This paper aims to investigate whether electroencephalography (EEG) technology is effective in qualifying the tactile sensation evoked by non-steady cutaneous electrical…
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.
This paper aims to investigate the perception threshold (PT) of electrotactile stimulation under non-steady contact condition (NSCC) which is rarely considered in previous…
This paper aims to investigate the perception threshold (PT) of electrotactile stimulation under non-steady contact condition (NSCC) which is rarely considered in previous reports mainly because of the difficulty with experimental control. Three factors of NSCC are involved, including the current alternating frequency, the tapping interval of stimulation and the stimulating area of skin. The study is aimed at providing the basic PT data for design and application of wearable and portable electrotactile device.
The up-down method was selected to assess PT, and 72 experimental scenarios were constructed. During the study, we developed an experimental platform with the function of data record and programmable current stimulation. With psychophysical experiment, more than 10,000 data were collected. Furthermore, statics analysis and ANOVA test were opted for exploring the main factor influencing PT.
NSCC has different PTs on each body location, and PT has a positive correlation with frequency. In general, PT in NSCC is significantly lower than that in SCC. In some cases, it can be lower by more than 60 per cent. In addition, women have a lower PT than men across all age groups, and the younger is generally more sensitive than the older in electro-sensation.
Limited factors of NSCC were considered in this study. Contact time and break interval should be investigated in the future work.
The paper includes implications for the development of smart electrotactile device.
This paper fulfills a challenge in assessing the PT under NSCC.