulfills a challenge in qualifying the tactile sensations evoked by non-steady electrical stimulation with EEG characteristics.
Chen, H. and Shuai, L. (2020), "Qualifying tactile sensations evoked by non-steady cutaneous electrical stimulation with electroencephalography features", Sensor Review, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 183-190. https://doi.org/10.1108/SR-10-2019-0255Download as .RIS
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