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Sample records for active tactile exploration

  1. Whisker encoding of mechanical events during active tactile exploration

    PubMed Central

    Boubenec, Yves; Shulz, Daniel E.; Debrégeas, Georges

    2012-01-01

    Rats use their whiskers to extract a wealth of information about their immediate environment, such as the shape, position or texture of an object. The information is conveyed to mechanoreceptors located within the whisker follicle in the form of a sequence of whisker deflections induced by the whisker/object contact interaction. How the whiskers filter and shape the mechanical information and effectively participate in the coding of tactile features remains an open question to date. In the present article, a biomechanical model was developed that provides predictions of the whisker dynamics during active tactile exploration, amenable to quantitative experimental comparison. This model is based on a decomposition of the whisker profile into a slow, quasi-static sequence and rapid resonant small-scale vibrations. It was applied to the typical situation of a rat actively whisking across a solid object. Having derived the quasi-static sequence of whisker deformation, the resonant properties of the whisker were analyzed, taking into account the boundary conditions imposed by the whisker/surface contact. We then focused on two elementary mechanical events that are expected to trigger significant neural responses, namely (1) the whisker/object first contact and (2) the whisker detachment from the object. Both events were found to trigger a deflection wave propagating upward to the mystacial pad at constant velocity of ≈3–5 m/s. This yielded a characteristic mechanical signature at the whisker base, in the form of a large peak of negative curvature occurring ≈4 ms after the event has been triggered. The dependence in amplitude and lag of this mechanical signal with the main contextual parameters (such as radial or angular distance) was investigated. The model was validated experimentally by comparing its predictions to high-speed video recordings of shock-induced whisker deflections performed on anesthetized rats. The consequences of these results on possible tactile

  2. Prediction of primary somatosensory neuron activity during active tactile exploration

    PubMed Central

    Campagner, Dario; Evans, Mathew Hywel; Bale, Michael Ross; Erskine, Andrew; Petersen, Rasmus Strange

    2016-01-01

    Primary sensory neurons form the interface between world and brain. Their function is well-understood during passive stimulation but, under natural behaving conditions, sense organs are under active, motor control. In an attempt to predict primary neuron firing under natural conditions of sensorimotor integration, we recorded from primary mechanosensory neurons of awake, head-fixed mice as they explored a pole with their whiskers, and simultaneously measured both whisker motion and forces with high-speed videography. Using Generalised Linear Models, we found that primary neuron responses were poorly predicted by whisker angle, but well-predicted by rotational forces acting on the whisker: both during touch and free-air whisker motion. These results are in apparent contrast to previous studies of passive stimulation, but could be reconciled by differences in the kinematics-force relationship between active and passive conditions. Thus, simple statistical models can predict rich neural activity elicited by natural, exploratory behaviour involving active movement of sense organs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10696.001 PMID:26880559

  3. EEG frequency tagging to explore the cortical activity related to the tactile exploration of natural textures

    PubMed Central

    Moungou, Athanasia; Thonnard, Jean-Louis; Mouraux, André

    2016-01-01

    When sliding our fingertip against a textured surface, complex vibrations are produced in the skin. It is increasingly recognised that the neural transduction and processing of these vibrations plays an important role in the dynamic tactile perception of textures. The aim of the present study was to develop a novel means to tag the cortical activity related to the processing of these vibrations, by periodically modulating the amplitude of texture exploration-induced vibrations such as to record a steady-state evoked potential (SS-EP). The EEG was recorded while the right index fingertip was scanned against four different textures using a constant exploration velocity. Amplitude modulation of the elicited vibrations was achieved by periodically modulating the force applied against the finger. Frequency analysis of the recorded EEG signals showed that modulation of the vibrations induced by the fingertip-texture interactions elicited an SS-EP at the frequency of modulation (3 Hz) as well as its second harmonic (6 Hz), maximal over parietal regions contralateral to the stimulated side. Textures generating stronger vibrations also generated SS-EPs of greater magnitude. Our results suggest that frequency tagging using SS-EPs can be used to isolate and explore the brain activity related to the tactile exploration of natural textures. PMID:26853820

  4. Learning tactile skills through curious exploration

    PubMed Central

    Pape, Leo; Oddo, Calogero M.; Controzzi, Marco; Cipriani, Christian; Förster, Alexander; Carrozza, Maria C.; Schmidhuber, Jürgen

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22837748

  5. An active tactile perception system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petriu, E.; Greenspan, M.; Gelinas, F.; McMath, W. S.; Yeung, S. K.

    System development and application aspects are described for an experimental robotic system for the tactile perception of the global geometric profile of object surfaces which are larger than the dimensions of the tactile sensor. Local cutaneous information provided by a tactile sensor is integrated with the kinesthetic position parameters of a robot arm, resulting in a 3D geometric model of the tactile sensor pose on the explored object surface. Currently available tactile sensors provide poor information on the geometric profile of 3D object surfaces. In order to maximize the information available for 3D analysis, an instrumented passive compliant wrist was used to attach a pressure measuring tactile probe to the robot arm carrier. Data was collected by a noncompliant planar sensing array in direct contact with an object surface. Information recorded includes the following: positional and orientation data on the robot arm manipulator, passive compliance kinesthetic data as measured by the kinematics of the wrist, and cutaneous tactile data represented by the binary image of the sensors pose on the object. The dimensions of the sensor array were found to be a critical factor in system performance. Use of a large array results in fewer touch poses being required to explore an object's surface, on the other hand a large planar array will touch fewer and higher peaks thus missing surface detail. To improve performance, there is a need to design tactile sensors specifically for geometric profile measuring.

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

    PubMed Central

    Harischandra, Nalin; Krause, André F.; Dürr, Volker

    2015-01-01

    An essential component of autonomous and flexible behavior 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 modeling framework of Central Pattern Generators (CPGs) for movement generation in active tactile exploration behavior. 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 behavior 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 (SP) joint relative to the proximal head-scape (HS) joint was essential for producing the natural tactile exploration behavior and, thus, for tactile efficiency. For realistic movement patterns, the phase-lead could vary within a limited range of 10–30° 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 modeling 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. PMID:26347644

  7. Kinematics of unconstrained tactile texture exploration.

    PubMed

    Callier, Thierri; Saal, Hannes P; Davis-Berg, Elizabeth C; Bensmaia, Sliman J

    2015-04-01

    A hallmark of tactile texture exploration is that it involves movement between skin and surface. When we scan a surface, small texture-specific vibrations are produced in the skin, and specialized cutaneous mechanoreceptors convert these vibrations into highly repeatable, precise, and informative temporal spiking patterns in tactile afferents. Both texture-elicited vibrations and afferent responses are highly dependent on exploratory kinematics, however; indeed, these dilate or contract systematically with decreases or increases in scanning speed, respectively. These profound changes in the peripheral response that accompany changes in scanning speed and other parameters of texture scanning raise the question as to whether exploratory behaviors change depending on what surface is explored or what information is sought about that surface. To address this question, we measure and analyze the kinematics as subjects explore textured surfaces to evaluate different types of texture information, namely the textures' roughness, hardness, and slipperiness. We find that the exploratory movements are dependent both on the perceptual task, as has been previously shown, but also on the texture that is scanned. We discuss the implications of our findings regarding the neural coding and perception of texture. PMID:25744883

  8. Irrelevant tactile stimulation biases visual exploration in external coordinates

    PubMed Central

    Ossandón, José P.; König, Peter; Heed, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated the effect of irrelevant tactile stimulation on humans’ free-viewing behavior during the exploration of complex static scenes. Specifically, we address the questions of (1) whether task-irrelevant tactile stimulation presented to subjects’ hands can guide visual selection during free viewing; (2) whether tactile stimulation can modulate visual exploratory biases that are independent of image content and task goals; and (3) in which reference frame these effects occur. Tactile stimulation to uncrossed and crossed hands during the viewing of static images resulted in long-lasting modulation of visual orienting responses. Subjects showed a well-known leftward bias during the early exploration of images, and this bias was modulated by tactile stimulation presented at image onset. Tactile stimulation, both at image onset and later during the trials, biased visual orienting toward the space ipsilateral to the stimulated hand, both in uncrossed and crossed hand postures. The long-lasting temporal and global spatial profile of the modulation of free viewing exploration by touch indicates that cross-modal cues produce orienting responses, which are coded exclusively in an external reference frame. PMID:26021612

  9. Irrelevant tactile stimulation biases visual exploration in external coordinates.

    PubMed

    Ossandón, José P; König, Peter; Heed, Tobias

    2015-05-29

    We evaluated the effect of irrelevant tactile stimulation on humans' free-viewing behavior during the exploration of complex static scenes. Specifically, we address the questions of (1) whether task-irrelevant tactile stimulation presented to subjects' hands can guide visual selection during free viewing; (2) whether tactile stimulation can modulate visual exploratory biases that are independent of image content and task goals; and (3) in which reference frame these effects occur. Tactile stimulation to uncrossed and crossed hands during the viewing of static images resulted in long-lasting modulation of visual orienting responses. Subjects showed a well-known leftward bias during the early exploration of images, and this bias was modulated by tactile stimulation presented at image onset. Tactile stimulation, both at image onset and later during the trials, biased visual orienting toward the space ipsilateral to the stimulated hand, both in uncrossed and crossed hand postures. The long-lasting temporal and global spatial profile of the modulation of free viewing exploration by touch indicates that cross-modal cues produce orienting responses, which are coded exclusively in an external reference frame.

  10. Comparison of tactile discrimination associated with varying weights of explorers.

    PubMed

    Simmer-Beck, Melanie; Branson, Bonnie G; Mitchell, Tanya Villalpando; Holt, Lorie

    2007-05-01

    The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in dental hygienists is significantly higher than that of the general population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of explorer weight on dental and dental hygiene students' tactile discrimination when exploring. A randomized controlled clinical trial utilizing a dual dependent statistical design was used to collect data on a convenience sample of forty-eight (n=48) dental hygiene students beginning their senior year of their curriculum. Tactile discrimination was measured by having twenty-four experimental subjects (using a lightweight 0.4 ounce explorer) and twenty-four control subjects (using a heavier 1.0 ounce explorer) delineate the coarseness of varying textures of sandpaper in an apparatus that provided a blinded environment. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics, chi square tests, and independent sample t-test were computed. Results did not display statistically significant differences between groups. Descriptive statistics illustrated that students using lightweight explorers were better able to delineate between textures. One exception to this finding was with very similar textures, where heavier explorers provided superior tactile discrimination. Overall, the weight of the explorer does not affect students' tactile discrimination abilities.

  11. Paper-Based Active Tactile Sensor Array.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26450138

  12. Tactile Data Entry for Extravehicular Activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Richard J.; Olowin, Aaron B.; Hannaford, Blake; Sands, O Scott

    2012-01-01

    In the task-saturated environment of extravehicular activity (EVA), an astronaut's ability to leverage suit-integrated information systems is limited by a lack of options for data entry. In particular, bulky gloves inhibit the ability to interact with standard computing interfaces such as a mouse or keyboard. This paper presents the results of a preliminary investigation into a system that permits the space suit gloves themselves to be used as data entry devices. Hand motion tracking is combined with simple finger gesture recognition to enable use of a virtual keyboard, while tactile feedback provides touch-based context to the graphical user interface (GUI) and positive confirmation of keystroke events. In human subject trials, conducted with twenty participants using a prototype system, participants entered text significantly faster with tactile feedback than without (p = 0.02). The results support incorporation of vibrotactile information in a future system that will enable full touch typing and general mouse interactions using instrumented EVA gloves.

  13. Tapered whiskers are required for active tactile sensation

    PubMed Central

    Hires, Samuel Andrew; Pammer, Lorenz; Svoboda, Karel; Golomb, David

    2013-01-01

    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 PMID:24252879

  14. The Effects of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Glove Pressure on Tactility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, Shelby; Miranda, Mesloh; England, Scott; Benson, Elizabeth; Rajulu, Sudhakar

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to quantify finger tactility, while wearing a Phase VI Extravehicular Activity (EVA) glove. Subjects were fully suited in an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) suit. Data was collected under three conditions: bare-handed, gloved at 0 psi, and gloved at 4.3 psi. In order to test tactility, a series of 30 tactile stimuli (bumps) were created that varied in both height and width. With the hand obscured, subjects applied pressure to each bump until detected tactilely. The amount of force needed to detect each bump was recorded using load cells located under a force-plate. The amount of force needed to detect a bump was positively related to width, but inversely related to height. In addition, as the psi of the glove increased, more force was needed to detect the bump. In terms of application, it was possible to determine the optimal width and height a bump needs to be for a specific amount of force applied for tactility.

  15. Spatial asymmetry in tactile sensor skin deformation aids perception of edge orientation during haptic exploration.

    PubMed

    Ponce Wong, Ruben D; Hellman, Randall B; Santos, Veronica J

    2014-01-01

    Upper-limb amputees rely primarily on visual feedback when using their prostheses to interact with others or objects in their environment. A constant reliance upon visual feedback can be mentally exhausting and does not suffice for many activities when line-of-sight is unavailable. Upper-limb amputees could greatly benefit from the ability to perceive edges, one of the most salient features of 3D shape, through touch alone. We present an approach for estimating edge orientation with respect to an artificial fingertip through haptic exploration using a multimodal tactile sensor on a robot hand. Key parameters from the tactile signals for each of four exploratory procedures were used as inputs to a support vector regression model. Edge orientation angles ranging from -90 to 90 degrees were estimated with an 85-input model having an R (2) of 0.99 and RMS error of 5.08 degrees. Electrode impedance signals provided the most useful inputs by encoding spatially asymmetric skin deformation across the entire fingertip. Interestingly, sensor regions that were not in direct contact with the stimulus provided particularly useful information. Methods described here could pave the way for semi-autonomous capabilities in prosthetic or robotic hands during haptic exploration, especially when visual feedback is unavailable.

  16. A tactile vision substitution system for the study of active sensing.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Brian; Hsieh, Cheng-Han; Yu, Sung-Nien; Ahissar, Ehud; Arieli, Amos; Zilbershtain-Kra, Yael

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a tactile vision substitution system (TVSS) for the study of active sensing. Two algorithms, namely image processing and trajectory tracking, were developed to enhance the capability of conventional TVSS. Image processing techniques were applied to reduce the artifacts and extract important features from the active camera and effectively converted the information into tactile stimuli with much lower resolution. A fixed camera was used to record the movement of the active camera. A trajectory tracking algorithm was developed to analyze the active sensing strategy of the TVSS users to explore the environment. The image processing subsystem showed advantageous improvement in extracting object's features for superior recognition. The trajectory tracking subsystem, on the other hand, enabled accurately locating the portion of the scene pointed by the active camera and providing profound information for the study of active sensing strategy applied by TVSS users.

  17. A Computational Model of a Descending Mechanosensory Pathway Involved in Active Tactile Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Ache, Jan M.; Dürr, Volker

    2015-01-01

    Many animals, including humans, rely on active tactile sensing to explore the environment and negotiate obstacles, especially in the dark. Here, we model a descending neural pathway that mediates short-latency proprioceptive information from a tactile sensor on the head to thoracic neural networks. We studied the nocturnal stick insect Carausius morosus, a model organism for the study of adaptive locomotion, including tactually mediated reaching movements. Like mammals, insects need to move their tactile sensors for probing the environment. Cues about sensor position and motion are therefore crucial for the spatial localization of tactile contacts and the coordination of fast, adaptive motor responses. Our model explains how proprioceptive information about motion and position of the antennae, the main tactile sensors in insects, can be encoded by a single type of mechanosensory afferents. Moreover, it explains how this information is integrated and mediated to thoracic neural networks by a diverse population of descending interneurons (DINs). First, we quantified responses of a DIN population to changes in antennal position, motion and direction of movement. Using principal component (PC) analysis, we find that only two PCs account for a large fraction of the variance in the DIN response properties. We call the two-dimensional space spanned by these PCs ‘coding-space’ because it captures essential features of the entire DIN population. Second, we model the mechanoreceptive input elements of this descending pathway, a population of proprioceptive mechanosensory hairs monitoring deflection of the antennal joints. Finally, we propose a computational framework that can model the response properties of all important DIN types, using the hair field model as its only input. This DIN model is validated by comparison of tuning characteristics, and by mapping the modelled neurons into the two-dimensional coding-space of the real DIN population. This reveals the

  18. A Computational Model of a Descending Mechanosensory Pathway Involved in Active Tactile Sensing.

    PubMed

    Ache, Jan M; Dürr, Volker

    2015-07-01

    Many animals, including humans, rely on active tactile sensing to explore the environment and negotiate obstacles, especially in the dark. Here, we model a descending neural pathway that mediates short-latency proprioceptive information from a tactile sensor on the head to thoracic neural networks. We studied the nocturnal stick insect Carausius morosus, a model organism for the study of adaptive locomotion, including tactually mediated reaching movements. Like mammals, insects need to move their tactile sensors for probing the environment. Cues about sensor position and motion are therefore crucial for the spatial localization of tactile contacts and the coordination of fast, adaptive motor responses. Our model explains how proprioceptive information about motion and position of the antennae, the main tactile sensors in insects, can be encoded by a single type of mechanosensory afferents. Moreover, it explains how this information is integrated and mediated to thoracic neural networks by a diverse population of descending interneurons (DINs). First, we quantified responses of a DIN population to changes in antennal position, motion and direction of movement. Using principal component (PC) analysis, we find that only two PCs account for a large fraction of the variance in the DIN response properties. We call the two-dimensional space spanned by these PCs 'coding-space' because it captures essential features of the entire DIN population. Second, we model the mechanoreceptive input elements of this descending pathway, a population of proprioceptive mechanosensory hairs monitoring deflection of the antennal joints. Finally, we propose a computational framework that can model the response properties of all important DIN types, using the hair field model as its only input. This DIN model is validated by comparison of tuning characteristics, and by mapping the modelled neurons into the two-dimensional coding-space of the real DIN population. This reveals the versatility

  19. Texture-induced vibrations in the forearm during tactile exploration

    PubMed Central

    Delhaye, Benoit; Hayward, Vincent; Lefèvre, Philippe; Thonnard, Jean-Louis

    2012-01-01

    Humans can detect and discriminate between fine variations of surface roughness using active touch. It is hitherto believed that roughness perception is mediated mostly by cutaneous and subcutaneous afferents located in the fingertips. However, recent findings have shown that following abolishment of cutaneous afferences resulting from trauma or pharmacological intervention, the ability of subjects to discriminate between textures roughness was not significantly altered. These findings suggest that the somatosensory system is able to collect textural information from other sources than fingertip afference. It follows that signals resulting of the interaction of a finger with a rough surface must be transmitted to stimulate receptor populations in regions far away from the contact. This transmission was characterized by measuring in the wrist vibrations originating at the fingertip and thus propagating through the finger, the hand and the wrist during active exploration of textured surfaces. The spectral analysis of the vibrations taking place in the forearm tissues revealed regularities that were correlated with the scanned surface and the speed of exploration. In the case of periodic textures, the vibration signal contained a fundamental frequency component corresponding to the finger velocity divided by the spatial period of the stimulus. This regularity was found for a wide range of textural length scales and scanning velocities. For non-periodic textures, the spectrum of the vibration did not contain obvious features that would enable discrimination between the different stimuli. However, for both periodic and non-periodic stimuli, the intensity of the vibrations could be related to the microgeometry of the scanned surfaces. PMID:22783177

  20. Physical Factors Influencing Pleasant Touch during Tactile Exploration

    PubMed Central

    Klöcker, Anne; Wiertlewski, Michael; Théate, Vincent; Hayward, Vincent; Thonnard, Jean-Louis

    2013-01-01

    Background When scanning surfaces, humans perceive some of their physical attributes. These percepts are frequently accompanied by a sensation of (un)pleasantness. We therefore hypothesized that aspects of the mechanical activity induced by scanning surfaces with fingertips could be objectively associated with a pleasantness sensation. Previously, we developed a unidimensional measure of pleasantness, the Pleasant Touch Scale, quantifying the pleasantness level of 37 different materials. Findings of this study suggested that the sensation of pleasantness was influenced by the average magnitude of the frictional forces brought about by sliding the finger on the surface, and by the surface topography. In the present study, we correlated (i) characteristics of the fluctuations of frictional forces resulting from the interaction between the finger and the surface asperities as well as (ii) the average friction with the sensation of pleasantness. Results Eight blindfolded participants tactually explored twelve materials of the Pleasant Touch Scale through lateral sliding movements of their index fingertip. During exploration, the normal and tangential interaction force components, fN and fT, as well as the fingertip trajectory were measured. The effect of the frictional force on pleasantness sensation was investigated through the analysis of the ratio fT to fN, i.e. the net coefficient of kinetic friction, μ. The influence of the surface topographies was investigated through analysis of rapid fT fluctuations in the spatial frequency domain. Results showed that high values of μ were anticorrelated with pleasantness. Furthermore, surfaces associated with fluctuations of fT having higher amplitudes in the low frequency range than in the high one were judged to be less pleasant than the surfaces yielding evenly distributed amplitudes throughout the whole spatial frequency domain. Conclusion Characteristics of the frictional force fluctuations and of the net friction

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

    PubMed Central

    Mosher, Clayton P.; Zimmerman, Prisca E.; Fuglevand, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:27752543

  2. Haptic exploration of fingertip-sized geometric features using a multimodal tactile sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponce Wong, Ruben D.; Hellman, Randall B.; Santos, Veronica J.

    2014-06-01

    Haptic perception remains a grand challenge for artificial hands. Dexterous manipulators could be enhanced by "haptic intelligence" that enables identification of objects and their features via touch alone. Haptic perception of local shape would be useful when vision is obstructed or when proprioceptive feedback is inadequate, as observed in this study. In this work, a robot hand outfitted with a deformable, bladder-type, multimodal tactile sensor was used to replay four human-inspired haptic "exploratory procedures" on fingertip-sized geometric features. The geometric features varied by type (bump, pit), curvature (planar, conical, spherical), and footprint dimension (1.25 - 20 mm). Tactile signals generated by active fingertip motions were used to extract key parameters for use as inputs to supervised learning models. A support vector classifier estimated order of curvature while support vector regression models estimated footprint dimension once curvature had been estimated. A distal-proximal stroke (along the long axis of the finger) enabled estimation of order of curvature with an accuracy of 97%. Best-performing, curvature-specific, support vector regression models yielded R2 values of at least 0.95. While a radial-ulnar stroke (along the short axis of the finger) was most helpful for estimating feature type and size for planar features, a rolling motion was most helpful for conical and spherical features. The ability to haptically perceive local shape could be used to advance robot autonomy and provide haptic feedback to human teleoperators of devices ranging from bomb defusal robots to neuroprostheses.

  3. Bioinspired active whisker sensor for robotic vibrissal tactile sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ju, Feng; Ling, Shih-Fu

    2014-12-01

    A whisker transducer (WT) inspired by rat’s vibrissal tactile perception is proposed based on a transduction matrix model characterizing the electro-mechanical transduction process in both forward and backward directions. It is capable of acting as an actuator to sweep the whisker and simultaneously as a sensor to sense the force, motion, and mechanical impedance at whisker tip. Its validity is confirmed by numerical simulation using a finite element model. A prototype is then fabricated and its transduction matrix is determined by parameter identification. The calibrated WT can accurately sense mechanical impedance which is directly related to stiffness, mass and damping. Subsequent vibrissal tactile sensing of sandpaper texture reveals that the real part of mechanical impedance sensed by WT is correlated with sandpaper roughness. Texture discrimination is successfully achieved by inputting the real part to a k-means clustering algorithm. The mechanical impedance sensing ability as well as other features of the WT such as simultaneous-actuation-and-sensing makes it a good solution to robotic tactile sensing.

  4. Exploring the Invisible Universe: A Tactile and Braille Exhibit of Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Tactile refreshable screen based on magneto-rheological fluids for map exploration and navigation tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolzmacher, C.; Changeon, G.; Plaud, V.; Roselier, S.; Lozada, J.; Hafez, M.

    2011-06-01

    Human-machine interfaces can convey information via visual, audio and/or haptic cues during a navigation task. The visual and audio technologies are mature, whereas research has to be focused on haptic technologies for mobile devices. In this work, a tactile refreshable screen is proposed which allows its user the exploration of maps and navigational tasks in an egocentric perspective. The proposed device consists of an array of actuators which can display various patterns. The actuation technology is based on a magneto-rheological fluid which is injected in a chamber with an elastomeric membrane using a micro pump. The fluid pressure deforms the membrane in order to display a pattern. The fluid properties are used to form a valve in each cell. A permanent magnet, a ferromagnetic core, and a coil form a closed magnetic circuit with a gap where the magneto-rheological fluid can flow; the magnetic field interacts with the fluid and prevents the filling or draining of the chamber. Applying a current to the coil counteracts the magnetic field generated by the magnet and the fluid can circulate freely in order to inflate or deflate the membrane. The design, fabrication and integration of the device in addition to the results of finite element simulations and experimental measurements are reported.

  6. Investigation and modification of a commercially available tactile sensor suited for robotic applications. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creus, Carolina

    1991-01-01

    Active (dynamic) tactile sensing was explored using a commercially available tactile array sensor. This task requires the redesign of the sensor interface and a full understanding of the old sensor hardware implementation. There were different stages to this research; the first stage involved the reverse engineering of the old tactile sensor. The second stage had to do with the exploration of the characteristics and behavior of the tactile sensor pad. The next stage dealt with the redesign of the sensor interface using the knowledge gained from the previous two stages. Finally, in the last stage, software to control the tactile sensor was developed to aid in the data acquisition process.

  7. Neural encoding schemes of tactile information in afferent activity of the vibrissal system.

    PubMed

    Farfán, Fernando D; Albarracín, Ana L; Felice, Carmelo J

    2013-02-01

    When rats acquire sensory information by actively moving their vibrissae, a neural code is manifested at different levels of the sensory system. Behavioral studies in tactile discrimination agree that rats can distinguish different roughness surfaces by whisking their vibrissae. The present study explores the existence of neural encoding in the afferent activity of one vibrissal nerve. Two neural encoding schemes based on "events" were proposed (cumulative event count and median inter-event time). The events were detected by using an event detection algorithm based on multiscale decomposition of the signal (Continuous Wavelet Transform). The encoding schemes were quantitatively evaluated through the maximum amount of information which was obtained by the Shannon's mutual information formula. Moreover, the effect of difference distances between rat snout and swept surfaces on the information values was also studied. We found that roughness information was encoded by events of 0.8 ms duration in the cumulative event count and event of 1.0 to 1.6 ms duration in the median inter-event count. It was also observed that an extreme decrease of the distance between rat snout and swept surfaces significantly reduces the information values and the capacity to discriminate among the sweep situations.

  8. An active tactile sensor for detecting mechanical characteristics of contacted objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasegawa, Y.; Shikida, M.; Sasaki, H.; Itoigawa, K.; Sato, K.

    2006-08-01

    We propose an active tactile sensor actuated by magnetic force. The tactile sensor has the advantage of being able to detect mechanical characteristics related to a tactile impression of contacted objects using a single sensor structure, much as human skin functions. It consists of a displacement-sensing element of piezoresistors formed on a silicon diaphragm, and a magnetic actuating element (a permanent magnet and a flat coil). The sensor has two modes of operation, quasi-static and vibration, and it can detect contact force, elasticity and damping of contacted objects by choosing between operation modes. We fabricated the piezoresistor sensing and magnetic actuating elements by applying the microelectromechanical systems technologies, and assembled them in a hybrid manner. The size of the sensor was 6.0 mm × 6.0 mm × 10 µm. As contact samples we used three different rubber materials with hardness values ranging from A20 to A60 in Shore A. We experimentally confirmed that both the resonance frequency and the Q-factor of the sensing element in the vibration mode changed with different samples. We were able to calculate the elastic and damping coefficients of the contacted rubber objects by analyzing the vibrational response of the diaphragm. From the results, we concluded that the active sensor can detect mechanical characteristics of contacted objects using a single sensor structure.

  9. Are We Ready to Build a System for Assisting Blind People in Tactile Exploration of Bas-Reliefs?

    PubMed Central

    Buonamici, Francesco; Carfagni, Monica; Furferi, Rocco; Governi, Lapo; Volpe, Yary

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays, the creation of methodologies and tools for facilitating the 3D reproduction of artworks and, contextually, to make their exploration possible and more meaningful for blind users is becoming increasingly relevant in society. Accordingly, the creation of integrated systems including both tactile media (e.g., bas-reliefs) and interfaces capable of providing the users with an experience cognitively comparable to the one originally envisioned by the artist, may be considered the next step for enhancing artworks exploration. In light of this, the present work provides a description of a first-attempt system designed to aid blind people (BP) in the tactile exploration of bas-reliefs. In detail, consistent hardware layout, comprising a hand-tracking system based on Kinect® sensor and an audio device, together with a number of methodologies, algorithms and information related to physical design are proposed. Moreover, according to experimental test on the developed system related to the device position, some design alternatives are suggested so as to discuss pros and cons. PMID:27563906

  10. Are We Ready to Build a System for Assisting Blind People in Tactile Exploration of Bas-Reliefs?

    PubMed

    Buonamici, Francesco; Carfagni, Monica; Furferi, Rocco; Governi, Lapo; Volpe, Yary

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays, the creation of methodologies and tools for facilitating the 3D reproduction of artworks and, contextually, to make their exploration possible and more meaningful for blind users is becoming increasingly relevant in society. Accordingly, the creation of integrated systems including both tactile media (e.g., bas-reliefs) and interfaces capable of providing the users with an experience cognitively comparable to the one originally envisioned by the artist, may be considered the next step for enhancing artworks exploration. In light of this, the present work provides a description of a first-attempt system designed to aid blind people (BP) in the tactile exploration of bas-reliefs. In detail, consistent hardware layout, comprising a hand-tracking system based on Kinect(®) sensor and an audio device, together with a number of methodologies, algorithms and information related to physical design are proposed. Moreover, according to experimental test on the developed system related to the device position, some design alternatives are suggested so as to discuss pros and cons. PMID:27563906

  11. Dielectric elastomer vibrissal system for active tactile sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conn, Andrew T.; Pearson, Martin J.; Pipe, Anthony G.; Welsby, Jason; Rossiter, Jonathan

    2012-04-01

    Rodents are able to dexterously navigate confined and unlit environments by extracting spatial and textural information with their whiskers (or vibrissae). Vibrissal-based active touch is suited to a variety of applications where vision is occluded, such as search-and-rescue operations in collapsed buildings. In this paper, a compact dielectric elastomer vibrissal system (DEVS) is described that mimics the vibrissal follicle-sinus complex (FSC) found in rodents. Like the vibrissal FSC, the DEVS encapsulates all sensitive mechanoreceptors at the root of a passive whisker within an antagonistic muscular system. Typically, rats actively whisk arrays of macro-vibrissae with amplitudes of up to +/-25°. It is demonstrated that these properties can be replicated by exploiting the characteristic large actuation strains and passive compliance of dielectric elastomers. A prototype DEVS is developed using VHB 4905 and embedded strain gauges bonded to the root of a tapered whisker. The DEVS is demonstrated to produce a maximum rotational output of +/-22.8°. An electro-mechanical model of the DEVS is derived, which incorporates a hyperelastic material model and Euler- Bernoulli beam equations. The model is shown to predict experimental measurements of whisking stroke amplitude and whisker deflection.

  12. Oscillatory activity in auditory cortex reflects the perceptual level of audio-tactile integration

    PubMed Central

    Plöchl, Michael; Gaston, Jeremy; Mermagen, Tim; König, Peter; Hairston, W. David

    2016-01-01

    Cross-modal interactions between sensory channels have been shown to depend on both the spatial disparity and the perceptual similarity between the presented stimuli. Here we investigate the behavioral and neural integration of auditory and tactile stimulus pairs at different levels of spatial disparity. Additionally, we modulated the amplitudes of both stimuli in either a coherent or non-coherent manner. We found that both auditory and tactile localization performance was biased towards the stimulus in the respective other modality. This bias linearly increases with stimulus disparity and is more pronounced for coherently modulated stimulus pairs. Analyses of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity at temporal–cortical sources revealed enhanced event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as decreased alpha and beta power during bimodal as compared to unimodal stimulation. However, while the observed ERP differences are similar for all stimulus combinations, the extent of oscillatory desynchronization varies with stimulus disparity. Moreover, when both stimuli were subjectively perceived as originating from the same direction, the reduction in alpha and beta power was significantly stronger. These observations suggest that in the EEG the level of perceptual integration is mainly reflected by changes in ongoing oscillatory activity. PMID:27647158

  13. Oscillatory activity in auditory cortex reflects the perceptual level of audio-tactile integration.

    PubMed

    Plöchl, Michael; Gaston, Jeremy; Mermagen, Tim; König, Peter; Hairston, W David

    2016-09-20

    Cross-modal interactions between sensory channels have been shown to depend on both the spatial disparity and the perceptual similarity between the presented stimuli. Here we investigate the behavioral and neural integration of auditory and tactile stimulus pairs at different levels of spatial disparity. Additionally, we modulated the amplitudes of both stimuli in either a coherent or non-coherent manner. We found that both auditory and tactile localization performance was biased towards the stimulus in the respective other modality. This bias linearly increases with stimulus disparity and is more pronounced for coherently modulated stimulus pairs. Analyses of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity at temporal-cortical sources revealed enhanced event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as decreased alpha and beta power during bimodal as compared to unimodal stimulation. However, while the observed ERP differences are similar for all stimulus combinations, the extent of oscillatory desynchronization varies with stimulus disparity. Moreover, when both stimuli were subjectively perceived as originating from the same direction, the reduction in alpha and beta power was significantly stronger. These observations suggest that in the EEG the level of perceptual integration is mainly reflected by changes in ongoing oscillatory activity.

  14. Tactile discrimination activates the visual cortex of the recently blind naive to Braille: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in humans.

    PubMed

    Sadato, Norihiro; Okada, Tomohisa; Kubota, Kiyokazu; Yonekura, Yoshiharu

    2004-04-01

    The occipital cortex of blind subjects is known to be activated during tactile discrimination tasks such as Braille reading. To investigate whether this is due to long-term learning of Braille or to sensory deafferentation, we used fMRI to study tactile discrimination tasks in subjects who had recently lost their sight and never learned Braille. The occipital cortex of the blind subjects without Braille training was activated during the tactile discrimination task, whereas that of control sighted subjects was not. This finding suggests that the activation of the visual cortex of the blind during performance of a tactile discrimination task may be due to sensory deafferentation, wherein a competitive imbalance favors the tactile over the visual modality.

  15. The Use of Tactile Modeling and Physical Guidance as Instructional Strategies in Physical Activity for Children Who Are Blind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connell, Megan; Lieberman, Lauren J.; Petersen, Susan

    2006-01-01

    Physical guidance and tactile modeling, coupled with explanation, are effective methods of improving the motor skills and physical activities of students who are blind (O'Connell, 2000). It is important that students with visual impairment are given the option to use one or the other method with each new skill, since they may have a preference for…

  16. Enhancing activity by means of tactile symbols: a study of a heterogeneous group of pupils with congenital blindness, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Aasen, Gro; Nærland, Terje

    2014-03-01

    This study investigates responses to verbal versus tactile requests in children with congenital blindness, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Observation was conducted on two occasions. At T1, requests were given verbally, and at T2, tactile requests were given. All pupils perceived tactile symbols to be explicit requests to perform the act referred to by the symbols. The children seldom or never followed verbal requests. All children followed more tactile than verbal requests. Individual differences in verbal skills, motivations and the complexity of the activity are discussed. The availability of tactile symbols for individuals with congenital blindness, intellectual disability and ASD seems to increase their level of activity and their participation in school.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27573850

  18. A Cellular Resolution Map of Barrel Cortex Activity during Tactile Behavior.

    PubMed

    Peron, Simon P; Freeman, Jeremy; Iyer, Vijay; Guo, Caiying; Svoboda, Karel

    2015-05-01

    Comprehensive measurement of neural activity remains challenging due to the large numbers of neurons in each brain area. We used volumetric two-photon imaging in mice expressing GCaMP6s and nuclear red fluorescent proteins to sample activity in 75% of superficial barrel cortex neurons across the relevant cortical columns, approximately 12,000 neurons per animal, during performance of a single whisker object localization task. Task-related activity peaked during object palpation. An encoding model related activity to behavioral variables. In the column corresponding to the spared whisker, 300 layer (L) 2/3 pyramidal neurons (17%) each encoded touch and whisker movements. Touch representation declined by half in surrounding columns; whisker movement representation was unchanged. Following the emergence of stereotyped task-related movement, sensory representations showed no measurable plasticity. Touch direction was topographically organized, with distinct organization for passive and active touch. Our work reveals sparse and spatially intermingled representations of multiple tactile features. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:25913859

  19. Tactile neural mechanisms in monotremes.

    PubMed

    Rowe, M J; Mahns, D A; Bohringer, R C; Ashwell, K W S; Sahai, V

    2003-12-01

    Monotremes, perhaps more than any other order of mammals, display an enormous behavioural reliance upon the tactile senses. In the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, this is manifest most strikingly in the special importance of the bill as a peripheral sensory organ, an importance confirmed by electrophysiological mapping that reveals a vast area of the cerebral cortex allocated to the processing of tactile inputs from the bill. Although behavioural evidence in the echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus, suggests a similar prominence for tactile inputs from the snout, there is also a great reliance upon the distal limbs for digging and burrowing activity, pointing to the importance of tactile information from these regions for the echidna. In recent studies, we have investigated the peripheral tactile neural mechanisms in the forepaw of the echidna to establish the extent of correspondence or divergence that has emerged over the widely different evolutionary paths taken by monotreme and placental mammals. Electrophysiological recordings were made from single tactile sensory nerve fibres isolated in fine strands of the median or ulnar nerves of the forearm. Controlled tactile stimuli applied to the forepaw glabrous skin permitted an initial classification of tactile sensory fibres into two broad divisions, according to their responses to static skin displacement. One displayed slowly adapting (SA) response properties, while the other showed a selective sensitivity to the dynamic components of the skin displacement. These purely dynamically-sensitive tactile fibres could be subdivided according to vibrotactile sensitivity and receptive field characteristics into a rapidly adapting (RA) class, sensitive to low frequency (tactile sensitivity of the three principal fibre classes and their individual coding characteristics, determined by

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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 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 lifespan. PMID:19064491

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Differential fMRI Activation Patterns to Noxious Heat and Tactile Stimuli in the Primate Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Pai-Feng; Wang, Feng

    2015-01-01

    Mesoscale local functional organizations of the primate spinal cord are largely unknown. Using high-resolution fMRI at 9.4 T, we identified distinct interhorn and intersegment fMRI activation patterns to tactile versus nociceptive heat stimulation of digits in lightly anesthetized monkeys. Within a spinal segment, 8 Hz vibrotactile stimuli elicited predominantly fMRI activations in the middle part of ipsilateral dorsal horn (iDH), along with significantly weaker activations in ipsilateral (iVH) and contralateral (cVH) ventral horns. In contrast, nociceptive heat stimuli evoked widespread strong activations in the superficial part of iDH, as well as in iVH and contralateral dorsal (cDH) horns. As controls, only weak signal fluctuations were detected in the white matter. The iDH responded most strongly to both tactile and heat stimuli, whereas the cVH and cDH responded selectively to tactile versus nociceptive heat, respectively. Across spinal segments, iDH activations were detected in three consecutive segments in both tactile and heat conditions. Heat responses, however, were more extensive along the cord, with strong activations in iVH and cDH in two consecutive segments. Subsequent subunit B of cholera toxin tracer histology confirmed that the spinal segments showing fMRI activations indeed received afferent inputs from the stimulated digits. Comparisons of the fMRI signal time courses in early somatosensory area 3b and iDH revealed very similar hemodynamic stimulus–response functions. In summary, we identified with fMRI distinct segmental networks for the processing of tactile and nociceptive heat stimuli in the cervical spinal cord of nonhuman primates. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This is the first fMRI demonstration of distinct intrasegmental and intersegmental nociceptive heat and touch processing circuits in the spinal cord of nonhuman primates. This study provides novel insights into the local functional organizations of the primate spinal cord for pain and

  3. [The effect of passive tactile stimulation in the brain activity of children with attention deficit].

    PubMed

    Soria-Claros, M; Serrano-Marugan, I; Quintero, J; Ortiz, T

    2016-01-01

    Introduccion. Los potenciales evocados N200 y P300 han demostrado ser una herramienta de gran utilidad en el seguimiento de niños con trastorno por deficit de atencion (TDA). Objetivo. Evaluar el procesamiento cerebral de la informacion mediante los componentes N200 y P300 en modalidad tactil en niños con TDA. Sujetos y metodos. Se registraron los componentes N200 y P300 de los potenciales evocados durante una tarea oddball de estimulacion tactil en un grupo experimental de 17 niños con TDA al principio y al final de un entrenamiento mediante estimulacion tactil diaria, en otro de 12 niños con TDA y en 21 niños control sin TDA que no recibieron estimulacion tactil. Los tres grupos tenian edades comprendidas entre 7 y 11 años. Resultados. Los resultados indican una disminucion significativa de la latencia de las ondas N200 y P300 en el grupo experimental al final del estudio. Se encontraron diferencias significativas en la N200 en el grupo experimental en areas temporales parietales y occipitales, mientras que, en la P300, las diferencias se localizan en areas poscentrales y parietales. Conclusion. La estimulacion tactil de manera sistematica, ordenada y organizada en niños con TDA puede ser efectiva para la mejora de la latencia de los potenciales evocados N200 y P300, asi como para una mayor plasticidad cerebral parietal, asociada a la atencion perceptiva.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27311294

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. The neural basis of tactile motion perception.

    PubMed

    Pei, Yu-Cheng; Bensmaia, Sliman J

    2014-12-15

    The manipulation of objects commonly involves motion between object and skin. In this review, we discuss the neural basis of tactile motion perception and its similarities with its visual counterpart. First, much like in vision, the perception of tactile motion relies on the processing of spatiotemporal patterns of activation across populations of sensory receptors. Second, many neurons in primary somatosensory cortex are highly sensitive to motion direction, and the response properties of these neurons draw strong analogies to those of direction-selective neurons in visual cortex. Third, tactile speed may be encoded in the strength of the response of cutaneous mechanoreceptive afferents and of a subpopulation of speed-sensitive neurons in cortex. However, both afferent and cortical responses are strongly dependent on texture as well, so it is unclear how texture and speed signals are disambiguated. Fourth, motion signals from multiple fingers must often be integrated during the exploration of objects, but the way these signals are combined is complex and remains to be elucidated. Finally, visual and tactile motion perception interact powerfully, an integration process that is likely mediated by visual association cortex. PMID:25253479

  7. A finger-shaped tactile sensor for fabric surfaces evaluation by 2-dimensional active sliding touch.

    PubMed

    Hu, Haihua; Han, Yezhen; Song, Aiguo; Chen, Shanguang; Wang, Chunhui; Wang, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Sliding tactile perception is a basic function for human beings to determine the mechanical properties of object surfaces and recognize materials. Imitating this process, this paper proposes a novel finger-shaped tactile sensor based on a thin piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film for surface texture measurement. A parallelogram mechanism is designed to ensure that the sensor applies a constant contact force perpendicular to the object surface, and a 2-dimensional movable mechanical structure is utilized to generate the relative motion at a certain speed between the sensor and the object surface. By controlling the 2-dimensional motion of the finger-shaped sensor along the object surface, small height/depth variation of surface texture changes the output charge of PVDF film then surface texture can be measured. In this paper, the finger-shaped tactile sensor is used to evaluate and classify five different kinds of linen. Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) is utilized to get original attribute data of surface in the frequency domain, and principal component analysis (PCA) is used to compress the attribute data and extract feature information. Finally, low dimensional features are classified by Support Vector Machine (SVM). The experimental results show that this finger-shaped tactile sensor is effective and high accurate for discriminating the five textures.

  8. A Finger-Shaped Tactile Sensor for Fabric Surfaces Evaluation by 2-Dimensional Active Sliding Touch

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Haihua; Han, Yezhen; Song, Aiguo; Chen, Shanguang; Wang, Chunhui; Wang, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Sliding tactile perception is a basic function for human beings to determine the mechanical properties of object surfaces and recognize materials. Imitating this process, this paper proposes a novel finger-shaped tactile sensor based on a thin piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film for surface texture measurement. A parallelogram mechanism is designed to ensure that the sensor applies a constant contact force perpendicular to the object surface, and a 2-dimensional movable mechanical structure is utilized to generate the relative motion at a certain speed between the sensor and the object surface. By controlling the 2-dimensional motion of the finger-shaped sensor along the object surface, small height/depth variation of surface texture changes the output charge of PVDF film then surface texture can be measured. In this paper, the finger-shaped tactile sensor is used to evaluate and classify five different kinds of linen. Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) is utilized to get original attribute data of surface in the frequency domain, and principal component analysis (PCA) is used to compress the attribute data and extract feature information. Finally, low dimensional features are classified by Support Vector Machine (SVM). The experimental results show that this finger-shaped tactile sensor is effective and high accurate for discriminating the five textures. PMID:24618775

  9. A finger-shaped tactile sensor for fabric surfaces evaluation by 2-dimensional active sliding touch.

    PubMed

    Hu, Haihua; Han, Yezhen; Song, Aiguo; Chen, Shanguang; Wang, Chunhui; Wang, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Sliding tactile perception is a basic function for human beings to determine the mechanical properties of object surfaces and recognize materials. Imitating this process, this paper proposes a novel finger-shaped tactile sensor based on a thin piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film for surface texture measurement. A parallelogram mechanism is designed to ensure that the sensor applies a constant contact force perpendicular to the object surface, and a 2-dimensional movable mechanical structure is utilized to generate the relative motion at a certain speed between the sensor and the object surface. By controlling the 2-dimensional motion of the finger-shaped sensor along the object surface, small height/depth variation of surface texture changes the output charge of PVDF film then surface texture can be measured. In this paper, the finger-shaped tactile sensor is used to evaluate and classify five different kinds of linen. Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) is utilized to get original attribute data of surface in the frequency domain, and principal component analysis (PCA) is used to compress the attribute data and extract feature information. Finally, low dimensional features are classified by Support Vector Machine (SVM). The experimental results show that this finger-shaped tactile sensor is effective and high accurate for discriminating the five textures. PMID:24618775

  10. ESA Human Exploration Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovland, Scott

    The long term goal of the Aurora Exploration Programme is Human exploration of Mars. In preparation for this, exploration of the Moon is a necessary step to provide demonstration of capabilities, mandatory for long duration human spaceflight. With the European Columbus module attached to the ISS, Europe has access to a world class laboratory in space for microgravity research, technology demonstration and preparation for future human exploration missions. The ongoing phase of the exploration programme has been focused on defining the overall European strategy and exploration architecture within the global exploration environment. System studies as well as focused technology developments are in progress (e.g. development of regenerative life support).

  11. Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Tactile asymbolia.

    PubMed

    Talmasov, Daniel; Ropper, Allan H

    2016-04-01

    Agraphesthesia has been attributed to impairment of the ability to detect more rudimentary directionality of lines written on the skin (directional cutaneous kinesthesia). We examined a patient who had a dissociation between preserved perception of line directionality and the loss of graphesthesia for letters and numbers. A man with a metastatic right parietal lesion was tested for the ability to determine the directionality of lines drawn on the palms and forehead and then evaluated for recognition of letters and numbers in these regions. Our patient could identify the directions of lines, letters and numbers drawn on paper. The ability to detect the direction and shape of lines drawn on the skin of the palms and on the forehead was preserved but he had agraphesthesia for numbers and letters in these same locations. The finding of isolated agraphesthesia for letters and numbers may be assigned to damage in the right parietal lobe. It represents a deficit of somatosensory processing that is of a higher order than detection of line directionality. The term "tactile asymbolia" may capture the dissociation. These clinical findings suggest that tactile cortex in humans, like visual cortex, may be hierarchically organized, as has been demonstrated in primates.

  13. The Cognitive and Neural Correlates of Tactile Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Tactile memory systems are involved in the storage and retrieval of information about stimuli that impinge on the body surface and objects that people explore haptically. Here, the authors review the behavioral, neuropsychological, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging research on tactile memory. This body of research reveals that tactile memory…

  14. Effects of late visual impairment on mental representations activated by visual and tactile stimuli.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Vecchi, Tomaso; Monegato, Maura; Pece, Alfredo; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2007-05-01

    Similarly to sighted people, individuals congenitally affected by a severe visual impairment can maintain and mentally manipulate spatial information about tactile stimuli [Vecchi, T., Cattaneo, Z., Monegato, M., Pece, A., Cornoldi, C., Pietrini, P., 2006. Why Cyclops could not compete with Ulysses: monocular vision and mental images. NeuroReport 17, 723-726]. The aim of the present study was to assess whether the onset timing of a severe (but not total) sight loss may influence spatial imagery abilities based on haptic input. To this purpose, a group of late severe visually impaired people and a matched group of normally sighted participants (all blindfolded) were presented with an imagery task requiring to memorize and retrieve a number of locations presented on tactile matrices. Results indicate that a severe visual deficit occurring later in life significantly impairs spatial imagery abilities to a greater extent than in the case of congenital blindness, probably as a consequence of a modest development of specific compensatory mechanisms associated with congenital deficits. PMID:17368576

  15. Tactile Data Entry System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  16. Tactile responses in the granule cell layer of cerebellar folium crus IIa of freely behaving rats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, M. J.; Bower, J. M.

    2001-01-01

    We recorded activity from the granule cell layer (GCL) of cerebellar folium Crus IIa as freely moving rats engaged in a variety of natural behaviors, including grooming, eating, and free tactile exploration. Multiunit responses in the 1000-4500 Hz range were found to be strongly correlated with tactile stimulation of lip and whisker (perioral) regions. These responses occurred regardless of whether the stimulus was externally or self-generated and during both active and passive touch. In contrast, perioral movements that did not tactually stimulate this region of the face (e.g., chewing) produced no detectable increases in GCL activity. In addition, GCL responses were not correlated with movement extremes. When rats used their lips actively for palpation and exploration, the tactile responses in the GCL were not detectably modulated by ongoing jaw movements. However, active palpation and exploratory behaviors did result in the largest and most continuous bursts of GCL activity: responses were on average 10% larger and 50% longer during palpation and exploration than during grooming or passive stimulation. Although activity levels differed between behaviors, the position and spatial extent of the peripheral receptive field was similar over all behaviors that resulted in tactile input. Overall, our data suggest that the 1000-4500 Hz multiunit responses in the Crus IIa GCL of awake rats are correlated with tactile input rather than with movement or any movement parameter and that these responses are likely to be of particular importance during the acquisition of sensory information by perioral structures.

  17. Creating and Using Tactile Experience Books for Young Children with Visual Impairments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Sandra; Tolla, Joan

    2003-01-01

    This article explores how tactile experience books can be used to ensure that young children with visual impairments learn to read. It discusses making tactile experience books by collecting artifacts and gluing them to cardboard pages, and the benefits of tactile books. Descriptions of two tactile books are provided. (Contains references.) (CR)

  18. Teacher-Made Tactile Science Materials with Critical and Creative Thinking Activities for Learners Including Those with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teske, Jolene K.; Gray, Phyllis; Kuhn, Mason A.; Clausen, Courtney K.; Smith, Latisha L.; Alsubia, Sukainah A.; Ghayoorad, Maryam; Rule, Audrey C.; Schneider, Jean Suchsland

    2014-01-01

    Gifted students with visual impairments are twice exceptional learners and may not evidence their advanced science aptitudes without appropriate accommodations for learning science. However, effective tactile science teaching materials may be easily made. Recent research has shown that when tactile materials are used with "all" students…

  19. Do "mudsplashes" induce tactile change blindness?

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Tan, Hong Z; Spence, Charles

    2007-05-01

    The phenomenon of change blindness (the surprising inability of people to correctly perceive changes between consecutively presented displays), primarily reported in vision, has recently been shown to occur for positional changes presented in tactile displays as well. Here, we studied people's ability to detect changes in the number of tactile stimuli in successively presented displays composed of one to three stimuli distributed over the body surface. In Experiment 1, a tactile mask consisting of the simultaneous activation of all seven possible tactile stimulators was sometimes presented between the two to-be-discriminated tactile displays. In Experiment 2, a "mudsplash" paradigm was used, with a brief irrelevant tactile distractor presented at the moment of change of the tactile display. Change blindness was demonstrated in both experiments, thus showing that the failure to detect tactile change is not necessarily related to (1) the physical disruption between consecutive events, (2) the effect of masking covering the location of the change, or (3) the erasure or resetting of the information contained within an internal representation of the tactile display. These results are interpreted in terms of a limitation in the number of spatial locations/events that can be consciously accessed at any one time. This limitation appears to constrain change-detection performance, no matter the sensory modality in which the stimuli are presented. PMID:17727101

  20. Simultaneous Top-down Modulation of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex and Thalamic Nuclei during Active Tactile Discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Pais-Vieira, Miguel; Lebedev, Mikhail A.; Wiest, Michael C.; Nicolelis, Miguel A.L.

    2013-01-01

    The rat somatosensory system contains multiple thalamocortical loops (TCL) that altogether process, in fundamentally different ways, tactile stimuli delivered passively or actively sampled. To elucidate potential top-down mechanisms that govern TCL processing in awake, behaving animals, we simultaneously recorded neuronal ensemble activity across multiple cortical and thalamic areas while rats performed an active aperture discrimination task. Single neurons located in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the ventroposterior medial (VPM) and the posterior medial (POM) thalamic nuclei of the trigeminal somatosensory pathways exhibited prominent anticipatory firing modulations prior to the whiskers touching the aperture edges. This cortical and thalamic anticipatory firing could not be explained by whisker movements or whisker stimulation, because neither trigeminal ganglion sensory-evoked responses nor EMG activity were detected during the same period. Both thalamic and S1 anticipatory activity were predictive of the animal’s discrimination accuracy. Inactivation of the primary motor cortex (M1) with muscimol affected anticipatory patterns in S1 and the thalamus, and impaired the ability to predict the animal’s performance accuracy based on thalamocortical anticipatory activity. These findings suggest that neural processing in TCLs is launched in anticipation of whisker contact with objects, depends on top-down effects generated in part by M1 activity, and cannot be explained by the classical feedforward model of the rat trigeminal system. PMID:23447616

  1. Optical-to-Tactile Translator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  2. Acoustic Tactile Representation of Visual Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  3. A tactile suffix effect.

    PubMed

    Watkins, M J; Watkins, O C

    1974-01-01

    Evidence for a representational tactile memory was obtained from a tactile analogue of the auditory suffix effect. In two experiments, a short sequence of tactile stimuli applied to the fingers was followed by an acoustic (control) or tactile (suffix) recall signal. The serial position curves for the two conditions were compared. They revealed similar and strong primacy effects, but recall of the last few stimuli was higher in the control condition. This terminal control advantage was attributed to the retention of raw tactile information.

  4. Brain activations evoked by tactile stimulation varies with the intensity and not with number of receptive fields stimulated: An fMRI study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez Garzón, Y. T.; Pasaye, E. H.; Barrios, F. A.

    2014-11-01

    Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) it is possible to study the functional anatomy of primary cortices. Cortical representations in the primary somatosensory cortex have shown discrepancies between activations related to the same body region in some studies; these differences have been more pronounced for lower limb representations. The aim of this study was to observe the influence of the tactile stimulus intensity in somatosensory cortical responses using fMRI. Based in the sensitivity and pain threshold of each subject, we used Von Frey filaments for stimulate 12 control subject in three receptive fields on the right thigh. One filament near to sensitivity threshold (VFS), other close to pain threshold (VFP) and one intermediate filament between the two previous thresholds (VFI). The tactile stimulation with VFS produced no activation on SI, while that the contralateral SI was activated by stimulation with VFI in 5 subjects and with the stimulation of VFP in all subjects. Second level statistical analysis showed significant differences between SI activations related to the stimulation with VFP and VFI (VFP > VFI), in the comparison between the applied different intensities, a small cluster of activation was observed on SI for the unique possible contrast (VFP > VFI). The time course per trial for each subject was extracted and averaged to extract the activation in the contralateral SI and compared across the stimulus modalities, between the sites of field receptive stimulated and the intensities used. The time course of tactile stimulus responses revealed a consistent single peak of activity per cycle (30 s), approximately 12 s after the onset of the stimulus, with exception of the VFI stimulation,_which showed the peak at 10 s. Thus, our results indicate that the cortical representation of a tactile stimulus with fMRI is modulated for the intensity of the stimulus applied.

  5. How does brain activation differ in children with unilateral cerebral palsy compared to typically developing children, during active and passive movements, and tactile stimulation? An fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Van de Winckel, Ann; Klingels, Katrijn; Bruyninckx, Frans; Wenderoth, Nici; Peeters, Ron; Sunaert, Stefan; Van Hecke, Wim; De Cock, Paul; Eyssen, Maria; De Weerdt, Willy; Feys, Hilde

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to investigate brain activation associated with active and passive movements, and tactile stimulation in 17 children with right-sided unilateral cerebral palsy (CP), compared to 19 typically developing children (TD). The active movements consisted of repetitive opening and closing of the hand. For passive movements, an MRI-compatible robot moved the finger up and down. Tactile stimulation was provided by manually stroking the dorsal surface of the hand with a sponge cotton cloth. In both groups, contralateral primary sensorimotor cortex activation (SM1) was seen for all tasks, as well as additional contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1) activation for passive movements. Ipsilateral cerebellar activity was observed in TD children during all tasks, but only during active movements in CP children. Of interest was additional ipsilateral SM1 recruitment in CP during active movements as well as ipsilateral S1 activation during passive movements and tactile stimulation. Another interesting new finding was the contralateral cerebellum activation in both groups during different tasks, also in cerebellar areas not primarily linked to the sensorimotor network. Active movements elicited significantly more brain activation in CP compared to TD children. In both groups, active movements displayed significantly more brain activation compared to passive movements and tactile stimulation.

  6. How Does Brain Activation Differ in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy Compared to Typically Developing Children, during Active and Passive Movements, and Tactile Stimulation? An fMRI Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van de Winckel, Ann; Klingels, Katrijn; Bruyninckx, Frans; Wenderoth, Nici; Peeters, Ron; Sunaert, Stefan; Van Hecke, Wim; De Cock, Paul; Eyssen, Maria; De Weerdt, Willy; Feys, Hilde

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to investigate brain activation associated with active and passive movements, and tactile stimulation in 17 children with right-sided unilateral cerebral palsy (CP), compared to 19 typically developing children (TD). The active movements consisted of repetitive opening and…

  7. Tactile Object Familiarity in the Blind Brain Reveals the Supramodal Perceptual-Mnemonic Nature of the Perirhinal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cacciamani, Laura; Likova, Lora T.

    2016-01-01

    This study is the first to investigate the neural underpinnings of tactile object familiarity in the blind during both perception and memory. In the sighted, the perirhinal cortex (PRC) has been implicated in the assessment of visual object familiarity—a crucial everyday task—as evidenced by reduced activation when an object becomes familiar. Here, to examine the PRC’s role in tactile object familiarity in the absence of vision, we trained blind participants on a unique memory-guided drawing technique and measured brain activity while they perceptually explored raised-line drawings, drew them from tactile memory, and scribbled (control). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after a week of training revealed a significant decrease in PRC activation from pre- to post-training (i.e., from unfamiliar to familiar) during perceptual exploration as well as memory-guided drawing, but not scribbling. This familiarity-based reduction is the first evidence that the PRC represents tactile object familiarity in the blind. Furthermore, the finding of this effect during both tactile perception and tactile memory provides the critical link in establishing the PRC as a structure whose representations are supramodal for both perception and memory. PMID:27148002

  8. Altered Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Cortical Activation to Tactile Stimuli in Somatosensory Area 3b and Area 1 of Monkeys after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Su, Langting

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Reactivation of deafferented cortex plays a key role in mediating the recovery of lost functions, although the precise mechanism is not fully understood. This study simultaneously characterized the dynamic spatiotemporal features of tactile responses in areas 3b and 1 before and 6–8 weeks after partial dorsal column lesion (DCL), and examined how the reactivation relates to the recovery of simple hand use in squirrel monkeys. A combination of high spatiotemporal resolution functional intrinsic optical imaging, microelectrode mapping, behavioral assessment, and tracer histology methods were used. Compared with the normal cortex, we found that the responses of deafferented areas 3b and 1 to 3 s of continuous 8 Hz tactile stimulation of a single digit were significantly weaker and more transient. This finding indicates a loss of response to sustained tactile stimuli. The activation area enlarged for areas 3b and 1 in both directions along digit representation (medial–lateral) and across areas (anterior–posterior). All subjects showed behavioral deficits in a food reaching-grasping-retrieving task within the first 5 weeks after DCL, but recovered at the time when optical images were acquired. Summarily, we showed that these populations of cortical neurons responded to peripheral tactile inputs, albeit in significantly altered manners in each area, several weeks after deafferentation. We propose that compromised ascending driven inputs, impaired lateral inhibition, and local integration of input signals may account for the altered spatiotemporal dynamics of the reactivated areas 3b and 1 cortices. Further investigation with large sample sizes is needed to fully characterize the effects of deafferentation on area 1 activation size. PMID:27699211

  9. Altered Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Cortical Activation to Tactile Stimuli in Somatosensory Area 3b and Area 1 of Monkeys after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Su, Langting

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Reactivation of deafferented cortex plays a key role in mediating the recovery of lost functions, although the precise mechanism is not fully understood. This study simultaneously characterized the dynamic spatiotemporal features of tactile responses in areas 3b and 1 before and 6–8 weeks after partial dorsal column lesion (DCL), and examined how the reactivation relates to the recovery of simple hand use in squirrel monkeys. A combination of high spatiotemporal resolution functional intrinsic optical imaging, microelectrode mapping, behavioral assessment, and tracer histology methods were used. Compared with the normal cortex, we found that the responses of deafferented areas 3b and 1 to 3 s of continuous 8 Hz tactile stimulation of a single digit were significantly weaker and more transient. This finding indicates a loss of response to sustained tactile stimuli. The activation area enlarged for areas 3b and 1 in both directions along digit representation (medial–lateral) and across areas (anterior–posterior). All subjects showed behavioral deficits in a food reaching-grasping-retrieving task within the first 5 weeks after DCL, but recovered at the time when optical images were acquired. Summarily, we showed that these populations of cortical neurons responded to peripheral tactile inputs, albeit in significantly altered manners in each area, several weeks after deafferentation. We propose that compromised ascending driven inputs, impaired lateral inhibition, and local integration of input signals may account for the altered spatiotemporal dynamics of the reactivated areas 3b and 1 cortices. Further investigation with large sample sizes is needed to fully characterize the effects of deafferentation on area 1 activation size.

  10. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization.

    PubMed

    Gori, Monica; Vercillo, Tiziana; Sandini, Giulio; Burr, David

    2014-01-01

    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 congruent. 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. PMID:25368587

  11. Tactile massage and hypnosis as a health promotion for nurses in emergency care-a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background This study explores nursing personnel's experiences and perceptions of receiving tactile massage and hypnosis during a personnel health promotion project. Nursing in a short term emergency ward environment can be emotionally and physically exhausting due to the stressful work environment and the high dependency patient care. A health promotion project integrating tactile massage and hypnosis with conventional physical activities was therefore introduced for nursing personnel working in this setting at a large university hospital in Sweden. Methods Four semi-structured focus group discussions were conducted with volunteer nursing personnel participants after the health promotion project had been completed. There were 16 participants in the focus groups and there were 57 in the health promotion intervention. The discussions were transcribed verbatim and analysed with qualitative content analysis. Results The findings indicated that tactile massage and hypnosis may contribute to reduced levels of stress and pain and increase work ability for some nursing personnel. The sense of well-being obtained in relation to health promotion intervention with tactile massage and hypnosis seemed to have positive implications for both work and leisure. Self-awareness, contentment and self-control may be contributing factors related to engaging in tactile massage and hypnosis that might help nursing personnel understand their patients and colleagues and helped them deal with difficult situations that occurred during their working hours. Conclusion The findings indicate that the integration of tactile massage and hypnosis in personnel health promotion may be valuable stress management options in addition to conventional physical activities. PMID:21961762

  12. Enhancing Activity by Means of Tactile Symbols: A Study of a Heterogeneous Group of Pupils with Congenital Blindness, Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aasen, Gro; Naerland, Terje

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates responses to verbal versus tactile requests in children with congenital blindness, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Observation was conducted on two occasions. At T1, requests were given verbally, and at T2, tactile requests were given. All pupils perceived tactile symbols to be explicit requests…

  13. An overview of tactile sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agrawal, Rajeev; Jain, Ramesh

    1986-01-01

    Existing or proposed tactile sensors are reviewed. General considerations involved in tactile sensing and various performance criteria are discussed. Typical specifications to be expected from the sensors are also described. A representative set of present day tactile sensors is studied. Finally, some of the proposed recognition systems using tactile sensing are described.

  14. Report on geologic exploration activities

    SciTech Connect

    1980-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the geological exploration activities being carried out as part of the National Waste Terminal Storage (NWTS) Program, which has been established by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the technology and provide the facilities for the safe, environmentally acceptable isolation of civilian high-level and transuranic nuclear wastes, including spent fuel elements, for which the Federal government is reponsible. The principal programmatic emphasis is on disposal in mined geologic repositories. Explorations are being conducted or planned in various parts of the country to identify potential sites for such repositories. The work is being undertaken by three separate but coordinated NWTS project elements. Under the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP), basalt formations underlying DOE's Hanford Reservation are being investigated. Granite, tuff, and shale formations at the DOE Nevada Test Site (NTS) are being similarly studied in the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI). The Office of Nuclear Waste Isolation (ONWI) is investigating domed salt formations in several Gulf Coast states and bedded salt formations in Utah and Texas. Th ONWI siting studies are being expanded to include areas overlying crystalline rocks, shales, and other geohydrologic systems. The current status of these NWTS efforts, including the projected budgets for FY 1981, is summarized, and the criteria and methodology being employed in the explorations are described. The consistency of the overall effort with the recommendations presented in the Report to the President by the Interagency Review Group on Nuclear Waste Management (IRG), as well as with documents representing the national technical consensus, is discussed.

  15. A tactile control prosthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, James Franklin

    This research involves development and testing of a tactile control prosthesis to aid human operators in control of dynamic vehicles. Specifically, this work includes development and demonstration of a torso mounted tactile drift display that allowed helicopter pilots to hover a Blackhawk helicopter with degraded vision (equivalent to 20/200 acuity), a NASA sponsored pilot-in-the-loop simulator study for a hover display and development and analysis of a tactile control prosthesis to help pilots correctly control an airplane experiencing an engine failure on takeoff. Results of a ten-subject experiment indicate that use of a tactile display in conjunction with a visual display reduces operator delay by 65 msec (SD of 28 msec), (P < 0.001) without a significant increase in error rate. In the pilot-in-the-loop simulation experiment pilots hovered a simulated helicopter better under increased workload conditions with the tactile control prosthesis than without it. The increased workload consisted of an addition drill in which the subject had to agree or disagree with a computer generated sum. Pilots were able to hover more precisely with the tactile display (mean of 5.19, SD of 2.57 feet) than without (mean of 6.39 and SD of 3.31 feet) especially when the secondary task was required (P < 0.001). Although learning effects were exhibited throughout the trials (P < 0.001), the tactile display was of greater benefit in higher workload conditions.

  16. Vibratory tactile display for textures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ikei, Yasushi; Ikeno, Akihisa; Fukuda, Shuichi

    1994-01-01

    We have developed a tactile display that produces vibratory stimulus to a fingertip in contact with a vibrating tactor matrix. The display depicts tactile surface textures while the user is exploring a virtual object surface. A piezoelectric actuator drives the individual tactor in accordance with both the finger movement and the surface texture being traced. Spatiotemporal display control schemes were examined for presenting the fundamental surface texture elements. The temporal duration of vibratory stimulus was experimentally optimized to simulate the adaptation process of cutaneous sensation. The selected duration time for presenting a single line edge agreed with the time threshold of tactile sensation. Then spatial stimulus disposition schemes were discussed for representation of other edge shapes. As an alternative means not relying on amplitude control, a method of augmented duration at the edge was investigated. Spatial resolution of the display was measured for the lines presented both in perpendicular and parallel to a finger axis. Discrimination of texture density was also measured on random dot textures.

  17. Brain Process for Perception of the “Out of the Body” Tactile Illusion for Virtual Object Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hye Jin; Lee, Jaedong; Kim, Chi Jung; Kim, Gerard J.; Kim, Eun-Soo; Whang, Mincheol

    2015-01-01

    “Out of the body” tactile illusion refers to the phenomenon in which one can perceive tactility as if emanating from a location external to the body without any stimulator present there. Taking advantage of such a tactile illusion is one way to provide and realize richer interaction feedback without employing and placing actuators directly at all stimulation target points. However, to further explore its potential, it is important to better understand the underlying physiological and neural mechanism. As such, we measured the brain wave patterns during such tactile illusion and mapped out the corresponding brain activation areas. Participants were given stimulations at different levels with the intention to create veridical (i.e., non-illusory) and phantom sensations at different locations along an external hand-held virtual ruler. The experimental data and analysis indicate that both veridical and illusory sensations involve, among others, the parietal lobe, one of the most important components in the tactile information pathway. In addition, we found that as for the illusory sensation, there is an additional processing resulting in the delay for the ERP (event-related potential) and involvement by the limbic lobe. These point to regarding illusion as a memory and recognition task as a possible explanation. The present study demonstrated some basic understanding; how humans process “virtual” objects and the way associated tactile illusion is generated will be valuable for HCI (Human-Computer Interaction). PMID:25835301

  18. In situ patch-clamp recordings from Merkel cells in rat whisker hair follicles, an experimental protocol for studying tactile transduction in tactile-end organs.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Ryo; Ling, Jennifer; Cha, Myeounghoon; Gu, Jianguo G

    2015-01-01

    Mammals use tactile end-organs to perform sensory tasks such as environmental exploration, social interaction, and tactile discrimination. However, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tactile transduction in tactile end-organs remain poorly understood. The patch-clamp recording technique may be the most valuable approach for detecting and studying tactile transduction in tactile end-organs, but it is technically challenging because tactile transduction elements in an end-organ are normally inaccessible by patch-clamp recording electrodes. Here we describe an in situ patch-clamp recording protocol for the study of tactile transduction in Merkel cells of rat whisker hair follicles, one of the most sensitive tactile end-organs in mammals. This technique offers an opportunity to explore the identities and properties of ion channels that are involved in tactile transduction in whisker hair follicles, and it may also lend a useful tool for researchers to study other tactile end-organs. The experimental protocol describes procedures for 1) tissue dissection and whisker hair follicle preparation, 2) device setup and steps for performing patch-clamp recordings from Merkel cells in a whisker hair follicle, 3) methods of delivering mechanical stimuli, and 4) intra-follicle microinjection for receptor knockdown in whisker hair follicles. The main procedures in this protocol, from tissue preparation to whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, can be completed in a few hours. PMID:25907165

  19. Tactile mental body parts representation in obesity.

    PubMed

    Scarpina, Federica; Castelnuovo, Gianluca; Molinari, Enrico

    2014-12-30

    Obese people׳s distortions in visually-based mental body-parts representations have been reported in previous studies, but other sensory modalities have largely been neglected. In the present study, we investigated possible differences in tactilely-based body-parts representation between an obese and a healthy-weight group; additionally we explore the possible relationship between the tactile- and the visually-based body representation. Participants were asked to estimate the distance between two tactile stimuli that were simultaneously administered on the arm or on the abdomen, in the absence of visual input. The visually-based body-parts representation was investigated by a visual imagery method in which subjects were instructed to compare the horizontal extension of body part pairs. According to the results, the obese participants overestimated the size of the tactilely-perceived distances more than the healthy-weight group when the arm, and not the abdomen, was stimulated. Moreover, they reported a lower level of accuracy than did the healthy-weight group when estimating horizontal distances relative to their bodies, confirming an inappropriate visually-based mental body representation. Our results imply that body representation disturbance in obese people is not limited to the visual mental domain, but it spreads to the tactilely perceived distances. The inaccuracy was not a generalized tendency but was body-part related.

  20. Tactile stimulation reduces fear in fish

    PubMed Central

    Schirmer, Annett; Jesuthasan, Suresh; Mathuru, Ajay S.

    2013-01-01

    Being groomed or touched can counter stress and negative affect in mammals. In two experiments we explored whether a similar phenomenon exists in non-mammals like zebrafish. In Experiment 1, we exposed zebrafish to a natural stressor, a chemical alarm signal released by injured conspecifics. Before moving them into an observation tank, one group of fish was washed and then subjected to a water current that served as the tactile stimulus. The other group was simply washed. Fish with tactile treatment demonstrated fewer fear behaviors (e.g., bottom dwelling) and lower cortisol levels than fish without. In Experiment 2, we ascertained a role of somatosensation in these effects. Using a similar paradigm as in Experiment 1, we recorded fear behaviors of intact fish and fish with damaged lateral line hair cells. Relative to the former, the latter benefited less from the tactile stimulus during fear recovery. Together these findings show that tactile stimulation can calm fish and that tactile receptors, evolutionarily older than those present in mammals, contribute to this phenomenon. PMID:24319415

  1. Tactile Sensitivity in Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Tavassoli, Teresa; Calo, Susana; Thomas, Richard M.; Catmur, Caroline; Frith, Uta; Haggard, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    People with autism and Asperger syndrome are anecdotally said to be hypersensitive to touch. In two experiments, we measured tactile thresholds and suprathreshold tactile sensitivity in a group of adults with Asperger syndrome. In the first experiment, tactile perceptual thresholds were measured. Two frequencies of vibrotactile stimulation were…

  2. Testing Tactile Masking between the Forearms.

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Sarah; Harris, Laurence R

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26889736

  3. Exploring neuronal activity with photons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourdieu, Laurent; Léger, Jean-François

    2015-10-01

    The following sections are included: * Introduction * Information coding * Optical recordings of neuronal activity * Functional organization of the cortex at the level of a cortical column * Microarchitecture of a cortical column * Dynamics of neuronal populations * Outlook * Bibliography

  4. A Tactile Carina Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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!

  5. Learning in Tactile Channels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gescheider, George A.; Wright, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Vibrotactile intensity-discrimination thresholds for sinusoidal stimuli applied to the thenar eminence of the hand declined as a function of practice. However, improvement was confined to the tactile information-processing channel in which learning had occurred. Specifically, improvements in performance with training within the Pacinian-corpuscle…

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. Meet our Neighbours - a tactile experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. The Role of Exploratory Conditions in Bio-Inspired Tactile Sensing of Single Topogical Features

    PubMed Central

    Candelier, Raphaël; Prevost, Alexis; Debrégeas, Georges

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the mechanism of tactile transduction during active exploration of finely textured surfaces using a tactile sensor mimicking the human fingertip. We focus in particular on the role of exploratory conditions in shaping the subcutaneous mechanical signals. The sensor has been designed by integrating a linear array of MEMS micro-force sensors in an elastomer layer. We measure the response of the sensors to the passage of elementary topographical features at constant velocity and normal load, such as a small hole on a flat substrate. Each sensor’s response is found to strongly depend on its relative location with respect to the substrate/skin contact zone, a result which can be quantitatively understood within the scope of a linear model of tactile transduction. The modification of the response induced by varying other parameters, such as the thickness of the elastic layer and the confining load, are also correctly captured by this model. We further demonstrate that the knowledge of these characteristic responses allows one to dynamically evaluate the position of a small hole within the contact zone, based on the micro-force sensors signals, with a spatial resolution an order of magnitude better than the intrinsic resolution of individual sensors. Consequences of these observations on robotic tactile sensing are briefly discussed. PMID:22164054

  9. Tactile Signing with One-Handed Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mesch, Johanna

    2013-01-01

    Tactile signing among persons with deaf-blindness is not homogenous; rather, like other forms of language, it exhibits variation, especially in turn taking. Early analyses of tactile Swedish Sign Language, tactile Norwegian Sign Language, and tactile French Sign Language focused on tactile communication with four hands, in which partially blind or…

  10. Slanted joint axes of the stick insect antenna: an adaptation to tactile acuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mujagic, Samir; Krause, André F.; Dürr, Volker

    2007-04-01

    Like many flightless, obligatory walking insects, the stick insect Carausius morosus makes intensive use of active antennal movements for tactile near range exploration and orientation. The antennal joints of C. morosus have a peculiar oblique and non-orthogonal joint axis arrangement. Moreover, this arrangement is known to differ from that in crickets (Ensifera), locusts (Caelifera) and cockroaches (Blattodea), all of which have an orthogonal joint axis arrangement. Our hypothesis was that the situation found in C. morosus represents an important evolutionary trait of the order of stick and leaf insects (Phasmatodea). If this was true, it should be common to other species of the Phasmatodea. The objective of this comparative study was to resolve this question. We have measured the joint axis orientation of the head scape and scape pedicel joints along with other parameters that affect the tactile efficiency of the antenna. The obtained result was a complete kinematic description of the antenna. This was used to determine the size and location of kinematic out-of-reach zones, which are indicators of tactile acuity. We show that the oblique and non-orthogonal arrangement is common to eight species from six sub-families indicating that it is a synapomorphic character of the Euphasmatodea. This character can improve tactile acuity compared to the situation in crickets, locusts and cockroaches. Finally, because molecular data of a recent study indicate that the Phasmatodea may have evolved as flightless, obligatory walkers, we argue that the antennal joint axis arrangement of the Euphasmatodea reflects an evolutionary adaptation to tactile near range exploration during terrestrial locomotion.

  11. Tactile Astronomy - a Portuguese case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canas, L.; Alves, F.; Correia, A.

    2012-09-01

    Although astronomy plays an important role in the most various outreach initiatives, as well as school science curricula, due to its strong visual component in knowledge acquisition, astronomy subjects are not entirely well addressed and accessed by visually impaired students and/or general public. This stresses the need of more tactile material production, still very scarce in an educational context whether formal or informal. This is a case study activity developed based on different schematic tactile images of several objects present in our solar system. These images in relief, highlight, through touch, several relevant features present in the different astronomical objects studied. The scientific knowledge is apprehended through the use of a tactile key, complemented with additional information. Through proper hands-on activities implementation and careful analysis of the outcome, the adapted images associated with an explanatory key prove to be a valuable resource in tactile astronomy domain. Here we describe the process of implementing such initiative near visually impaired students. The struggles and challenges perceived by all involved and the enrichment experience of engaging astronomy with visually impaired audiences, broadening horizons in an overall experience accessible to all.

  12. Compliant Tactile Sensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  13. Tactile perception during action observation.

    PubMed

    Vastano, Roberta; Inuggi, Alberto; Vargas, Claudia D; Baud-Bovy, Gabriel; Jacono, Marco; Pozzo, Thierry

    2016-09-01

    It has been suggested that tactile perception becomes less acute during movement to optimize motor control and to prevent an overload of afferent information generated during action. This empirical phenomenon, known as "tactile gating effect," has been associated with mechanisms of sensory feedback prediction. However, less attention has been given to the tactile attenuation effect during the observation of an action. The aim of this study was to investigate whether and how the observation of a goal-directed action influences tactile perception as during overt action. In a first experiment, we recorded vocal reaction times (RTs) of participants to tactile stimulations during the observation of a reach-to-grasp action. The stimulations were delivered on different body parts that could be either congruent or incongruent with the observed effector (the right hand and the right leg, respectively). The tactile stimulation was contrasted with a no body-related stimulation (an auditory beep). We found increased RTs for tactile congruent stimuli compared to both tactile incongruent and auditory stimuli. This effect was reported only during the observation of the reaching phase, whereas RTs were not modulated during the grasping phase. A tactile two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC) discrimination task was then conducted in order to quantify the changes in tactile sensitivity during the observation of the same goal-directed actions. In agreement with the first experiment, the tactile perceived intensity was reduced only during the reaching phase. These results suggest that tactile processing during action observation relies on a process similar to that occurring during action execution. PMID:27161552

  14. Time-dependent activation of parieto-frontal networks for directing attention to tactile space. A study with paired transcranial magnetic stimulation pulses in right-brain-damaged patients with extinction.

    PubMed

    Oliveri, M; Rossini, P M; Filippi, M M; Traversa, R; Cicinelli, P; Palmieri, M G; Pasqualetti, P; Caltagirone, C

    2000-09-01

    Tactile extinction has been interpreted as an attentional disorder, closely related to hemineglect, due to hyperactivation of the unaffected hemisphere, resulting in an ipsilesional attentional bias. Paired transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) techniques, with a subthreshold conditioning stimulus (CS) followed at various interstimulus intervals (ISIs) by a suprathreshold test stimulus (TS), are useful for investigating intracortical inhibition and facilitation in the human motor cortex. In the present work, we investigated the effects of paired TMS over the posterior parietal and frontal cortex of the unaffected hemisphere in a group of eight right-brain-damaged patients with tactile extinction who were carrying out a bimanual tactile discrimination task. The aim of the study was to verify if paired TMS could induce selective inhibition or facilitation of the unaffected hemisphere depending on the ISI, resulting, respectively, in an improvement and a worsening of contralesional extinction. In addition, we wanted to investigate if the effects of parietal and frontal TMS on contralesional extinction appeared at different intervals, suggesting time-dependent activation in the cortical network for the processing of tactile spatial information. Paired TMS stimuli with a CS and a TS, separated by two ISIs of 1 and 10 ms, were applied over the left parietal and frontal cortex after various intervals from the presentation of bimanual cutaneous stimuli. Single-test parietal TMS stimuli improved the patients' performance, whereas paired TMS had distinct effects depending on the ISI: at ISI = 1 ms the improvement in extinction was greater than that induced by single-pulse TMS; at ISI = 10 ms we observed worsening of extinction, with complete reversal of the effects of single-pulse TMS. Compared with TMS delivered over the frontal cortex, parietal TMS improved the extinction rate in a time window that began earlier. These findings shed further light on the mechanism of

  15. Tactile hallucinations: conceptual and historical aspects.

    PubMed Central

    Berrios, G E

    1982-01-01

    A brief historical analysis of the general concept of hallucination is presented and the suggestion is made that it emerged as the unwarranted generalisation of a perceptual model that was meant to apply only to vision and the "distance senses". Against this background the evolution of tactile hallucinations is considered and its interaction with 19th century psychological theory explored. It is concluded that tactile hallucinations are sui generis phenomena which do not fit the conventional model and whose clinical identification rests on criteria so far unclear. A brief review of their taxonomy and diagnostic usefulness is presented. Some wider implications are drawn which should be relevant to the general concept of hallucination. PMID:7042917

  16. Tactile Sun: Bringing an Invisible Universe to the Visually Impaired

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isidro, G. M.; Pantoja, C. A.

    2014-07-01

    A tactile model of the Sun has been created as a strategy for communicating astronomy to the blind or visually impaired, and as a useful outreach tool for general audiences. The model design was a collaboration between an education specialist, an astronomy specialist and a sculptor. The tactile Sun has been used at astronomy outreach events in Puerto Rico to make activities more inclusive and to increase public awareness of the needs of those with disabilities.

  17. Tactile warning signals for in-vehicle systems.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fanxing; Spence, Charles

    2015-02-01

    The last few years have seen growing interest in the design of tactile warning signals to direct driver attention to potentially dangerous road situations (e.g. an impending crash) so that they can initiate an avoidance maneuver in a timely manner. In this review, we highlight the potential uses of such warning signals for future collision warning systems and compare them with more traditional visual and auditory warnings. Basic tactile warning signals are capable of promoting driver alertness, which has been demonstrated to be beneficial for forward collision avoidance (when compared to a no warning baseline condition). However, beyond their basic alerting function, directional tactile warning signals are now increasingly being utilized to shift the attention of the driver toward locations of interest, and thus to further facilitate their speeded responses to potential collision events. Currently, many researchers are focusing their efforts on the development of meaningful (iconic) tactile warning signals. For instance, dynamic tactile warnings (varying in their intensity and/or location) can potentially be used to convey meaningful information to drivers. Finally, we highlight the future research that will be needed in order to explore how to present multiple directional warnings using dynamic tactile cues, thus forming an integrated collision avoidance system for future in-vehicle use.

  18. The PHOTON explorations: sixteen activities, many uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donnelly, Judith; Amatrudo, Kathryn; Robinson, Kathleen; Hanes, Fenna

    2014-07-01

    The PHOTON Explorations were adapted from favorite demonstrations of teacher participants in the PHOTON projects of the New England Board of Higher Education as well as Hands-on-Optics activities and interesting demonstrations found on the web. Since the end of project PHOTON2 in 2006, the sixteen inquiry-based activities have formed the basis for a hands-on "home lab" distance- learning course that has been used for college students, teacher professional development and corporate training. With the support of OSA, they have been brought to life in a series of sixteen short videos aimed at a middle school audience. The Explorations are regularly used as activities in outreach activities for middle and high school students and are introduced yearly to an international audience at an outreach workshop at SPIE's Optics and Photonics meeting. In this paper we will demonstrate the Explorations, trace their origins and explain the content. We will also provide details on the development of the Exploration videos, the online course, and outreach materials and give statistics on their use in each format. Links to online resources will be provided.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  20. Active Play: Exploring the Influences on Children's School Playground Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyndman, Brendon; Benson, Amanda; Telford, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    Because children spend so much of their time in schools, their playgrounds offer a good setting for promoting active play in young lives. Teachers, instead of considering active play a taxing demand on their busy day, have begun to develop an informal curriculum for it. The authors review the research on children's active play and explores its…

  1. Laser application on haptics: Tactile stiffness measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scalise, L.; Memeo, M.; Cannella, F.; Valente, M.; Caldwell, D. G.; Tomasini, E. P.

    2012-06-01

    There is a great interest in exploring the proprieties of the sense of the touch, its detailed knowledge in fact is a key issue in the area of robotics, haptics and human-machine interaction. In this paper, the authors focus their attention on a novel measurement method for the assessment of the tactile stiffness based on a original test rig; tactile stiffness is defined as the ratio between force, exerted by the finger, and the displacement of the finger tip operated during the test. To reach this scope, the paper describes a specific experimental test-rig used for the evaluation of subject tactile sensitivity, where finger force applied during tests as well as displacement and velocity of displacement, operated by the subject under investigation, are measured. Results show that tactile stiffness is linear respect to stimuli spatial difference (which is proportional to the difficulty to detect the variation of them). In particular, it has been possible to relate the force and displacement measured during the tests. The relationship between the response of the subject to the grating, velocity and force is determined. These results permit to carry out the further experimental tests on the same subject avoiding the use of a load cell and therefore simplifying the measurement test rig and data post-processing. Indeed, the first aspect (use of a load cell) can be relevant, because the grating positions are different, requiring a specific re-calibration and setting before each trial; while the second aspect allows simplify the test rig complexity and the processing algorithm.

  2. Phalange Tactile Load Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ihrke, Chris A. (Inventor); Diftler, Myron A. (Inventor); Linn, Douglas Martin (Inventor); Platt, Robert (Inventor); Griffith, Bryan Kristian (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A tactile load cell that has particular application for measuring the load on a phalange in a dexterous robot system. The load cell includes a flexible strain element having first and second end portions that can be used to mount the load cell to the phalange and a center portion that can be used to mount a suitable contact surface to the load cell. The strain element also includes a first S-shaped member including at least three sections connected to the first end portion and the center portion and a second S-shaped member including at least three sections coupled to the second end portion and the center portion. The load cell also includes eight strain gauge pairs where each strain gauge pair is mounted to opposing surfaces of one of the sections of the S-shaped members where the strain gauge pairs provide strain measurements in six-degrees of freedom.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24465675

  5. Tactile C fibers and their contributions to pleasant sensations and to tactile allodynia

    PubMed Central

    Liljencrantz, Jaquette; Olausson, Håkan

    2014-01-01

    In humans converging evidence indicates that affective aspects of touch are signaled by low threshold mechanoreceptive C tactile (CT) afferents. Analyses of electrophysiological recordings, psychophysical studies in denervated subjects, and functional brain imaging, all indicate that CT primary afferents contribute to pleasant touch and provide an important sensory underpinning of social behavior. Considering both these pleasant and social aspects of gentle skin-to-skin contact, we have put forward a framework within which to consider CT afferent coding properties and pathways—the CT affective touch hypothesis. Recent evidence from studies in mice suggests that CTs, when activated, may have analgesic or anxiolytic effects. However, in neuropathic pain conditions, light touch can elicit unpleasant sensations, so called tactile allodynia. In humans, tactile allodynia is associated with reduced CT mediated hedonic touch processing suggesting loss of the normally analgesic effect of CT signaling. We thus propose that the contribution of CT afferents to tactile allodynia is mainly through a loss of their normally pain inhibiting role. PMID:24639633

  6. The Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krimigis, S. M.; Mcentire, R. W.; Haerendel, G.; Paschmann, G.; Bryant, D. A.

    1983-01-01

    In order to study the access of solar wind ions to the magnetosphere, together with the processes that transport and accelerate magnetospheric particles, the Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers (AMPTE) mission will release and monitor lithium and barium tracer ions in both the solar wind and the magnetosphere. A single, massive release of barium in the dawn magnetosheath will in addition create a visible artificial comet in the flowing solar wind plasma, within which studies of a range of different plasma effects will be undertaken. The AMPTE will obtain comprehensive measurements of natural magnetospheric particle populations' elemental composition and dynamics. AMPTE comprises three spacecraft: the Ion Release Module, the Charge Composition Explorer, and the United Kingdom Subsatellite.

  7. Activity Planning for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bresina, John L.; Jonsson, Ari K.; Morris, Paul H.; Rajan, Kanna

    2004-01-01

    Operating the Mars Exploration Rovers is a challenging, time-pressured task. Each day, the operations team must generate a new plan describing the rover activities for the next day. These plans must abide by resource limitations, safety rules, and temporal constraints. The objective is to achieve as much science as possible, choosing from a set of observation requests that oversubscribe rover resources. In order to accomplish this objective, given the short amount of planning time available, the MAPGEN (Mixed-initiative Activity Plan GENerator) system was made a mission-critical part of the ground operations system. MAPGEN is a mixed-initiative system that employs automated constraint-based planning, scheduling, and temporal reasoning to assist operations staff in generating the daily activity plans. This paper describes the adaptation of constraint-based planning and temporal reasoning to a mixed-initiative setting and the key technical solutions developed for the mission deployment of MAPGEN.

  8. The Exploration of Mars: Crew Surface Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhosri, Wisuwat; Cojanis, Philip; Gupta, Madhu; Khopkar, Manasi; Kiely, Aaron; Myers, Michael; Oxnevad, Knut; Sengupta, Anita; Sexton, Adam; Shaw, Don

    1999-01-01

    Surface activities of the first Mars mission crew, as suggested in phase I of the NASA HEDS reference mission, are discussed in this paper. The HEDS reference mission calls for a two phased approach. In phase I, humans supported by robotic systems will explore the Martian surface, collect and analyze geologic, geophysical, and meteorological data, search for potential permanent base sites, and conduct technology verification experiments. In phase II, a Mars base site will be selected, and the building of a permanent human base will be initiated. In this report two complementary architectures are portrayed. First, a permanent base for 3-6 people consisting of an ISRU unit, two nuclear power systems, a green house, and inflatable habitats and laboratories, built inside adobe structures. Second, a reusable, and resupplyable methane propelled very long range type traverse vehicle capable of collecting and analyzing data, and repairing and deploying scientific payloads during its planned 150 days 4800 km traverse. The very long range traverse vehicle will carry smaller rovers, crawlers, blimps, and an air drill capable of quickly reaching depths beyond 100m. The report presents a global vision of human activities on the surface of Mars at a programmatic level. It consists of several vignettes called "concept architectures" We speculate that these activities will facilitate a phase I Mars exploration architecture.

  9. Infant patterns of reactivity to tactile stimulation during parent-child interaction.

    PubMed

    Mammen, Micah A; Moore, Ginger A; Scaramella, Laura V; Reiss, David; Shaw, Daniel S; Leve, Leslie D; Neiderhiser, Jenae M

    2016-08-01

    Touch is the primary modality infants use to engage with the world; atypical responses to tactile stimuli may indicate risk for disordered outcomes. The current study examined infants' responses to tactile stimulation within parent-child interaction, adding to prior knowledge based on parent report. Nine-month-old infants (N=497) were observed while parents painted and pressed infants' hands and feet to paper to make designs. Positive and negative affect and gazing away, exploring, and resistance behaviors were coded. Latent Class Analysis of observed behaviors yielded four tactile response patterns partially consistent with current nosology for sensory processing patterns: Low Reactive, Sensory Overreactive, Sensory Seeking, and Mixed Over/Underreactive. To evaluate whether patterns made valid distinctions among infants, latent classes were examined in relation to parent-reported temperament. Infants in the Mixed Over/Underreactive class were rated higher in distress to limitations and activity level than other infants. Sensory processing patterns observed in parent-child interaction are consistent with those identified by parent-report and may be used in future research to elucidate relations with temperament and typical and atypical development. PMID:27376866

  10. Future lunar exploration activities in ESA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houdou, B.; Carpenter, J. D.; Fisackerly, R.; Koschny, D.; Pradier, A.; di Pippo, S.; Gardini, B.

    2009-04-01

    Introduction Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the Moon and various recent and coming orbital missions including Smart-1, Kaguya, Chandrayaan-1and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are advancing our understanding. In 2004 the US announced a new Vision for Space Exploration [1], whose objectives are focused towards human missions to the Moon and Mars. The European Space Agency has established similar objectives for Europe, described in [2] and approved at the ESA ministerial council (2009). There is considerable potential for international cooperation in these activities, as formulated in the recently agreed Global Exploration Strategy [3]. Present lunar exploration activities at ESA emphasise the development of European technologies and capabilities, to enable European participation in future international human exploration of the Moon. A major element in this contribution has been identified as a large lunar cargo lander, which would fulfill an ATV-like function, providing logistical support to human activities on the Moon, extending the duration of sorties and the capabilities of human explorers. To meet this ultimate goal, ESA is currently considering various possible development approaches, involving lunar landers of different sizes. Lunar Lander Mission Options A high capacity cargo lander able to deliver consumables, equipment and small infrastructure, in both sortie and outpost mission scenarios, would use a full Ariane 5 launch and is foreseen in the 2020-2025 timeframe. ESA is also considering an intermediate, smaller-scale mission beforehand, to mature the necessary landing technologies, to demonstrate human-related capabilities in preparation of human presence on the Moon and in general to gain experience in landing and operating on the lunar surface. Within this frame, ESA is currently leading several feasibility studies of a small lunar lander mission, also called "MoonNEXT". This mission is foreseen to be to be launched from Kourou with a

  11. Active Costorage of Cryogenic Propellants for Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canavan, E. R.; Boyle, R. F.; Mustafi, S.

    2008-01-01

    Long-term storage of cryogenic propellants is a critical requirement for NASA's effort to return to the moon. Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen provide the highest specific impulse of any practical chemical propulsion system, and thus provides the greatest payload mass per unit of launch mass. Future manned missions will require vehicles with the flexibility to remain in orbit for months, necessitating long-term storage of these cryogenic liquids. For decades cryogenic scientific satellites have used cryogens to cool instruments. In many cases, the lifetime of the primary cryogen tank has been extended by intercepting much of the heat incident on the tank at an intermediate-temperature shield cooled either by a second cryogen tank or a mechanical cryocooler. For an LH2/LO2 propellant system, a combination of these ideas can be used, in which the shield around the LO2 tank is attached to, and at the same temperature as, the LO2 tank, but is actively cooled so as to remove all heat impinging on the tank and shield. This configuration eliminates liquid oxygen boil-off and cuts the liquid hydrogen boil-off to a small fraction of the unshielded rate. This paper studies the concept of active costorage as a means of long-term cryogenic propellant storage. The paper describes the design impact of an active costorage system for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). This paper also compares the spacecraft level impact of the active costorage concept with a passive storage option in relation to two different scales of spacecraft that will be used for the lunar exploration effort, the CEV and the Earth Departure Stage (EDS). Spacecraft level studies are performed to investigate the impact of scaling of the costorage technologies for the different components of the Lunar Architecture and for different mission durations.

  12. The cognitive and neural correlates of tactile memory.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles

    2009-05-01

    Tactile memory systems are involved in the storage and retrieval of information about stimuli that impinge on the body surface and objects that people explore haptically. Here, the authors review the behavioral, neuropsychological, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging research on tactile memory. This body of research reveals that tactile memory can be subdivided into a number of functionally distinct neurocognitive subsystems, just as is the case with auditory and visual memory. Some of these subsystems are peripheral and short lasting and others are more central and long lasting. The authors highlight evidence showing that the representation of tactile information interacts with information about other sensory attributes (e.g., visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic) of objects/events that people perceive. This fact suggests that at least part of the neural network involved in the memory for touch might be shared among different sensory modalities. In particular, multisensory/amodal information-processing networks seem to play a leading role in the storage of tactile information in the brain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved). PMID:19379022

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

    PubMed Central

    Lucarotti, Chiara; Oddo, Calogero Maria; Vitiello, Nicola; Carrozza, Maria Chiara

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23348032

  14. Virtual environment tactile system

    DOEpatents

    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.

  15. Virtual environment tactile system

    DOEpatents

    Renzi, R.

    1996-12-10

    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. 28 figs.

  16. A population-based twin study of parentally reported tactile and auditory defensiveness in young children.

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, H H; Van Hulle, C A; Arneson, C L; Schreiber, J E; Gernsbacher, M A

    2006-06-01

    Some adults and children exhibit defensive behaviors to tactile or auditory stimulation. These symptoms occur not only in subsets of children with ADHD, autism, and Fragile X syndrome, but also in the apparent absence of accompanying disorders. Relatively little research explores the correlates and antecedents of sensory defensiveness. Using a population-based sample of 1,394 toddler-aged twins, mothers reported on tactile and auditory defensiveness, temperament, and behavior problems. The incidence of defensive symptoms was widely distributed, with some accumulation of cases in the extreme range. Girls were overrepresented in the extreme tactile defensiveness group. Both auditory and tactile defensiveness were modestly associated with fearful temperament and anxiety, but they were relatively distinct from other common dimensions of childhood behavioral dysfunction. Twin correlations for the full range of scores and concordance rates for the extremes suggested moderate genetic influences, with some indication that the tactile domain might be more heritable than the auditory domain.

  17. Integrating Visual and Tactile Information in the Perirhinal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hocking, J.; Notley, P.; Devlin, J. T.; Price, C. J.

    2009-01-01

    By virtue of its widespread afferent projections, perirhinal cortex is thought to bind polymodal information into abstract object-level representations. Consistent with this proposal, deficits in cross-modal integration have been reported after perirhinal lesions in nonhuman primates. It is therefore surprising that imaging studies of humans have not observed perirhinal activation during visual–tactile object matching. Critically, however, these studies did not differentiate between congruent and incongruent trials. This is important because successful integration can only occur when polymodal information indicates a single object (congruent) rather than different objects (incongruent). We scanned neurologically intact individuals using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they matched shapes. We found higher perirhinal activation bilaterally for cross-modal (visual–tactile) than unimodal (visual–visual or tactile–tactile) matching, but only when visual and tactile attributes were congruent. Our results demonstrate that the human perirhinal cortex is involved in cross-modal, visual–tactile, integration and, thus, indicate a functional homology between human and monkey perirhinal cortices. PMID:19386635

  18. Active Thermal Control System Development for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westheimer, David

    2007-01-01

    All space vehicles or habitats require thermal management to maintain a safe and operational environment for both crew and hardware. Active Thermal Control Systems (ATCS) perform the functions of acquiring heat from both crew and hardware within a vehicle, transporting that heat throughout the vehicle, and finally rejecting that energy into space. Almost all of the energy used in a space vehicle eventually turns into heat, which must be rejected in order to maintain an energy balance and temperature control of the vehicle. For crewed vehicles, Active Thermal Control Systems are pumped fluid loops that are made up of components designed to perform these functions. NASA has been actively developing technologies that will enable future missions or will provide significant improvements over the state of the art technologies. These technologies have are targeted for application on the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), or Orion, and a Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM). The technologies that have been selected and are currently under development include: fluids that enable single loop ATCS architectures, a gravity insensitive vapor compression cycle heat pump, a sublimator with reduced sensitivity to feedwater contamination, an evaporative heat sink that can operate in multiple ambient pressure environments, a compact spray evaporator, and lightweight radiators that take advantage of carbon composites and advanced optical coatings.

  19. Visuo-tactile interactions are dependent on the predictive value of the visual stimulus.

    PubMed

    Kandula, Manasa; Hofman, Dennis; Dijkerman, H Chris

    2015-04-01

    In this study we aimed to explore the predictive link between visual stimuli moving towards the body and the tactile consequences that follow. More specifically, we tested if information derived from an approaching visual stimulus in the region directly surrounding the body (the peripersonal space) could be used to make judgments about the location and time of impending tactile contact. We used moving arm stimuli, displayed on a computer screen, which appeared to travel either towards the face (middle of the left/right cheek) or slightly away from the subject's face. This stimulus was followed by tactile stimulation of the left/right cheek. The time lag between the visual stimulus and tactile stimulation was also manipulated to simulate tactile contact at a time that was either consistent or inconsistent with the speed of the approaching hand. Reaction time information indicated that faster responses were produced when the arm moved towards the hemispace in which the tactile stimulation was delivered and was insensitive to whether the arm was moving towards the cheek or slightly away from the cheek. Furthermore, response times were fastest when the tactile stimulation arrived at the moment that was consistent with the speed of the moving arm. The effects disappeared when the arm appeared to be retracting from the subject's face. These results suggest the existence of a predictive mechanism that exploits the visual information derived from objects moving towards the body for making judgments about the time and location of impending tactile contact.

  20. Exploring primary care activities in ACT teams.

    PubMed

    Vanderlip, Erik R; Williams, Nancy A; Fiedorowicz, Jess G; Katon, Wayne

    2014-05-01

    People with serious mental illness often receive inadequate primary and preventive care services. Federal healthcare reform endorses team-based care that provides high quality primary and preventive care to at risk populations. Assertive community treatment (ACT) teams offer a proven, standardized treatment approach effective in improving mental health outcomes for the seriously mentally ill. Much is known about the effectiveness of ACT teams in improving mental health outcomes, but the degree to which medical care needs are addressed is not established. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which ACT teams address the physical health of the population they serve. ACT team leaders were invited to complete an anonymous, web-based survey to explore attitudes and activities involving the primary care needs of their clients. Information was collected regarding the use of health screening tools, physical health assessments, provision of medical care and collaboration with primary care systems. Data was analyzed from 127 team leaders across the country, of which 55 completed the entire survey. Nearly every ACT team leader believed ACT teams have a role in identifying and managing the medical co-morbidities of their clientele. ACT teams report participation in many primary care activities. ACT teams are providing a substantial amount of primary and preventive services to their population. The survey suggests standardization of physical health identification, management or referral processes within ACT teams may result in improved quality of medical care. ACT teams are in a unique position to improve physical health care by virtue of having medically trained staff and frequent, close contact with their clients.

  1. The role of tactile support in arm levitation.

    PubMed

    Peter, Burkhard; Piesbergen, Christoph; Lucic, Kristina; Staudacher, Melina; Hagl, Maria

    2013-10-01

    How many persons need tactile support à la Milton H. Erickson to achieve arm levitation during hypnosis? How do these differ from those who do not need it? Hypnotic arm levitation was suggested three times consecutively to 30 medium suggestible students. Sixteen succeeded without any tactile support; 7 needed it one or two times; 5 needed it every time; and 2 achieved no arm levitation at all. Participants without any tactile support went more quickly into deeper hypnosis, experienced more involuntariness, less effort, and had higher electrodermal activity. This greater physiological activity seems necessary for hypnotic arm levitation as a form of "attentive hypnosis" in contrast to "relaxation hypnosis." A change in verbal suggestion from "imagine a helium balloon" to "leave levitation to your unconscious mind" revealed no differences. Several issues resulting from this exploratory arm levitation study are discussed. The idea of different proprioceptive-kinesthetic abilities is introduced and the profound need of co-creating an individual suggestion is emphasized.

  2. Numerosity judgments for tactile stimuli distributed over the body surface.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Tan, Hong Z; Spence, Charles

    2006-01-01

    A large body of research now supports the claim that two different and dissociable processes are involved in making numerosity judgments regarding visual stimuli: subitising (fast and nearly errorless) for up to 4 stimuli, and counting (slow and error-prone) when more than 4 stimuli are presented. We studied tactile numerosity judgments for combinations of 1-7 vibrotactile stimuli presented simultaneously over the body surface. In experiment 1, the stimuli were presented once, while in experiment 2 conditions of single presentation and repeated presentation of the stimulus were compared. Neither experiment provided any evidence for a discontinuity in the slope of either the RT or error data suggesting that subitisation does not occur for tactile stimuli. By systematically varying the intensity of the vibrotactile stimuli in experiment 3, we were able to demonstrate that participants were not simply using the 'global intensity' of the whole tactile display to make their tactile numerosity judgments, but were, instead, using information concerning the number of tactors activated. The results of the three experiments reported here are discussed in relation to current theories of counting and subitising, and potential implications for the design of tactile user interfaces are highlighted. PMID:16583769

  3. Tactile function of educable mentally retarded children.

    PubMed

    McCracken, A

    1975-08-01

    The tactile perception ability of 29 seven-and eight-year-old educable mentally retarded children was evaluated by using the tactile perception portions of the Southern California Sensory Integration Tests. The children were also observed for tactile defensive behavior. Compared to normal children of the same age (as reported in normative data), this sample of children was significantly inferior in manual form, finger identification, graphesthesia, and perception of simultaneous stimuli, but not in the localization of single stimuli. During the testing, 62 percent showed tactile defensive behavior. The role of tactile perception in the development of symbolic communications is reviewed.

  4. Exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilburn, D.R.; Porter, K.E.

    1999-01-01

    This summary of international nonfuel mineral exploration activities for 1998 draws on available data from literature, industry and US Geological Survey (USGS) specialists. Data on exploration budgets by region and commodity are reported, significant mineral discoveries and exploration target areas are identified and government programs affecting the mineral exploration industry are discussed. Inferences and observations on mineral industry direction are drawn from these data and discussions.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Impact prediction by looming visual stimuli enhances tactile detection.

    PubMed

    Cléry, Justine; Guipponi, Olivier; Odouard, Soline; Wardak, Claire; Ben Hamed, Suliann

    2015-03-11

    From an ecological point of view, approaching objects are potentially more harmful than receding objects. A predator, a dominant conspecific, or a mere branch coming up at high speed can all be dangerous if one does not detect them and produce the appropriate escape behavior fast enough. And indeed, looming stimuli trigger stereotyped defensive responses in both monkeys and human infants. However, while the heteromodal somatosensory consequences of visual looming stimuli can be fully predicted by their spatiotemporal dynamics, few studies if any have explored whether visual stimuli looming toward the face predictively enhance heteromodal tactile sensitivity around the expected time of impact and at its expected location on the body. In the present study, we report that, in addition to triggering a defensive motor repertoire, looming stimuli toward the face provide the nervous system with predictive cues that enhance tactile sensitivity on the face. Specifically, we describe an enhancement of tactile processes at the expected time and location of impact of the stimulus on the face. We additionally show that a looming stimulus that brushes past the face also enhances tactile sensitivity on the nearby cheek, suggesting that the space close to the face is incorporated into the subjects' body schema. We propose that this cross-modal predictive facilitation involves multisensory convergence areas subserving the representation of a peripersonal space and a safety boundary of self.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23119038

  8. Activities of the COSPAR Panel on Exploration supporting the Global Exploration Roadmap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; McKay, C. P.

    2014-08-01

    The Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) is driven by several goals and objectives that include space science, the search for life as well as preparatory science activities to enable human space exploration. The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), through its Commissions and Panels provides an international forum that supports and promotes space exploration worldwide. COSPAR's Panel on Exploration (PEX) investigates a stepwise approach of preparatory research on Earth and in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to facilitate a future global space exploration program. We summarize recent activities and workshops of PEX in support of the GER.

  9. Tactile length contraction as Bayesian inference.

    PubMed

    Tong, Jonathan; Ngo, Vy; Goldreich, Daniel

    2016-08-01

    To perceive, the brain must interpret stimulus-evoked neural activity. This is challenging: The stochastic nature of the neural response renders its interpretation inherently uncertain. Perception would be optimized if the brain used Bayesian inference to interpret inputs in light of expectations derived from experience. Bayesian inference would improve perception on average but cause illusions when stimuli violate expectation. Intriguingly, tactile, auditory, and visual perception are all prone to length contraction illusions, characterized by the dramatic underestimation of the distance between punctate stimuli delivered in rapid succession; the origin of these illusions has been mysterious. We previously proposed that length contraction illusions occur because the brain interprets punctate stimulus sequences using Bayesian inference with a low-velocity expectation. A novel prediction of our Bayesian observer model is that length contraction should intensify if stimuli are made more difficult to localize. Here we report a tactile psychophysical study that tested this prediction. Twenty humans compared two distances on the forearm: a fixed reference distance defined by two taps with 1-s temporal separation and an adjustable comparison distance defined by two taps with temporal separation t ≤ 1 s. We observed significant length contraction: As t was decreased, participants perceived the two distances as equal only when the comparison distance was made progressively greater than the reference distance. Furthermore, the use of weaker taps significantly enhanced participants' length contraction. These findings confirm the model's predictions, supporting the view that the spatiotemporal percept is a best estimate resulting from a Bayesian inference process.

  10. Remotely deployable aerial inspection using tactile sensors

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-18

    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.

  11. Support for the slip hypothesis from whisker-related tactile perception of rats in a noisy environment

    PubMed Central

    Waiblinger, Christian; Brugger, Dominik; Whitmire, Clarissa J.; Stanley, Garrett B.; Schwarz, Cornelius

    2015-01-01

    Rodents use active whisker movements to explore their environment. The “slip hypothesis” of whisker-related tactile perception entails that short-lived kinematic events (abrupt whisker movements, called “slips”, due to bioelastic whisker properties that occur during active touch of textures) carry the decisive texture information. Supporting this hypothesis, previous studies have shown that slip amplitude and frequency occur in a texture-dependent way. Further, experiments employing passive pulsatile whisker deflections revealed that perceptual performance based on pulse kinematics (i.e., signatures that resemble slips) is far superior to the one based on time-integrated variables like frequency and intensity. So far, pulsatile stimuli were employed in a noise free environment. However, the realistic scenario involves background noise (e.g., evoked by rubbing across the texture). Therefore, if slips are used for tactile perception, the tactile neuronal system would need to differentiate slip-evoked spikes from those evoked by noise. To test the animals under these more realistic conditions, we presented passive whisker-deflections to head-fixed trained rats, consisting of “slip-like” events (waveforms mimicking slips occurring with touch of real textures) embedded into background noise. Varying the (i) shapes (ramp or pulse); (ii) kinematics (amplitude, velocity, etc.); and (iii) the probabilities of occurrence of slip-like events, we observed that rats could readily detect slip-like events of different shapes against noisy background. Psychophysical curves revealed that the difference of slip event and noise amplitude determined perception, while increased probability of occurrence (frequency) had barely any effect. These results strongly support the notion that encoding of kinematics dominantly determines whisker-related tactile perception while the computation of frequency or intensity plays a minor role. PMID:26528148

  12. Market study: Tactile paging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A market survey was conducted regarding the commercialization potential and key market factors relevant to a tactile paging system for deaf-blind people. The purpose of the tactile paging system is to communicate to the deaf-blind people in an institutional environment. The system consists of a main console and individual satellite wrist units. The console emits three signals by telemetry to the wrist com (receiving unit) which will measure approximately 2 x 4 x 3/4 inches and will be fastened to the wrist by a strap. The three vibration signals are fire alarm, time period indication, and a third signal which will alert the wearer of the wrist com to the fact that the pin on the top of the wrist is emitting a morse coded message. The Morse code message can be felt and recognized with the finger.

  13. Anterior insula coordinates hierarchical processing of tactile mismatch responses.

    PubMed

    Allen, Micah; Fardo, Francesca; Dietz, Martin J; Hillebrandt, Hauke; Friston, Karl J; Rees, Geraint; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2016-02-15

    The body underlies our sense of self, emotion, and agency. Signals arising from the skin convey warmth, social touch, and the physical characteristics of external stimuli. Surprising or unexpected tactile sensations can herald events of motivational salience, including imminent threats (e.g., an insect bite) and hedonic rewards (e.g., a caressing touch). Awareness of such events is thought to depend upon the hierarchical integration of body-related mismatch responses by the anterior insula. To investigate this possibility, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging, while healthy participants performed a roving tactile oddball task. Mass-univariate analysis demonstrated robust activations in limbic, somatosensory, and prefrontal cortical areas previously implicated in tactile deviancy, body awareness, and cognitive control. Dynamic Causal Modelling revealed that unexpected stimuli increased the strength of forward connections along a caudal to rostral hierarchy-projecting from thalamic and somatosensory regions towards insula, cingulate and prefrontal cortices. Within this ascending flow of sensory information, the AIC was the only region to show increased backwards connectivity to the somatosensory cortex, augmenting a reciprocal exchange of neuronal signals. Further, participants who rated stimulus changes as easier to detect showed stronger modulation of descending PFC to AIC connections by deviance. These results suggest that the AIC coordinates hierarchical processing of tactile prediction error. They are interpreted in support of an embodied predictive coding model where AIC mediated body awareness is involved in anchoring a global neuronal workspace. PMID:26584870

  14. Anterior insula coordinates hierarchical processing of tactile mismatch responses.

    PubMed

    Allen, Micah; Fardo, Francesca; Dietz, Martin J; Hillebrandt, Hauke; Friston, Karl J; Rees, Geraint; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2016-02-15

    The body underlies our sense of self, emotion, and agency. Signals arising from the skin convey warmth, social touch, and the physical characteristics of external stimuli. Surprising or unexpected tactile sensations can herald events of motivational salience, including imminent threats (e.g., an insect bite) and hedonic rewards (e.g., a caressing touch). Awareness of such events is thought to depend upon the hierarchical integration of body-related mismatch responses by the anterior insula. To investigate this possibility, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging, while healthy participants performed a roving tactile oddball task. Mass-univariate analysis demonstrated robust activations in limbic, somatosensory, and prefrontal cortical areas previously implicated in tactile deviancy, body awareness, and cognitive control. Dynamic Causal Modelling revealed that unexpected stimuli increased the strength of forward connections along a caudal to rostral hierarchy-projecting from thalamic and somatosensory regions towards insula, cingulate and prefrontal cortices. Within this ascending flow of sensory information, the AIC was the only region to show increased backwards connectivity to the somatosensory cortex, augmenting a reciprocal exchange of neuronal signals. Further, participants who rated stimulus changes as easier to detect showed stronger modulation of descending PFC to AIC connections by deviance. These results suggest that the AIC coordinates hierarchical processing of tactile prediction error. They are interpreted in support of an embodied predictive coding model where AIC mediated body awareness is involved in anchoring a global neuronal workspace.

  15. Anterior insula coordinates hierarchical processing of tactile mismatch responses

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Micah; Fardo, Francesca; Dietz, Martin J.; Hillebrandt, Hauke; Friston, Karl J.; Rees, Geraint; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The body underlies our sense of self, emotion, and agency. Signals arising from the skin convey warmth, social touch, and the physical characteristics of external stimuli. Surprising or unexpected tactile sensations can herald events of motivational salience, including imminent threats (e.g., an insect bite) and hedonic rewards (e.g., a caressing touch). Awareness of such events is thought to depend upon the hierarchical integration of body-related mismatch responses by the anterior insula. To investigate this possibility, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging, while healthy participants performed a roving tactile oddball task. Mass-univariate analysis demonstrated robust activations in limbic, somatosensory, and prefrontal cortical areas previously implicated in tactile deviancy, body awareness, and cognitive control. Dynamic Causal Modelling revealed that unexpected stimuli increased the strength of forward connections along a caudal to rostral hierarchy—projecting from thalamic and somatosensory regions towards insula, cingulate and prefrontal cortices. Within this ascending flow of sensory information, the AIC was the only region to show increased backwards connectivity to the somatosensory cortex, augmenting a reciprocal exchange of neuronal signals. Further, participants who rated stimulus changes as easier to detect showed stronger modulation of descending PFC to AIC connections by deviance. These results suggest that the AIC coordinates hierarchical processing of tactile prediction error. They are interpreted in support of an embodied predictive coding model where AIC mediated body awareness is involved in anchoring a global neuronal workspace. PMID:26584870

  16. Reduced-Wiring Tactile Sensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohm, Timothy R.

    1991-01-01

    Proposed tactile sensor on robot finger puts out multiplexed analog signals transmitted to control computer on fewer wires than needed to transmit equivalent digital signals. Analog output represents data on contact area of object being gripped, on position of object, and on direction and rate of slippage if any. Consists of chains of normally open switches and resistors on surface of finger. Each resistance double preceding resistance in each chain. Constant-current sources supply power to chains.

  17. Exploring Work: Fun Activities for Girls.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA. Women's Educational Equity Act Dissemination Center.

    This document contains learning activities to help middle school girls begin the career planning process and resist gender-role stereotyping. The activities are designed for individuals and/or groups of girls either in classroom settings or in organizations such as Girl Scouts and 4-H Clubs. A total of 30 activities are organized into 4 sections…

  18. Computational modeling indicates that surface pressure can be reliably conveyed to tactile receptors even amidst changes in skin mechanics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuxiang; Baba, Yoshichika; Lumpkin, Ellen A; Gerling, Gregory J

    2016-07-01

    Distinct patterns in neuronal firing are observed between classes of cutaneous afferents. Such differences may be attributed to end-organ morphology, distinct ion-channel complements, and skin microstructure, among other factors. Even for just the slowly adapting type I afferent, the skin's mechanics for a particular specimen might impact the afferent's firing properties, especially given the thickness and elasticity of skin can change dramatically over just days. Here, we show computationally that the skin can reliably convey indentation magnitude, rate, and spatial geometry to the locations of tactile receptors even amid changes in skin's structure. Using finite element analysis and neural dynamics models, we considered the skin properties of six mice that span a representative cohort. Modeling the propagation of the surface stimulus to the interior of the skin demonstrated that there can be large variance in stresses and strains near the locations of tactile receptors, which can lead to large variance in static firing rate. However, variance is significantly reduced when the stimulus tip is controlled by surface pressure and compressive stress is measured near the end organs. This particular transformation affords the least variability in predicted firing rates compared with others derived from displacement, force, strain energy density, or compressive strain. Amid changing skin mechanics, stimulus control by surface pressure may be more naturalistic and optimal and underlie how animals actively explore the tactile environment. PMID:27098029

  19. Computational modeling indicates that surface pressure can be reliably conveyed to tactile receptors even amidst changes in skin mechanics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuxiang; Baba, Yoshichika; Lumpkin, Ellen A; Gerling, Gregory J

    2016-07-01

    Distinct patterns in neuronal firing are observed between classes of cutaneous afferents. Such differences may be attributed to end-organ morphology, distinct ion-channel complements, and skin microstructure, among other factors. Even for just the slowly adapting type I afferent, the skin's mechanics for a particular specimen might impact the afferent's firing properties, especially given the thickness and elasticity of skin can change dramatically over just days. Here, we show computationally that the skin can reliably convey indentation magnitude, rate, and spatial geometry to the locations of tactile receptors even amid changes in skin's structure. Using finite element analysis and neural dynamics models, we considered the skin properties of six mice that span a representative cohort. Modeling the propagation of the surface stimulus to the interior of the skin demonstrated that there can be large variance in stresses and strains near the locations of tactile receptors, which can lead to large variance in static firing rate. However, variance is significantly reduced when the stimulus tip is controlled by surface pressure and compressive stress is measured near the end organs. This particular transformation affords the least variability in predicted firing rates compared with others derived from displacement, force, strain energy density, or compressive strain. Amid changing skin mechanics, stimulus control by surface pressure may be more naturalistic and optimal and underlie how animals actively explore the tactile environment.

  20. The Fabric of Thought: Priming Tactile Properties during Reading Influences Direct Tactile Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brunye, Tad T.; Walters, Eliza K.; Ditman, Tali; Gagnon, Stephanie A.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2012-01-01

    The present studies examined whether implied tactile properties during language comprehension influence subsequent direct tactile perception, and the specificity of any such effects. Participants read sentences that implicitly conveyed information regarding tactile properties (e.g., "Grace tried on a pair of thick corduroy pants while shopping")…

  1. Multisensory effects on somatosensation: a trimodal visuo-vestibular-tactile interaction.

    PubMed

    Kaliuzhna, Mariia; Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella; Herbelin, Bruno; Blanke, Olaf; Haggard, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Vestibular information about self-motion is combined with other sensory signals. Previous research described both visuo-vestibular and vestibular-tactile bilateral interactions, but the simultaneous interaction between all three sensory modalities has not been explored. Here we exploit a previously reported visuo-vestibular integration to investigate multisensory effects on tactile sensitivity in humans. Tactile sensitivity was measured during passive whole body rotations alone or in conjunction with optic flow, creating either purely vestibular or visuo-vestibular sensations of self-motion. Our results demonstrate that tactile sensitivity is modulated by perceived self-motion, as provided by a combined visuo-vestibular percept, and not by the visual and vestibular cues independently. We propose a hierarchical multisensory interaction that underpins somatosensory modulation: visual and vestibular cues are first combined to produce a multisensory self-motion percept. Somatosensory processing is then enhanced according to the degree of perceived self-motion. PMID:27198907

  2. Multisensory effects on somatosensation: a trimodal visuo-vestibular-tactile interaction

    PubMed Central

    Kaliuzhna, Mariia; Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella; Herbelin, Bruno; Blanke, Olaf; Haggard, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Vestibular information about self-motion is combined with other sensory signals. Previous research described both visuo-vestibular and vestibular-tactile bilateral interactions, but the simultaneous interaction between all three sensory modalities has not been explored. Here we exploit a previously reported visuo-vestibular integration to investigate multisensory effects on tactile sensitivity in humans. Tactile sensitivity was measured during passive whole body rotations alone or in conjunction with optic flow, creating either purely vestibular or visuo-vestibular sensations of self-motion. Our results demonstrate that tactile sensitivity is modulated by perceived self-motion, as provided by a combined visuo-vestibular percept, and not by the visual and vestibular cues independently. We propose a hierarchical multisensory interaction that underpins somatosensory modulation: visual and vestibular cues are first combined to produce a multisensory self-motion percept. Somatosensory processing is then enhanced according to the degree of perceived self-motion. PMID:27198907

  3. The influence of acoustic and tactile stimulation on vegetative parameters and EEG in persistent vegetative state.

    PubMed

    Keller, Ingo; Hülsdunk, Angelika; Müller, Friedemann

    2007-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated whether different kinds of stimulation in the persistent vegetative state (PVS) lead to specific patterns of physiological reactions. In addition, a possible effect of stimulating drugs was explored by comparing recordings with and without pharmacological stimulation. Eighteen patients in the PVS were submitted to tactile or acoustic stimulation. The latter consisted of white noise and of the voices of close relatives delivered via a digital voice recorder. Additionally, half of the patients were pharmacologically stimulated with amantadine, L-dopa or amphetamine. The effect of stimulation was assessed by recording the electroencephalogram (EEG), electromyogram (EMG), skin conductance response (SCR) and heart rate (HR). Tactile stimulation was associated with statistically significant increases in EEG and EMG parameters, SCR and HR. White noise stimulation led to significant increases in SCR and EMG parameters. The physiological responses to relatives? voices did not differ from baseline activity. Pharmacological stimulation increased the baseline level of activation, but showed no interaction with sensory stimulation. The data presented indicate that the level of arousal in patients in the PVS can be adequately monitored by measuring SCR, HR and EMG parameters.

  4. [Tactile agnosia and dysfunction of the primary somatosensory area. Data of the study by somatosensory evoked potentials in patients with deficits of tactile object recognition].

    PubMed

    Mauguière, F; Isnard, J

    1995-01-01

    The question as to whether a failure of recognition unrelated to impaired sensory processing or to disorder of naming can occur in the somato-sensory modality has been eagerly debated in the french neurology. Taking as an argument the fact that he had never observed a tactile agnosia in the absence of subtle sensory deficits Dejerine denied the localizing value of tactile agnosia (or asterognosis). Conversely Delay, 20 years later, identified tactile performances such as discrimination of texture and shapes, which he considered as a specific neocortical function, that were lost in parietal syndromes with astereognosis and preserved elementary sensations. He also coined the term "tactile asymbolia" to qualify the patients with astereognosis in whom these performances are preserved. When referring to the definition of agnosias only "tactile asymbolia" should be considered as a "true" tactile agnosia. The recording of early somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) now offers the possibility of assessing non invasively the function of the primary somatosensory cortex (in particular area 3b). We have recorded SEPs to median nerve or finger stimulation in 309 subjects with a focal hemispheric lesion presenting with a somatosensory deficit of any type. We could confirm that asterognosis referable to impaired discrimination of textures and/or shapes in the absence of impaired elementary sensation is quite rare since it was observed in only 12 of our patients (3.9%). Moreover early cortical SEPs reflecting the activity of the primary somatosensory area (N20 or/and P27) were clearly abnormal in all of them. A single patient of this group of 12 could be considered as a case of tactile asymbolia but his early cortical SEPs were abnormal. The only condition combining a failure of tactile recognition of objects with normal early SEPs is represented by the "tactile anomia" observed in callosal dysconnexions. Thus, in our patients unable to identify objects by palpation in spite of

  5. Exploring Youth Cultures Geographically through Active Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chacko, Elizabeth

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents strategies for actively involving students in studying cultural geography through a research project on youth cultures. It provides a basic framework to investigate selected "subcultures" focusing on the origin and diffusion of each culture, its material and non-material aspects and the attributes and meanings of spaces used by…

  6. Misunderstanding and Repair in Tactile Auslan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willoughby, Louisa; Manns, Howard; Iwasaki, Shimako; Bartlett, Meredith

    2014-01-01

    This article discusses ways in which misunderstandings arise in Tactile Australian Sign Language (Tactile Auslan) and how they are resolved. Of particular interest are the similarities to and differences from the same processes in visually signed and spoken conversation. This article draws on detailed conversation analysis (CA) and demonstrates…

  7. The Design of Tactile Thematic Symbols

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  8. Exploring Active Tectonics in the Dominican Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carbó-Gorosabel, A.; Córdoba-Barba, D.; Martín-Dívila, J.; Granja-Bruña, J. L.; Llanes Estrada, P.; Muñoz-Martín, A.; ten Brink, U. S.

    2010-07-01

    The devastating 12 January 2010 Haiti earthquake (M = 7.0), which killed an estimated 230,000 people and caused extensive damage to homes and buildings, drew attention to the crucial need for improved knowledge of the active tectonics of the Caribbean region. But even before this disastrous event, interest in understanding the active and complex northeastern Caribbean plate boundary had been increasing, because this region has experienced significant seismic activity during the past century and has an extensively documented record of historical seismicity and tsunamis. Moreover, this is an easily accessible region in which to study the continuity of seismic faults offshore and to try to understand the transitions between strike-slip and convergent tectonic regimes. Interest in the region has led to several studies that have improved scientists' knowledge of subduction zone tectonics and earthquake and tsunami hazard assessments 005BMann et al., 2002; ten Brink et al., 2006, 2009; Grindlay et al., 2005; Manaker et al., 2008; Granja Bruña et al., 2009; Mondziel et al., 2010].

  9. The display of tactile information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sherrick, Carl E.

    1991-01-01

    There are a number of examples of natural tactile displays that can five us some insights about the solid geometry of touch, and recent experimental work on the subject has extended our thinking considerably. The concern of here is, however, more with synthetic or artificial displays for the production of a virtual environment. Features of synthetic displays that have enjoyed some success in one of the following two enterprises are discussed: the study of the spatio-temporal dimensions of stimuli that afford accurate and rapid processing of environmental information, or the use of displays in the design of sensory aids for disabled persons.

  10. Exploring active galaxies with integral field spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, James E. H.; Miller, Bryan W.; Gerssen, Joris; Allington-Smith, Jeremy R.

    2004-11-01

    Integral Field Spectroscopy provides a powerful new tool for disentangling the complex structure of Active Galactic Nuclei& -- allowing 2D mapping of the distribution, kinematics and excitation of ionized gas and of stellar velocity profiles and populations. Such comprehensive datasets are likely to reveal important clues about the physics of the narrow line region, interactions with the host galaxy and central dynamical forces. Here we present observations of the central regions of NGC1068, obtained using the visible-wavelength GMOS-IFU at Gemini North and NGC4151, taken with a prototype near-infrared fibre IFU at the UK Infrared Telescope.

  11. 15 CFR 970.2503 - Suspension of exploration activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Suspension of exploration activities... Trade (Continued) NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL DATA SERVICE DEEP SEABED MINING REGULATIONS FOR EXPLORATION LICENSES...

  12. 15 CFR 970.2503 - Suspension of exploration activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Suspension of exploration activities... Trade (Continued) NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL DATA SERVICE DEEP SEABED MINING REGULATIONS FOR EXPLORATION LICENSES...

  13. 15 CFR 970.2503 - Suspension of exploration activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Suspension of exploration activities... Trade (Continued) NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL DATA SERVICE DEEP SEABED MINING REGULATIONS FOR EXPLORATION LICENSES...

  14. 15 CFR 970.2503 - Suspension of exploration activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Suspension of exploration activities... Trade (Continued) NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL DATA SERVICE DEEP SEABED MINING REGULATIONS FOR EXPLORATION LICENSES...

  15. 15 CFR 970.2503 - Suspension of exploration activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Suspension of exploration activities... Trade (Continued) NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL DATA SERVICE DEEP SEABED MINING REGULATIONS FOR EXPLORATION LICENSES...

  16. Changes in S1 Neural Responses During Tactile Discrimination Learning

    PubMed Central

    Wiest, Michael C.; Pantoja, Janaina; Nicolelis, Miguel A. L.

    2010-01-01

    In freely moving rats that are actively performing a discrimination task, single-unit responses in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) are strikingly different from responses to comparable tactile stimuli in immobile rats. For example, in the active discrimination context prestimulus response modulations are common, responses are longer in duration and more likely to be inhibited. To determine whether these differences emerge as rats learned a whisker-dependent discrimination task, we recorded single-unit S1 activity while rats learned to discriminate aperture-widths using their whiskers. Even before discrimination training began, S1 responses in freely moving rats showed many of the signatures of active responses, such as increased duration of response and prestimulus response modulations. As rats subsequently learned the discrimination task, single unit responses changed: more cortical units responded to the stimuli, neuronal sensory responses grew in duration, and individual neurons better predicted aperture-width. In summary, the operant behavioral context changes S1 tactile responses even in the absence of tactile discrimination, whereas subsequent width discrimination learning refines the S1 representation of aperture-width. PMID:20445033

  17. Follicular DEAs for two-way tactile communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knoop, Lars E.; Rossiter, Jonathan; Assaf, Tareq

    2015-04-01

    Follicular structures in skin combine sensing and actuation in a soft and compliant continuous surface. We have developed a tactile display device inspired by this structure, using a Dielectric Elastomer Actuator (DEA). DEAs allow for combined sensing and actuation, making possible two-way tactile communication between the user and the device. The device can obtain tactile information about the environment, or a user touching it, and it can also present tactile information to the user. We characterise the sensing properties of the tactile display device, and perform classification of tactile stimuli. We demonstrate two-way tactile interaction between a user and the device.

  18. SII and the fronto-parietal areas are involved in visually cued tactile top-down spatial attention: a functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qiong; Li, Chunlin; Li, Yujie; Sun, Hongzan; Guo, Qiyong; Wu, Jinglong

    2014-04-16

    Visual cue-oriented, tactile top-down attention (vTA) has been well investigated behaviorally. However, vTA-related brain activation remains unclear, and whether SI (primary somatosensory cortex) or SII (secondary somatosensory cortex) is modulated by the top-down process of tactile cognition remains particularly controversial. We used the Posner paradigm in which a visual spatial cue directed attention to a tactile target [tactile spatial attention (TS) task]. The TS is compared with a visual nonspatially cued, tactile attention task [tactile neutral attention (TN) task]. The behavioral results showed no significant differences between the TS and TN tasks. However, we considered the possibility that the visual spatial hint affected the TS neural network. Brain-imaging data showed that the inferior parietal lobe was activated more during the TS task than during the TN task. Furthermore, we present evidence to support SII modulation by top-down processing during the TS task.

  19. Micro-needle electro-tactile display.

    PubMed

    Tezuka, Mayuko; Kitamura, Norihide; Miki, Norihisa

    2015-08-01

    Haptic feedback is strongly demanded for high-precision robot-assisted surgery and teleoperation. The haptic feedback consists of force and tactile feedback, however tactile feedback has been little studied and the size and weight of the system poses challenges for practical applications. In this paper we propose a sheet-type wearable electro-tactile display which provides tactile sensations to the user as the feedback at a low voltage and power consumption. The display possesses needle-shaped electrodes, which can penetrate through the high-impedance stratum corneum. We developed the fabrication process and, as the first step, we investigated the tactile sensation that can be created to the fingertip by the display. Rough and smooth surfaces were successfully presented to the user. Then, we characterized the tactile display when used on the forearm, in particular, with respect to the spatial resolution. These tactile displays can be used to inform the user of the surface property of the parts of interest, such as tumor tissues, and to guide him in the manipulation of surgery robots. PMID:26737606

  20. Micro-needle electro-tactile display.

    PubMed

    Tezuka, Mayuko; Kitamura, Norihide; Miki, Norihisa

    2015-08-01

    Haptic feedback is strongly demanded for high-precision robot-assisted surgery and teleoperation. The haptic feedback consists of force and tactile feedback, however tactile feedback has been little studied and the size and weight of the system poses challenges for practical applications. In this paper we propose a sheet-type wearable electro-tactile display which provides tactile sensations to the user as the feedback at a low voltage and power consumption. The display possesses needle-shaped electrodes, which can penetrate through the high-impedance stratum corneum. We developed the fabrication process and, as the first step, we investigated the tactile sensation that can be created to the fingertip by the display. Rough and smooth surfaces were successfully presented to the user. Then, we characterized the tactile display when used on the forearm, in particular, with respect to the spatial resolution. These tactile displays can be used to inform the user of the surface property of the parts of interest, such as tumor tissues, and to guide him in the manipulation of surgery robots.

  1. Bayesian Alternation during Tactile Augmentation

    PubMed Central

    Goeke, Caspar M.; Planera, Serena; Finger, Holger; König, Peter

    2016-01-01

    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 (WTA) 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

  2. A new device to quantify tactile sensation in neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Selim, M.M.; Brink, T.S.; Hodges, J.S.; Wendelschafer-Crabb, G.; Foster, S.X.Y.-L.; Nolano, M.; Provitera, V.; Simone, D.A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To devise a rapid, sensitive method to quantify tactile threshold of finger pads for early detection and staging of peripheral neuropathy and for use in clinical trials. Methods: Subjects were 166 healthy controls and 103 patients with, or at risk for, peripheral neuropathy. Subjects were screened by questionnaire. The test device, the Bumps, is a checkerboard-like smooth surface with 12 squares; each square encloses 5 colored circles. The subject explores the circles of each square with the index finger pad to locate the one circle containing a small bump. Bumps in different squares have different heights. Detection threshold is defined as the smallest bump height detected. In some subjects, a 3-mm skin biopsy from the tested finger pad was taken to compare density of Meissner corpuscles (MCs) to bump detection thresholds. Results: The mean (±SEM) bump detection threshold for control subjects was 3.3 ± 0.10 μm. Threshold and test time were age related, older subjects having slightly higher thresholds and using more time. Mean detection threshold of patients with neuropathy (6.2 ± 0.35 μm) differed from controls (p < 0.001). A proposed threshold for identifying impaired sensation had a sensitivity of 71% and specificity of 74%. Detection threshold was higher when MC density was decreased. Conclusions: These preliminary studies suggest that the Bumps test is a rapid, sensitive, inexpensive method to quantify tactile sensation of finger pads. It has potential for early diagnosis of tactile deficiency in subjects suspected of having neuropathy, for staging degree of tactile deficit, and for monitoring change over time. PMID:21555731

  3. Phantom Tactile Sensations Modulated by Body Position

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Jared; Rapp, Brenda

    2009-01-01

    Summary Various lines of evidence reveal bilateral activation of somatosensory areas after unilateral stimulation [1-6] assumed to be mediated by cross-hemispheric connections [7-11]. Despite evidence of bilateral activity in response to unilateral stimulation, neurologically intact humans do not experience bilateral percepts when stimulated on one side of the body. This may be due to active suppression of ipsilateral neural activity [12, 13] by inhibitory mechanisms whose functioning is poorly understood. We describe an individual with left fronto-parietal damage who experiences bilateral sensations in response to unilateral tactile stimulation—a rarely reported condition known as synchiria (previously described in visual [14], auditory [15] and somatosensory modalities [16-19]). Presumably the phantom sensations result from normal bilateral cross-hemispheric activation, combined with a failure of inhibitory mechanisms to prevent bilateral perceptual experiences. The disruption of these mechanisms provides a valuable opportunity to examine their internal functioning. We find that the synchiria rate is affected by hand position relative to multiple reference frames. Specifically, synchiria decreases as the hands move from right (contralesional) to left (ipsilesional) space in trunk- and head-centered reference frames and disappears when the hands are crossed. These findings provide, for the first time, evidence that the mechanisms that inhibit bilateral percepts operate in multiple reference frames [20-27]. PMID:19062276

  4. Tactile Sensing for Dexterous Robotic Hands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  5. Introducing the tactile speller: an ERP-based brain-computer interface for communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Auditory and tactile signals combine to influence vision during binocular rivalry.

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Claudia; Morrone, Maria Concetta; Alais, David

    2014-01-15

    Resolution of perceptual ambiguity is one function of cross-modal interactions. Here we investigate whether auditory and tactile stimuli can influence binocular rivalry generated by interocular temporal conflict in human subjects. Using dichoptic visual stimuli modulating at different temporal frequencies, we added modulating sounds or vibrations congruent with one or the other visual temporal frequency. Auditory and tactile stimulation both interacted with binocular rivalry by promoting dominance of the congruent visual stimulus. This effect depended on the cross-modal modulation strength and was absent when modulation depth declined to 33%. However, when auditory and tactile stimuli that were too weak on their own to bias binocular rivalry were combined, their influence over vision was very strong, suggesting the auditory and tactile temporal signals combined to influence vision. Similarly, interleaving discrete pulses of auditory and tactile stimuli also promoted dominance of the visual stimulus congruent with the supramodal frequency. When auditory and tactile stimuli were presented at maximum strength, but in antiphase, they had no influence over vision for low temporal frequencies, a null effect again suggesting audio-tactile combination. We also found that the cross-modal interaction was frequency-sensitive at low temporal frequencies, when information about temporal phase alignment can be perceptually tracked. These results show that auditory and tactile temporal processing is functionally linked, suggesting a common neural substrate for the two sensory modalities and that at low temporal frequencies visual activity can be synchronized by a congruent cross-modal signal in a frequency-selective way, suggesting the existence of a supramodal temporal binding mechanism. PMID:24431437

  7. Introducing the tactile speller: an ERP-based brain-computer interface for communication.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Nano opto-mechanical systems (NOMS) as a proposal for tactile displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campo, E. M.; Roig, J.; Roeder, B.; Wenn, D.; Mamojka, B.; Omastova, M.; Terentjev, E. M.; Esteve, J.

    2011-10-01

    For over a decade, special emphasis has been placed in the convergence of different fields of science and technology, in an effort to serve human needs by way of enhancing human capabilities. The convergence of the Nano-Bio-Info-Cogni (NBIC) quartet will provide unique solutions to specific needs. This is the case of, Nano-opto mechanical Systems (NOMS), presented as a solution to tactile perception, both for the visually-impaired and for the general public. NOMS, based on photoactive polymer actuators and devices, is a much sought-after technology. In this scheme, light sources promote mechanical actuation producing a variety of nano-opto mechanical systems such as nano-grippers. In this paper, we will provide a series of specifications that the NOMS team is targeting towards the development of a tactile display using optically-activated smart materials. Indeed, tactile displays remain mainly mechanical, compromising reload speeds and resolution which inhibit 3D tactile representation of web interfaces. We will also discuss how advantageous NOMS tactile displays could be for the general public. Tactile processing based on stimulation delivered through the NOMS tablet, will be tested using neuropsychology methods, in particular event-related brain potentials. Additionally, the NOMS tablet will be instrumental to the development of basic neuroscience research.

  9. A Measurement Activity to Encourage Exploration of Calculus Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGuffey, William

    2015-01-01

    This article describes an activity that incorporates measurement in order to lead students to discover and explore fundamental concepts of calculus. Students are provided with an experientially real starting point involving measurement and are encouraged to engage in mathematical discussions in a low-stakes environment. I describe the activity as…

  10. TMS of posterior parietal cortex disrupts visual tactile multisensory integration

    PubMed Central

    Pasalar, Siavash; Ro, Tony; Beauchamp, Michael S.

    2010-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies have implicated a number of brain regions, especially the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), as being potentially important for visual–tactile multisensory integration. However, neuroimaging studies are correlational and do not prove the necessity of a region for the behavioral improvements that are the hallmark of multisensory integration. To remedy this knowledge gap, we interrupted activity in the PPC, near the junction of the anterior intraparietal sulcus and the postcentral sulcus, using MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while subjects localized touches delivered to different fingers. As the touches were delivered, subjects viewed a congruent touch video, an incongruent touch video, or no video. Without TMS, a strong effect of multisensory integration was observed, with significantly better behavioral performance for discrimination of congruent multisensory touch than for unisensory touch alone. Incongruent multisensory touch produced a smaller improvement in behavioral performance. TMS of the PPC eliminated the behavioral advantage of both congruent and incongruent multisensory stimuli, reducing performance to unisensory levels. These results demonstrate a causal role for the PPC in visual–tactile multisensory integration. Taken together with converging evidence from other studies, these results support a model in which the PPC contains a map of space around the hand that receives input from both the visual and somatosensory modalities. Activity in this map is likely to be the neural substrate for visual–tactile multisensory integration. PMID:20584182

  11. A Stereognostic Test for Screening Tactile Sensation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tyler, Nancy B.

    1972-01-01

    Purpose of this investigation is to develop a method of measuring tactile sensation regarding the texture, size, and shape of objects (stereognosis) in the hand of normal two- to four-year-old children. (Author)

  12. Towards shear tactile displays with DEAs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knoop, Lars E.; Rossiter, Jonathan

    2014-03-01

    Much research has been done on the development of tactile displays using Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs). It has been argued that they offer the potential to create low-cost full-page tactile displays — not achievable with conventional actuator technologies. All research to date has considered tactile elements moving perpendicular to the skin and thus applying a normal force distribution. In contrast to previous work, we have investigated the use of laterally moving tactile elements that apply shear forces to the skin. This allows for the areal expansion of the DEA to be exploited directly, and a tactile display could be made with no elements moving out of the plane. There is evidence that humans are very sensitive to shear force distributions, and that in some cases a shear stimulus is indistinguishable from a normal stimulus. We present a prototype shear tactile display actuated by a DEA, and demonstrate that the DEA can generate the necessary forces and displacements. We also present and discuss different display topologies.

  13. Piezoresistive Tactile Sensor Discriminating Multidirectional Forces.

    PubMed

    Jung, Youngdo; Lee, Duck-Gyu; Park, Jonghwa; Ko, Hyunhyub; Lim, Hyuneui

    2015-01-01

    Flexible tactile sensors capable of detecting the magnitude and direction of the applied force together are of great interest for application in human-interactive robots, prosthetics, and bionic arms/feet. Human skin contains excellent tactile sensing elements, mechanoreceptors, which detect their assigned tactile stimuli and transduce them into electrical signals. The transduced signals are transmitted through separated nerve fibers to the central nerve system without complicated signal processing. Inspired by the function and organization of human skin, we present a piezoresistive type tactile sensor capable of discriminating the direction and magnitude of stimulations without further signal processing. Our tactile sensor is based on a flexible core and four sidewall structures of elastomer, where highly sensitive interlocking piezoresistive type sensing elements are embedded. We demonstrate the discriminating normal pressure and shear force simultaneously without interference between the applied forces. The developed sensor can detect down to 128 Pa in normal pressure and 0.08 N in shear force, respectively. The developed sensor can be applied in the prosthetic arms requiring the restoration of tactile sensation to discriminate the feeling of normal and shear force like human skin. PMID:26445045

  14. Piezoresistive Tactile Sensor Discriminating Multidirectional Forces.

    PubMed

    Jung, Youngdo; Lee, Duck-Gyu; Park, Jonghwa; Ko, Hyunhyub; Lim, Hyuneui

    2015-10-02

    Flexible tactile sensors capable of detecting the magnitude and direction of the applied force together are of great interest for application in human-interactive robots, prosthetics, and bionic arms/feet. Human skin contains excellent tactile sensing elements, mechanoreceptors, which detect their assigned tactile stimuli and transduce them into electrical signals. The transduced signals are transmitted through separated nerve fibers to the central nerve system without complicated signal processing. Inspired by the function and organization of human skin, we present a piezoresistive type tactile sensor capable of discriminating the direction and magnitude of stimulations without further signal processing. Our tactile sensor is based on a flexible core and four sidewall structures of elastomer, where highly sensitive interlocking piezoresistive type sensing elements are embedded. We demonstrate the discriminating normal pressure and shear force simultaneously without interference between the applied forces. The developed sensor can detect down to 128 Pa in normal pressure and 0.08 N in shear force, respectively. The developed sensor can be applied in the prosthetic arms requiring the restoration of tactile sensation to discriminate the feeling of normal and shear force like human skin.

  15. Feeling Music: Integration of Auditory and Tactile Inputs in Musical Meter Perception

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Juan; Gamble, Darik; Sarnlertsophon, Kristine

    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. PMID:23119038

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. A robust activity marking system for exploring active neuronal ensembles

    PubMed Central

    Sørensen, Andreas T; Cooper, Yonatan A; Baratta, Michael V; Weng, Feng-Ju; Zhang, Yuxiang; Ramamoorthi, Kartik; Fropf, Robin; LaVerriere, Emily; Xue, Jian; Young, Andrew; Schneider, Colleen; Gøtzsche, Casper René; Hemberg, Martin; Yin, Jerry CP; Maier, Steven F; Lin, Yingxi

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how the brain captures transient experience and converts it into long lasting changes in neural circuits requires the identification and investigation of the specific ensembles of neurons that are responsible for the encoding of each experience. We have developed a Robust Activity Marking (RAM) system that allows for the identification and interrogation of ensembles of neurons. The RAM system provides unprecedented high sensitivity and selectivity through the use of an optimized synthetic activity-regulated promoter that is strongly induced by neuronal activity and a modified Tet-Off system that achieves improved temporal control. Due to its compact design, RAM can be packaged into a single adeno-associated virus (AAV), providing great versatility and ease of use, including application to mice, rats, flies, and potentially many other species. Cre-dependent RAM, CRAM, allows for the study of active ensembles of a specific cell type and anatomical connectivity, further expanding the RAM system’s versatility. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13918.001 PMID:27661450

  18. Update on petroleum exploration activities in the Philippines

    SciTech Connect

    Salcedo, B.H.C.; Bausa, G.J.G.; Ocampo. I.U.

    1996-12-31

    The first significant event in Philippine Petroleum exploration dates back to 1896 with the drilling of Toledo-1 in Cebu by Smith & Bell. From the 1950`s to the 1970`s, widespread exploration activities were carried out but it was only eighty years after the first oil drilling in 1896 that oil was finally discovered in commercial quantity in Northwest Palawan. This could be attributed to the fact that serious exploration for petroleum was made with the enactment of Presidential Decree No. 87, better known as the {open_quotes}Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972{close_quotes}, which takes into effect the current Service Contract System. Amendments to P.D. No. 87 is underway to further improve its incentive package and make it more attractive to explorationists. Petroleum exploration in the Philippines continues to be an energetic industry even if the players are not always rewarded with finds. Frontier areas have become attractive for exploration in view of the continuing research studies resulting to increased database thereat. While Northwest Palawan continues to be the hub of action, frontier areas as well as the more risky deepwater acreages still generate interests, if one wishes to be an active player in a growing energy-hungry economy.

  19. Update on petroleum exploration activities in the Philippines

    SciTech Connect

    Salcedo, B.H.C.; Bausa, G.J.G.; Ocampo. I.U.

    1996-01-01

    The first significant event in Philippine Petroleum exploration dates back to 1896 with the drilling of Toledo-1 in Cebu by Smith Bell. From the 1950's to the 1970's, widespread exploration activities were carried out but it was only eighty years after the first oil drilling in 1896 that oil was finally discovered in commercial quantity in Northwest Palawan. This could be attributed to the fact that serious exploration for petroleum was made with the enactment of Presidential Decree No. 87, better known as the [open quotes]Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972[close quotes], which takes into effect the current Service Contract System. Amendments to P.D. No. 87 is underway to further improve its incentive package and make it more attractive to explorationists. Petroleum exploration in the Philippines continues to be an energetic industry even if the players are not always rewarded with finds. Frontier areas have become attractive for exploration in view of the continuing research studies resulting to increased database thereat. While Northwest Palawan continues to be the hub of action, frontier areas as well as the more risky deepwater acreages still generate interests, if one wishes to be an active player in a growing energy-hungry economy.

  20. Implicit processing of tactile information: evidence from the tactile change detection paradigm.

    PubMed

    Pritchett, David; Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles

    2011-09-01

    People can maintain accurate representations of visual changes without necessarily being aware of them. Here, we investigate whether a similar phenomenon (implicit change detection) also exists in touch. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants detected the presence of a change between two consecutively-presented tactile displays. Tactile change blindness was observed, with participants failing to report the presence of tactile change. Critically, however, when participants had to make a forced choice response regarding the number of stimuli presented in the two displays, their performance was significantly better than chance (i.e., implicit change detection was observed). Experiment 3 demonstrated that tactile change detection does not necessarily involve a shift of spatial attention toward the location of change, regardless of whether the change is explicitly detected. We conclude that tactile change detection likely results from comparing representations of the two displays, rather than by directing spatial attention to the location of the change.

  1. Hearing shapes our perception of time: temporal discrimination of tactile stimuli in deaf people.

    PubMed

    Bolognini, Nadia; Cecchetto, Carlo; Geraci, Carlo; Maravita, Angelo; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Papagno, Costanza

    2012-02-01

    Confronted with the loss of one type of sensory input, we compensate using information conveyed by other senses. However, losing one type of sensory information at specific developmental times may lead to deficits across all sensory modalities. We addressed the effect of auditory deprivation on the development of tactile abilities, taking into account changes occurring at the behavioral and cortical level. Congenitally deaf and hearing individuals performed two tactile tasks, the first requiring the discrimination of the temporal duration of touches and the second requiring the discrimination of their spatial length. Compared with hearing individuals, deaf individuals were impaired only in tactile temporal processing. To explore the neural substrate of this difference, we ran a TMS experiment. In deaf individuals, the auditory association cortex was involved in temporal and spatial tactile processing, with the same chronometry as the primary somatosensory cortex. In hearing participants, the involvement of auditory association cortex occurred at a later stage and selectively for temporal discrimination. The different chronometry in the recruitment of the auditory cortex in deaf individuals correlated with the tactile temporal impairment. Thus, early hearing experience seems to be crucial to develop an efficient temporal processing across modalities, suggesting that plasticity does not necessarily result in behavioral compensation.

  2. A Population-Based Twin Study of Parentally Reported Tactile and Auditory Defensiveness in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldsmith, H. H.; Van Hulle, C. A.; Arneson, C. L.; Schreiber, J. E.; Gernsbacher, M. A.

    2006-01-01

    Some adults and children exhibit defensive behaviors to tactile or auditory stimulation. These symptoms occur not only in subsets of children with ADHD, autism, and Fragile X syndrome, but also in the apparent absence of accompanying disorders. Relatively little research explores the correlates and antecedents of sensory defensiveness. Using a…

  3. Investigating Visual-Tactile Interactions over Time and Space in Adults with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poole, Daniel; Gowen, Emma; Warren, Paul A.; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the sensory symptoms which affect many people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) may be related to alterations in multisensory processing. Typically, the likelihood of interactions between the senses increases when information is temporally and spatially coincident. We explored visual-tactile interactions in adults…

  4. Comparing Tactile Maps and Haptic Digital Representations of a Maritime Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simonnet, Mathieu; Vieilledent, Steephane; Jacobson, R. Daniel; Tisseau, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    A map exploration and representation exercise was conducted with participants who were totally blind. Representations of maritime environments were presented either with a tactile map or with a digital haptic virtual map. We assessed the knowledge of spatial configurations using a triangulation technique. The results revealed that both types of…

  5. Collaborative Human Engineering Work in Space Exploration Extravehicular Activities (EVA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeSantis, Lena; Whitmore, Mihriban

    2007-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on extravehicular activities in space exploration in collaboration with other NASA centers, industries, and universities is shown. The topics include: 1) Concept of Operations for Future EVA activities; 2) Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS); 3) Advanced EVA Walkback Test; 4) Walkback Subjective Results; 5) Integrated Suit Test 1; 6) Portable Life Support Subsystem (PLSS); 7) Flex PLSS Design Process; and 8) EVA Information System; 9)

  6. Mars Exploration Rover Operations with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeffrey S. Norris; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A.; Backes, Paul G.; Wick, Justin V.

    2005-01-01

    The Science Activity Planner (SAP) is the primary science operations tool for the Mars Exploration Rover mission and NASA's Software of the Year for 2004. SAP utilizes a variety of visualization and planning capabilities to enable the mission operations team to direct the activities of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. This paper outlines some of the challenging requirements that drove the design of SAP and discusses lessons learned from the development and use of SAP in mission operations.

  7. Exploring a Monetary Union among Nations through Active Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goma, Ophelia D.

    2002-01-01

    This article presents a classroom project that employs various techniques of active learning including role-playing, collaborative group work and writing. The project explores the recent creation of the European Monetary Union (EMU) with special emphasis on the introduction of the euro. The project assumes that the Americas have begun preliminary…

  8. Exploring the Greenhouse Effect through Physics-Oriented Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Browne, Kerry P.; Laws, Priscilla W.

    2003-01-01

    We are developing a new activity-based unit on global warming and the environment as part of the "Explorations in Physics Curriculum." We describe the current status of this unit, which focuses on helping students understand the greenhouse effect and its relationship to global warming. We outline several problems encountered in testing the unit…

  9. Ambiguity in Tactile Apparent Motion Perception

    PubMed Central

    Liaci, Emanuela; Bach, Michael; Tebartz van Elst, Ludger; Heinrich, Sven P.; Kornmeier, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Discussion 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

  10. Tactile display with dielectric multilayer elastomer actuatorsq

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matysek, Marc; Lotz, Peter; Schlaak, Helmut F.

    2009-03-01

    Tactile perception is the human sensation of surface textures through the vibrations generated by stroking a finger over the surface. The skin responds to several distributed physical quantities. Perhaps the most important are high-frequency vibrations, pressure distributions (static shape) and thermal properties. The integration of tactile displays in man-machine interfaces promises a more intuitive handling. For this reason many tactile displays are developed using different technologies. We present several state-of-the-art tactile displays based on different types of dielectric elastomer actuators to clarify the advantages of our matrix display based on multilayer technology. Using this technology perpendicular and hexagonal arrays of actuator elements (tactile stimulators) can be integrated into a PDMS substrate. Element diameters down to 1 mm allow stimuli at the range of the human two-point-discrimination threshold. Driving the elements by column and row addressing enables various stimulation patterns with a reduced number of feeding lines. The transient analysis determines charging times of the capacitive actuators depending on actuator geometry and material parameters. This is very important to ensure an adequate dynamic characteristic of the actuators to stimulate the human skin by vibrations. The suitability of multilayer dielectric elastomer actuators for actuation in tactile displays has been determined. Beside the realization of a static tactile display - where multilayer DEA are integrated as drives for movable contact pins - we focus on the direct use of DEA as a vibrotactile display. Finally, we present the scenario and achieved results of a recognition threshold test. Even relative low voltages in the range of 800 V generate vibrations with 100% recognition ratio within the group of participants. Furthermore, the frequency dependent characteristic of the determined recognition threshold confirms with established literature.

  11. Factors affecting tactile spatial acuity.

    PubMed

    Craig, J C; Kisner, J M

    1998-01-01

    Tactile spatial acuity on the fingerpad was measured using a grating orientation task. In this task, subjects are required to identify the orientation of square-wave gratings placed on the skin. Previous studies have shown that performance varies as a function of the width of the grooves in the gratings. In the present study, both groove width and the overall size and configuration of the contactors were varied. Sensitivity improved with wider grooves and with larger contactors. Additional measurements showed that the improved sensitivity is not the result of the increase in total area contacted, but rather is due to two other factors associated with larger contactors. One is the greater linear extent of the larger contactors. The other appears to be due to the reduction in the interference produced by the outer edge of the contactor. Specifically, as the contactor increases in size, the distance between the outer edge and the center portion of the grooves also increases. It was also shown that subjects are more sensitive to a single, continuous groove as compared with two grooves of the same total length but spatially discontinuous. Similarly, subjects are more sensitive to a contactor with a continuous groove than to a contactor in which just the end points of the groove are presented. The results are generally consistent with the results of peripheral, neurophysiological recordings. The results are discussed in terms of the way in which both spatial and intensive factors may affect sensitivity to grating orientation.

  12. Multiscale time activity data exploration via temporal clustering visualization spreadsheet.

    PubMed

    Woodring, Jonathan; Shen, Han-Wei

    2009-01-01

    Time-varying data is usually explored by animation or arrays of static images. Neither is particularly effective for classifying data by different temporal activities. Important temporal trends can be missed due to the lack of ability to find them with current visualization methods. In this paper, we propose a method to explore data at different temporal resolutions to discover and highlight data based upon time-varying trends. Using the wavelet transform along the time axis, we transform data points into multi-scale time series curve sets. The time curves are clustered so that data of similar activity are grouped together, at different temporal resolutions. The data are displayed to the user in a global time view spreadsheet where she is able to select temporal clusters of data points, and filter and brush data across temporal scales. With our method, a user can interact with data based on time activities and create expressive visualizations. PMID:19008560

  13. MEMS tactile display: from fabrication to characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miki, Norihisa; Kosemura, Yumi; Watanabe, Junpei; Ishikawa, Hiroaki

    2014-03-01

    We report fabrication and characterization of MEMS-based tactile display that can display users various tactile information, such as Braille codes and surface textures. The display consists of 9 micro-actuators that are equipped with hydraulic displacement amplification mechanism (HDAM) to achieve large enough displacement to stimulate the human tactile receptors. HDAM encapsulates incompressible liquids. We developed a liquid encapsulation process, which we termed as Bonding-in-Liquid Technique, where bonding with a UV-curable resin in glycerin is conducted in the liquid, which prevented interfusion of air bubbles and deformation of the membrane during the bonding. HDAM successfully amplified the displacement generated by piezoelectric actuators by a factor of 6. The display could virtually produce "rough" and "smooth" surfaces, by controlling the vibration frequency, displacement, and the actuation periods of an actuator until the adjacent actuator was driven. We introduced a sample comparison method to characterize the surfaces, which involves human tactile sensation. First, we prepared samples whose mechanical properties are known. We displayed a surface texture to the user by controlling the parameters and then, the user selects a sample that has the most similar surface texture. By doing so, we can correlate the parameters with the mechanical properties of the sample as well as find the sets of the parameters that can provide similar tactile information to many users. The preliminary results with respect to roughness and hardness is presented.

  14. Factors Affecting Traceability of Lines for Tactile Graphics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bentzen, Billie Louise; Peck, Alec F.

    1979-01-01

    To facilitate appropriate line choice for tactile graphic displays, 42 visually impaired Ss traced four types of tactile lines in a simple display (without intersections), and in a complex display (having intersections). (Author)

  15. Human spatial navigation via a visuo-tactile sensory substitution system.

    PubMed

    Segond, Hervé; Weiss, Déborah; Sampaio, Eliana

    2005-01-01

    Spatial navigation within a real 3-D maze was investigated to study space perception on the sole basis of tactile information transmitted by means of a 'tactile vision substitution system' (TVSS) allowing the conversion of optical images-collected by a micro camera-into 'tactile images' via a matrix in contact with the skin. The development of such a device is based on concepts of cerebral and functional plasticity, enabling subjective reproduction of visual images from tactile data processing. Blindfolded sighted subjects had to remotely control the movements of a robot on which the TVSS camera was mounted. Once familiarised with the cues in the maze, the subjects were given two exploration sessions. Performance was analysed according to an objective point of view (exploration time, discrimination capacity), as well as a subjective one (speech). The task was successfully carried out from the very first session. As the subjects took a different path during each navigation, a gradual improvement in performance (discrimination and exploration time) was noted, generating a phenomenon of learning. Moreover, subjective analysis revealed an evolution of the spatialisation process towards distal attribution. Finally, some emotional expressions seemed to reflect the genesis of 'qualia' (emotional qualities of stimulation). PMID:16309117

  16. Human spatial navigation via a visuo-tactile sensory substitution system.

    PubMed

    Segond, Hervé; Weiss, Déborah; Sampaio, Eliana

    2005-01-01

    Spatial navigation within a real 3-D maze was investigated to study space perception on the sole basis of tactile information transmitted by means of a 'tactile vision substitution system' (TVSS) allowing the conversion of optical images-collected by a micro camera-into 'tactile images' via a matrix in contact with the skin. The development of such a device is based on concepts of cerebral and functional plasticity, enabling subjective reproduction of visual images from tactile data processing. Blindfolded sighted subjects had to remotely control the movements of a robot on which the TVSS camera was mounted. Once familiarised with the cues in the maze, the subjects were given two exploration sessions. Performance was analysed according to an objective point of view (exploration time, discrimination capacity), as well as a subjective one (speech). The task was successfully carried out from the very first session. As the subjects took a different path during each navigation, a gradual improvement in performance (discrimination and exploration time) was noted, generating a phenomenon of learning. Moreover, subjective analysis revealed an evolution of the spatialisation process towards distal attribution. Finally, some emotional expressions seemed to reflect the genesis of 'qualia' (emotional qualities of stimulation).

  17. A complementary role of intracortical inhibition in age-related tactile degradation and its remodelling in humans.

    PubMed

    Pleger, Burkhard; Wilimzig, Claudia; Nicolas, Volkmar; Kalisch, Tobias; Ragert, Patrick; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R

    2016-01-01

    Many attempts are currently underway to restore age-related degraded perception, however, the link between restored perception and remodeled brain function remains elusive. To understand remodeling of age-related cortical reorganization we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with assessments of tactile acuity, perceptual learning, and computational modeling. We show that aging leads to tactile degradation parallel to enhanced activity in somatosensory cortex. Using a neural field model we reconciled the empirical age-effects by weakening of cortical lateral inhibition. Using perceptual learning, we were able to partially restore tactile acuity, which however was not accompanied by the expected attenuation of cortical activity, but by a further enhancement. The neural field model reproduced these learning effects solely through a weakening of the amplitude of inhibition. These findings suggest that the restoration of age-related degraded tactile acuity on the cortical level is not achieved by re-strengthening lateral inhibition but by further weakening intracortical inhibition.

  18. Polarity effect in electrovibration for tactile display.

    PubMed

    Kaczmarek, Kurt A; Nammi, Krishnakant; Agarwal, Abhishek K; Tyler, Mitchell E; Haase, Steven J; Beebe, David J

    2006-10-01

    Electrovibration is the tactile sensation of an alternating potential between the human body and a smooth conducing surface when the skin slides over the surface and where the current is too small to stimulate sensory nerves directly. It has been proposed as a high-density tactile display method, for example to display pictographic information to persons who are blind. Previous models for the electrovibration transduction mechanism are based on a parallel-plate capacitor in which the electrostatic force is insensitive to polarity. We present experimental data showing that electrovibratory perceptual sensitivity to positive pulses is less than that for negative or biphasic pulses and propose that this disparity may be due to the asymmetric electrical properties of human skin. We furthermore propose using negative pulses for insulated tactile displays based on electrovibration because their sensory thresholds were found to be more stable than for waveforms incorporating positive pulses.

  19. Polarity effect in electrovibration for tactile display

    PubMed Central

    Nammi, Krishnakant; Agarwal, Abhishek K.; Tyler, Mitchell E.; Haase, Steven J.; Beebe, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Electrovibration is tactile sensation of an alternating potential between the human body and a smooth conducing surface when the skin slides over the surface and where the current is too small to stimulate sensory nerves directly. It has been proposed as a high-density tactile display method, for example to display pictographic information to persons who are blind. Previous models for the electrovibration transduction mechanism are based on a parallel-plate capacitor, in which the electrostatic force is insensitive to polarity. We present experimental data showing that electrovibratory perceptual sensitivity to positive pulses is less than that for negative or biphasic pulses, and propose that this disparity may be due to the asymmetric electrical properties of human skin. We furthermore propose using negative pulses for insulated tactile displays based on electrovibration because their sensory thresholds were found to be more stable than for waveforms incorporating positive pulses. PMID:17019869

  20. Visual and tactile assessment of neuromuscular fade.

    PubMed

    Brull, S J; Silverman, D G

    1993-08-01

    The accuracy of visual and tactile assessment of the neuromuscular fade in response to train-of-four (TOF) and double-burst stimulation (DBS) were compared to assess their relative utility in the clinical setting. For each of 74 data sets with a mechanographic TOF ratio less than 0.70, an observer (blinded to the presence or degree of fade) performed visual and tactile assessments of fade in response to TOF, DBS3,3, and DBS3,2 stimuli at low current (20 and 30 mA) and high current (50 and 60 mA). For the range of mechanographic TOF ratios between 0.41 and 0.70, visual assessment failed to identify TOF, DBS3,3, and DBS3,2 fade in 46%, 18%, and 14% of cases at high current and in 23%, 5%, and 0% of cases at low current, respectively. Tactile assessments failed to identify fade in 55%, 23%, and 14% of cases at high current and in 23%, 14%, and 14% of cases at low current. Overall, the ability to detect fade was comparable for visual and tactile assessments regardless of the method of neurostimulation (P = NS with paired t-test). However, the degree of overestimation of the fade ratio (i.e., quantitative assessment) tended to be less when using tactile means; the difference achieved significance for TOF at low current and DBS3,3 at both low and high currents. We conclude that the differences between the visual and tactile means of assessment are relatively small compared to the differences among the TOF and DBS patterns of neurostimulation. Both subjective techniques are often inadequate in settings in which assurance of full recovery of neuromuscular function is critical.

  1. Mineral exploration and soil analysis using in situ neutron activation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Senftle, F.E.; Hoyte, A.F.

    1966-01-01

    A feasibility study has been made to operate by remote control an unshielded portable positive-ion accelerator type neutron source to induce activities in the ground or rock by "in situ" neutron irradiation. Selective activation techniques make it possible to detect some thirty or more elements by irradiating the ground for periods of a few minutes with either 3-MeV or 14-MeV neutrons. The depth of penetration of neutrons, the effect of water content of the soil on neutron moderation, gamma ray attenuation in the soil and other problems are considered. The analysis shows that, when exploring for most elements of economic interest, the reaction 2H(d,n)3He yielding ??? 3-MeV neutrons is most practical to produce a relatively uniform flux of neutrons of less than 1 keV to a depth of 19???-20???. Irradiation with high energy neutrons (??? 14 MeV) can also be used and may be better suited for certain problems. However, due to higher background and lower sensitivity for the heavy minerals, it is not a recommended neutron source for general exploration use. Preliminary experiments have been made which indicate that neutron activation in situ is feasible for a mineral exploration or qualititative soil analysis. ?? 1976.

  2. Tactile sensing means for prosthetic limbs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, W. L. (Inventor)

    1973-01-01

    An improved prosthetic device characterized by a frame and a socket for mounting on the stump of a truncated human appendage is described. Flexible digits extend from the distal end and transducers located within the digits act as sensing devices for detecting tactile stimuli. The transducers are connected through a power circuit with a slave unit supported by a strap and fixed to the stump. The tactile stimuli detected at the sensing devices are reproduced and applied to the skin of the appendage in order to stimulate the sensory organs located therein.

  3. Persistent At-Level Thermal Hyperalgesia and Tactile Allodynia Accompany Chronic Neuronal and Astrocyte Activation in Superficial Dorsal Horn following Mouse Cervical Contusion Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Jaime L.; Hala, Tamara J.; Putatunda, Rajarshi; Sannie, Daniel; Lepore, Angelo C.

    2014-01-01

    In humans, sensory abnormalities, including neuropathic pain, often result from traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). SCI can induce cellular changes in the CNS, termed central sensitization, that alter excitability of spinal cord neurons, including those in the dorsal horn involved in pain transmission. Persistently elevated levels of neuronal activity, glial activation, and glutamatergic transmission are thought to contribute to the hyperexcitability of these dorsal horn neurons, which can lead to maladaptive circuitry, aberrant pain processing and, ultimately, chronic neuropathic pain. Here we present a mouse model of SCI-induced neuropathic pain that exhibits a persistent pain phenotype accompanied by chronic neuronal hyperexcitability and glial activation in the spinal cord dorsal horn. We generated a unilateral cervical contusion injury at the C5 or C6 level of the adult mouse spinal cord. Following injury, an increase in the number of neurons expressing ΔFosB (a marker of chronic neuronal activation), persistent astrocyte activation and proliferation (as measured by GFAP and Ki67 expression), and a decrease in the expression of the astrocyte glutamate transporter GLT1 are observed in the ipsilateral superficial dorsal horn of cervical spinal cord. These changes have previously been associated with neuronal hyperexcitability and may contribute to altered pain transmission and chronic neuropathic pain. In our model, they are accompanied by robust at-level hyperaglesia in the ipsilateral forepaw and allodynia in both forepaws that are evident within two weeks following injury and persist for at least six weeks. Furthermore, the pain phenotype occurs in the absence of alterations in forelimb grip strength, suggesting that it represents sensory and not motor abnormalities. Given the importance of transgenic mouse technology, this clinically-relevant model provides a resource that can be used to study the molecular mechanisms contributing to neuropathic pain

  4. Sparse activity of identified dentate granule cells during spatial exploration

    PubMed Central

    Diamantaki, Maria; Frey, Markus; Berens, Philipp; Preston-Ferrer, Patricia; Burgalossi, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    In the dentate gyrus – a key component of spatial memory circuits – granule cells (GCs) are known to be morphologically diverse and to display heterogeneous activity profiles during behavior. To resolve structure–function relationships, we juxtacellularly recorded and labeled single GCs in freely moving rats. We found that the vast majority of neurons were silent during exploration. Most active GCs displayed a characteristic spike waveform, fired at low rates and showed spatial activity. Primary dendritic parameters were sufficient for classifying neurons as active or silent with high accuracy. Our data thus support a sparse coding scheme in the dentate gyrus and provide a possible link between structural and functional heterogeneity among the GC population. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20252.001 PMID:27692065

  5. Exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilburn, D.R.

    2001-01-01

    Part of an annual review of mines and mineral resources in the U.S. An overview of nonfuel-mineral exploration in 2000 is presented. Principal exploration target was gold exploration in Latin America, Australia, and the U.S. There was a decrease of 18 percent in the exploration budget for gold as compared with the budget for 1999. Statistical information on nonfuel-mineral exploration worldwide is presented, analyzed, and interpreted.

  6. Whisking Kinematics Enables Object Localization in Head-Centered Coordinates Based on Tactile Information from a Single Vibrissa.

    PubMed

    Yang, Anne E T; Hartmann, Mitra J Z

    2016-01-01

    During active tactile exploration with their whiskers (vibrissae), rodents can rapidly orient to an object even though there are very few proprioceptors in the whisker muscles. Thus a long-standing question in the study of the vibrissal system is how the rat can localize an object in head-centered coordinates without muscle-based proprioception. We used a three-dimensional model of whisker bending to simulate whisking motions against a peg to investigate the possibility that the 3D mechanics of contact from a single whisker are sufficient for localization in head-centered coordinates. Results show that for nearly all whiskers in the array, purely tactile signals at the whisker base - as would be measured by mechanoreceptors, in whisker-centered coordinates - could be used to determine the location of a vertical peg in head-centered coordinates. Both the "roll" and the "elevation" components of whisking kinematics contribute to the uniqueness and resolution of the localization. These results offer an explanation for a behavioral study showing that rats can more accurately determine the horizontal angle of an object if one column, rather than one row, of whiskers is spared.

  7. Whisking Kinematics Enables Object Localization in Head-Centered Coordinates Based on Tactile Information from a Single Vibrissa

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Anne E. T.; Hartmann, Mitra J. Z.

    2016-01-01

    During active tactile exploration with their whiskers (vibrissae), rodents can rapidly orient to an object even though there are very few proprioceptors in the whisker muscles. Thus a long-standing question in the study of the vibrissal system is how the rat can localize an object in head-centered coordinates without muscle-based proprioception. We used a three-dimensional model of whisker bending to simulate whisking motions against a peg to investigate the possibility that the 3D mechanics of contact from a single whisker are sufficient for localization in head-centered coordinates. Results show that for nearly all whiskers in the array, purely tactile signals at the whisker base – as would be measured by mechanoreceptors, in whisker-centered coordinates – could be used to determine the location of a vertical peg in head-centered coordinates. Both the “roll” and the “elevation” components of whisking kinematics contribute to the uniqueness and resolution of the localization. These results offer an explanation for a behavioral study showing that rats can more accurately determine the horizontal angle of an object if one column, rather than one row, of whiskers is spared. PMID:27486390

  8. Whisking Kinematics Enables Object Localization in Head-Centered Coordinates Based on Tactile Information from a Single Vibrissa.

    PubMed

    Yang, Anne E T; Hartmann, Mitra J Z

    2016-01-01

    During active tactile exploration with their whiskers (vibrissae), rodents can rapidly orient to an object even though there are very few proprioceptors in the whisker muscles. Thus a long-standing question in the study of the vibrissal system is how the rat can localize an object in head-centered coordinates without muscle-based proprioception. We used a three-dimensional model of whisker bending to simulate whisking motions against a peg to investigate the possibility that the 3D mechanics of contact from a single whisker are sufficient for localization in head-centered coordinates. Results show that for nearly all whiskers in the array, purely tactile signals at the whisker base - as would be measured by mechanoreceptors, in whisker-centered coordinates - could be used to determine the location of a vertical peg in head-centered coordinates. Both the "roll" and the "elevation" components of whisking kinematics contribute to the uniqueness and resolution of the localization. These results offer an explanation for a behavioral study showing that rats can more accurately determine the horizontal angle of an object if one column, rather than one row, of whiskers is spared. PMID:27486390

  9. Illusory and veridical mapping of tactile objects in the primary somatosensory and posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Bufalari, Ilaria; Di Russo, Francesco; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2014-07-01

    While several behavioral and neuroscience studies have explored visual, auditory, and cross-modal illusions, information about the phenomenology and neural correlates of somatosensory illusions is meager. By combining psychophysics and somatosensory evoked potentials, we explored in healthy humans the neural correlates of 2 compelling tactuo-proprioceptive illusions, namely Aristotle (1 object touching the contact area between 2 crossed fingers is perceived as 2 lateral objects) and Reverse illusions (2 lateral objects are perceived as 1 between crossed-fingers object). These illusions likely occur because of the tactuo-proprioceptive conflict induced by fingers being crossed in a non-natural posture. We found that different regions in the somatosensory stream exhibit different proneness to the illusions. Early electroencephalographic somatosensory activity (at 20 ms) originating in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) reflects the phenomenal rather than the physical properties of the stimuli. Notably, later activity (around 200 ms) originating in the posterior parietal cortex is higher when subjects resist the illusions. Thus, while S1 activity is related to illusory perception, PPC acts as a conflict resolver that recodes tactile events from somatotopic to spatiotopic frames of reference and ultimately enables veridical perception. PMID:23438449

  10. Illusory and veridical mapping of tactile objects in the primary somatosensory and posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Bufalari, Ilaria; Di Russo, Francesco; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2014-07-01

    While several behavioral and neuroscience studies have explored visual, auditory, and cross-modal illusions, information about the phenomenology and neural correlates of somatosensory illusions is meager. By combining psychophysics and somatosensory evoked potentials, we explored in healthy humans the neural correlates of 2 compelling tactuo-proprioceptive illusions, namely Aristotle (1 object touching the contact area between 2 crossed fingers is perceived as 2 lateral objects) and Reverse illusions (2 lateral objects are perceived as 1 between crossed-fingers object). These illusions likely occur because of the tactuo-proprioceptive conflict induced by fingers being crossed in a non-natural posture. We found that different regions in the somatosensory stream exhibit different proneness to the illusions. Early electroencephalographic somatosensory activity (at 20 ms) originating in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) reflects the phenomenal rather than the physical properties of the stimuli. Notably, later activity (around 200 ms) originating in the posterior parietal cortex is higher when subjects resist the illusions. Thus, while S1 activity is related to illusory perception, PPC acts as a conflict resolver that recodes tactile events from somatotopic to spatiotopic frames of reference and ultimately enables veridical perception.

  11. The effect of volumetric (3D) tactile symbols within inclusive tactile maps.

    PubMed

    Gual, Jaume; Puyuelo, Marina; Lloveras, Joaquim

    2015-05-01

    Point, linear and areal elements, which are two-dimensional and of a graphic nature, are the morphological elements employed when designing tactile maps and symbols for visually impaired users. However, beyond the two-dimensional domain, there is a fourth group of elements - volumetric elements - which mapmakers do not take sufficiently into account when it comes to designing tactile maps and symbols. This study analyses the effect of including volumetric, or 3D, symbols within a tactile map. In order to do so, the researchers compared two tactile maps. One of them uses only two-dimensional elements and is produced using thermoforming, one of the most popular systems in this field, while the other includes volumetric symbols, thus highlighting the possibilities opened up by 3D printing, a new area of production. The results of the study show that including 3D symbols improves the efficiency and autonomous use of these products. PMID:25683526

  12. Summary of Tactile User Interfaces Techniques and Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spirkovska, Lilly

    2004-01-01

    Mental workload can be defined as the ratio of demand to allocated resources. Multiple- resource theory stresses the importance of distribution of tasks and information across various sensory channels of the human to reduce mental workload. One sensory channel that has been of interest since the late 1800s is touch. Unlike the more typical displays that target vision or hearing, tactile displays present information to the user s sense of touch. We present a summary of different methods for tactile display; historic and more recent systems that incorporate tactile display for information presentation; advantages and disadvantages of targeting the tactile channel; and future directions in tactile display research.

  13. Summary of Tactile User Interfaces Techniques and Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spirkovska, Lilly

    2005-01-01

    Mental workload can be de.ned as the ratio of demand to allocated resources. Multiple-resource theory stresses the importance of distribution of tasks and information across various human sensory channels to reduce mental workload. One sensory channel that has been of interest since the late 1800s is touch. Unlike the more typical displays that target vision or hearing, tactile displays present information to the user s sense of touch. We present a summary of different methods for tactile display, historic and more recent systems that incorporate tactile display for information presentation, advantages and disadvantages of targeting the tactile channel, and future directions in tactile display research.

  14. A voice coil motor based measuring force control system for tactile scanning profiler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Shengdong; Liu, Xiaojun; Chen, Liangzhou; Zhou, Liping; Lu, Wenlong

    2015-02-01

    In tactile scanning profiler, the measuring force would change in a wide range when it was used for profile measurement in a large range, which could possibly destroy the measured surface. To solve the problem, measuring force control system for tactile scanning profiler was needed. In the paper, a voice coil motor-based measuring force control system for tactile scanning profiler was designed. In the design, a low stiffness coefficient spring was used to provide contact force, while a voice coil motor (VCM) to balance the spring force so that the contact force could be kept for constant measuring force. A VCM was designed specially, and for active measuring force control, a precision current source circuit under the control of a DSP unit was designed to drive the VCM. The performance of voice coil motor based measuring force control system had been tested, and its good characteristics were verified.

  15. Tactile perception of skin and skin cream by friction induced vibrations.

    PubMed

    Ding, Shuyang; Bhushan, Bharat

    2016-11-01

    Skin cream smooths, softens, and moistens skin by altering surface roughness and tribological properties of skin. Sliding generates vibrations that activate mechanoreceptors located in skin. The brain interprets tactile information to identify skin feel. Understanding the tactile sensing mechanisms of skin with and without cream treatment is important to numerous applications including cosmetics, textiles, and robotics sensors. In this study, frequency spectra of friction force and friction induced vibration signals were carried out to investigate tactile perception by an artificial finger sliding on skin. The influence of normal load, velocity, and cream treatment time were studied. Coherence between friction force and vibration signals were found. The amplitude of vibration decreased after cream treatment, leading to smoother perception. Increasing normal load or velocity between contacting surfaces generated a smoother perception with cream treatment, but rougher perception without treatment. As cream treatment time increases, skin becomes smoother. The related mechanisms are discussed.

  16. Tactile perception of skin and skin cream by friction induced vibrations.

    PubMed

    Ding, Shuyang; Bhushan, Bharat

    2016-11-01

    Skin cream smooths, softens, and moistens skin by altering surface roughness and tribological properties of skin. Sliding generates vibrations that activate mechanoreceptors located in skin. The brain interprets tactile information to identify skin feel. Understanding the tactile sensing mechanisms of skin with and without cream treatment is important to numerous applications including cosmetics, textiles, and robotics sensors. In this study, frequency spectra of friction force and friction induced vibration signals were carried out to investigate tactile perception by an artificial finger sliding on skin. The influence of normal load, velocity, and cream treatment time were studied. Coherence between friction force and vibration signals were found. The amplitude of vibration decreased after cream treatment, leading to smoother perception. Increasing normal load or velocity between contacting surfaces generated a smoother perception with cream treatment, but rougher perception without treatment. As cream treatment time increases, skin becomes smoother. The related mechanisms are discussed. PMID:27474814

  17. Self-organization via active exploration in robotic applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ogmen, H.; Prakash, R. V.

    1992-01-01

    We describe a neural network based robotic system. Unlike traditional robotic systems, our approach focussed on non-stationary problems. We indicate that self-organization capability is necessary for any system to operate successfully in a non-stationary environment. We suggest that self-organization should be based on an active exploration process. We investigated neural architectures having novelty sensitivity, selective attention, reinforcement learning, habit formation, flexible criteria categorization properties and analyzed the resulting behavior (consisting of an intelligent initiation of exploration) by computer simulations. While various computer vision researchers acknowledged recently the importance of active processes (Swain and Stricker, 1991), the proposed approaches within the new framework still suffer from a lack of self-organization (Aloimonos and Bandyopadhyay, 1987; Bajcsy, 1988). A self-organizing, neural network based robot (MAVIN) has been recently proposed (Baloch and Waxman, 1991). This robot has the capability of position, size rotation invariant pattern categorization, recognition and pavlovian conditioning. Our robot does not have initially invariant processing properties. The reason for this is the emphasis we put on active exploration. We maintain the point of view that such invariant properties emerge from an internalization of exploratory sensory-motor activity. Rather than coding the equilibria of such mental capabilities, we are seeking to capture its dynamics to understand on the one hand how the emergence of such invariances is possible and on the other hand the dynamics that lead to these invariances. The second point is crucial for an adaptive robot to acquire new invariances in non-stationary environments, as demonstrated by the inverting glass experiments of Helmholtz. We will introduce Pavlovian conditioning circuits in our future work for the precise objective of achieving the generation, coordination, and internalization

  18. The failure to detect tactile change: a tactile analogue of visual change blindness.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Tan, Hong Z; Spence, Charles

    2006-04-01

    A large body of empirical research now shows that people are surprisingly poor at detecting significant changes in visually presented scenes. This phenomenon is known as change blindness in vision. A similar phenomenon occurs in audition, but to date no such effect has been documented in touch. In the present study, we explored the ability of people to detect changes introduced between two consecutively presented vibrotactile patterns presented over the body surface. The patterns consisted of two or three vibrotactile stimuli presented for 200 msec. The position of one of the vibrotactile stimuli composing the display was repeatedly changed (alternating between two different positions) on 50% of the trials, but the same pattern was presented repeatedly on the remaining trials. Three conditions were investigated: No interval between the patterns, an empty interval between the patterns, and a masked interval between the patterns. Change detection was near perfect in the no-interval block. Performance deteriorated somewhat in the empty-interval block, but by far the worst change detection performance occurred in the masked-interval block. These results demonstrate that "change blindness" can also affect tactile perception. PMID:16892998

  19. Seeing the Body Distorts Tactile Size Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Longo, Matthew R.; Sadibolova, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Vision of the body modulates somatosensation, even when entirely non-informative about stimulation. For example, seeing the body increases tactile spatial acuity, but reduces acute pain. While previous results demonstrate that vision of the body modulates somatosensory sensitivity, it is unknown whether vision also affects metric properties of…

  20. Portable Tactile Aids for Speech Perception.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Michael P.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Experiments using portable tactile aids in speech perception are reviewed, focusing on training studies, additive benefit studies, and device comparison studies (including the "Tactaid II,""Tactaid V,""Tacticon 1600," and "Tickle Talker"). The potential of tactual information in perception of the overall speech code by hearing-impaired individuals…

  1. Dynamic Tactile Diagram Simplification on Refreshable Displays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rastogi, Ravi; Pawluk, Dianne T. V.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing use of visual diagrams in educational and work environments, and even our daily lives, has created obstacles for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to "independently" access the information they represent. Although physical tactile pictures can be created to convey the visual information, it is typically a slow,…

  2. Differences in Early Stages of Tactile ERP Temporal Sequence (P100) in Cortical Organization during Passive Tactile Stimulation in Children with Blindness and Controls.

    PubMed

    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

  3. Differences in Early Stages of Tactile ERP Temporal Sequence (P100) in Cortical Organization during Passive Tactile Stimulation in Children with Blindness and Controls.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. International oil and gas exploration and development activities

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-10-29

    This report is part of an ongoing series of quarterly publications that monitors discoveries of oil and natural gas in foreign countries and provides an analysis of the reserve additions that result. The report is prepared by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy (DOE) under the Foreign Energy Supply Assessment Program (FESAP). It presents a summary of discoveries and reserve additions that result from recent international exploration and development activities. It is intended for use by petroleum industry analysts, various government agencies, and political leaders in the development, implementation, and evaluation of energy plans, policy, and legislation. 25 refs., 8 figs., 4 tabs.

  5. Short term memory for tactile stimuli.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Tan, Hong Z; Haggard, Patrick; Spence, Charles

    2008-01-23

    Research has shown that unreported information stored in rapidly decaying visual representations may be accessed more accurately using partial report than using full report procedures (e.g., [Sperling, G., 1960. The information available in brief visual presentations. Psychological Monographs, 74, 1-29.]). In the 3 experiments reported here, we investigated whether unreported information regarding the actual number of tactile stimuli presented in parallel across the body surface can be accessed using a partial report procedure. In Experiment 1, participants had to report the total number of stimuli in a tactile display composed of up to 6 stimuli presented across their body (numerosity task), or else to detect whether or not a tactile stimulus had previously been presented in a position indicated by a visual probe given at a variable delay after offset of a tactile display (i.e., partial report). The results showed that participants correctly reported up to 3 stimuli in the numerosity judgment task, but their performance was significantly better than chance when up to 5 stimuli were presented in the partial report task. This result shows that short-lasting tactile representations can be accessed using partial report procedures similar to those used previously in visual studies. Experiment 2 showed that the duration of these representations (or the time available to consciously access them) depends on the number of stimuli presented in the display (the greater the number of stimuli that are presented, the faster their representation decays). Finally, the results of a third experiment showed that the differences in performance between the numerosity judgment and partial report tasks could not be explained solely in terms of any difference in task difficulty. PMID:18083147

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Blind Students' Learning of Probability through the Use of a Tactile Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vita, Aida Carvalho; Kataoka, Verônica Yumi

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to discuss how blind students learn basic concepts of probability using the tactile model proposed by Vita (2012). Among the activities were part of the teaching sequence "Jefferson's Random Walk", in which students built a tree diagram (using plastic trays, foam cards, and toys), and pictograms in 3D…

  8. Active Exploration of Large 3D Model Repositories.

    PubMed

    Gao, Lin; Cao, Yan-Pei; Lai, Yu-Kun; Huang, Hao-Zhi; Kobbelt, Leif; Hu, Shi-Min

    2015-12-01

    With broader availability of large-scale 3D model repositories, the need for efficient and effective exploration becomes more and more urgent. Existing model retrieval techniques do not scale well with the size of the database since often a large number of very similar objects are returned for a query, and the possibilities to refine the search are quite limited. We propose an interactive approach where the user feeds an active learning procedure by labeling either entire models or parts of them as "like" or "dislike" such that the system can automatically update an active set of recommended models. To provide an intuitive user interface, candidate models are presented based on their estimated relevance for the current query. From the methodological point of view, our main contribution is to exploit not only the similarity between a query and the database models but also the similarities among the database models themselves. We achieve this by an offline pre-processing stage, where global and local shape descriptors are computed for each model and a sparse distance metric is derived that can be evaluated efficiently even for very large databases. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by interactively exploring a repository containing over 100 K models. PMID:26529460

  9. Impairments in tactile search following superior parietal damage.

    PubMed

    Skakoon-Sparling, Shayna P; Vasquez, Brandon P; Hano, Kate; Danckert, James

    2011-08-01

    The superior parietal cortex is critical for the control of visually guided actions. Research suggests that visual stimuli relevant to actions are preferentially processed when they are in peripersonal space. One recent study demonstrated that visually guided movements towards the body were more impaired in a patient with damage to superior parietal cortex. Whereas past studies have explored disordered movement in optic ataxic patients, there has been less exploration of space perception in terms of search capacity in this population. In addition, there is some debate concerning the relationship between deficits of visuomotor control and impaired attention/perception in optic ataxia. Given that the dorsal stream has been implicated in the spatial processing of stimuli in peripersonal space, and damage to this region is known to cause optic ataxia, we felt that further investigation was warranted. We examined tactile search behavior in the fronto-parallel and radial planes in a patient with right superior parietal damage and optic ataxia. We used a pegboard with removable cylindrical pegs that allowed for the reorganization of targets between trials. To better characterize three-dimensional search behavior, we included both horizontal and vertical search conditions. Results showed that the patient spent more time searching, was more accurate and revisited more targets in right versus left space. Interestingly, the patient spent the majority of her time specifically searching the lower right quadrant of the stimulus array. Further analysis revealed lower target detection rates along the outer borders of the pegboard on all sides. The search pattern observed here is unusual considering that all targets were within arm's reach. The present experiment demonstrates that damage to superior parietal cortex impairs tactile search and biases exploration towards lower right peripersonal space.

  10. Exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilburn, D.R.

    2005-01-01

    The worldwide budget for nonferrous, nonfuel mineral exploration was expected to increase by 58 percent in 2004 from the 2003 budget, according to Metals Economics Group (MEG) of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The increase comes two years after a five-year period of declining spending for mineral exploration (1998 to 2002). Figures suggest a subsequent 27 percent increase in budgeted expenditures from 2002 to 2003. For the second consecutive year, all regional exploration budget estimates were anticipated to increase.

  11. Using Tactile Strategies with Students Who Are Blind and Have Severe Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Downing, June E.; Chen, Deborah

    2003-01-01

    This article suggests ways to use tactile teaching strategies with students who have severe and multiple disabilities including blindness. Guidelines address tactile modeling, tactile mutual attention, presenting tactile information, providing effective tactile representation, hypersensitivity to touch, and a team approach. (Contains references.)…

  12. Exploring human epileptic activity at the single-neuron level.

    PubMed

    Tankus, Ariel

    2016-05-01

    Today, localization of the seizure focus heavily relies on EEG monitoring (scalp or intracranial). However, current technology enables much finer resolutions. The activity of hundreds of single neurons in the human brain can now be simultaneously explored before, during, and after a seizure or in association with an interictal discharge. This technology opens up new horizons to understanding epilepsy at a completely new level. This review therefore begins with a brief description of the basis of the technology, the microelectrodes, and the setup for their implantation in patients with epilepsy. Using these electrodes, recent studies provide novel insights into both the time domain and firing patterns of epileptic activity of single neurons. In the time domain, seizure-related activity may occur even minutes before seizure onset (in its current, EEG-based definition). Seizure-related neuronal interactions exhibit complex heterogeneous dynamics. In the seizure-onset zone, changes in firing patterns correlate with cell loss; in the penumbra, neurons maintain their spike stereotypy during a seizure. Hence, investigation of the extracellular electrical activity is expected to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the disease; it may, in the future, serve for a more accurate localization of the seizure focus; and it may also be employed to predict the occurrence of seizures prior to their behavioral manifestation in order to administer automatic therapeutic interventions.

  13. Evaluating Three Active Thermal Architectures for Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cross, Cynthia D.; Hong, Andrew E.; Sheth, Rubik B.; Navarro, Moses; Marett, Susan J.

    2012-01-01

    Mass and cost are typically the two biggest challenges facing space craft designers. Active thermal control systems for crewed space-craft are typically among the more massive and costly systems on the vehicle. A study was completed evaluating three different thermal control system architectures to evaluate overall performance, mass and cost for a typical exploration mission profile. The architectures that were evaluated were 1 - a two-loop system using an internal liquid loop interfacing with an external liquid loop and flow loop with flow through radiators; 2 - a-single loop architecture with flow through radiators utilizing a regenerative heat exchanger and heater; and 3 - a single-loop architecture with heat pipe radiators. Environmental conditions, calculated for a given lunar exploration mission, and mission heat load profiles, generated based on previous Orion time lines, were evalauated through the phases of the on orbit mission. Performance for each of the architectures was evaluated along with the resultant mass of each system. Recommendations include adding a thermal topping system to lunar missions due to the extreme hot environments encountered in near-lunar approaches.

  14. Tactile-optical 3D sensor applying image processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuschaefer-Rube, Ulrich; Wissmann, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The tactile-optical probe (so-called fiber probe) is a well-known probe in micro-coordinate metrology. It consists of an optical fiber with a probing element at its end. This probing element is adjusted in the imaging plane of the optical system of an optical coordinate measuring machine (CMM). It can be illuminated through the fiber by a LED. The position of the probe is directly detected by image processing algorithms available in every modern optical CMM and not by deflections at the fixation of the probing shaft. Therefore, the probing shaft can be very thin and flexible. This facilitates the measurement with very small probing forces and the realization of very small probing elements (diameter: down to 10 μm). A limitation of this method is that at present the probe does not have full 3D measurement capability. At the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), several arrangements and measurement principles for a full 3D tactile-optical probe have been implemented and tested successfully in cooperation with Werth-Messtechnik, Giessen, Germany. This contribution provides an overview of the results of these activities.

  15. Computational intelligence techniques for tactile sensing systems.

    PubMed

    Gastaldo, Paolo; Pinna, Luigi; Seminara, Lucia; Valle, Maurizio; Zunino, Rodolfo

    2014-01-01

    Tactile sensing helps robots interact with humans and objects effectively in real environments. Piezoelectric polymer sensors provide the functional building blocks of the robotic electronic skin, mainly thanks to their flexibility and suitability for detecting dynamic contact events and for recognizing the touch modality. The paper focuses on the ability of tactile sensing systems to support the challenging recognition of certain qualities/modalities of touch. The research applies novel computational intelligence techniques and a tensor-based approach for the classification of touch modalities; its main results consist in providing a procedure to enhance system generalization ability and architecture for multi-class recognition applications. An experimental campaign involving 70 participants using three different modalities in touching the upper surface of the sensor array was conducted, and confirmed the validity of the approach.

  16. AGV guidance by fiber optic tactility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Djordjevich, Alexandar; Tso, Shiu K.; Zhu, H. Y.; Pjevalica, V.

    1999-11-01

    In order to increase the tactile sensing range and allow larger AGV speeds that result in larger vehicle stopping distances, the recently reported fiber-optic 'curvature gauges' sensitized to their geometric curvature are arranged in loops around the AGV. When the AGV is driven into other objects, these loops deform, resulting in the change of their curvature - which is registered. While many different types of bumpers and whiskers have been sued in the past for a similar purpose, the key difference here is that no intermediate mechanical elements are employed to either transfer the impact loads onto the sensitive element or provide compliance to it. Optical fibers themselves provide both functions simultaneously. As a result, tactility is achieved within a comparatively large range extending over 10 cm. Throughout this range, virtually no reaction forces are generated with the impacting body. The range mentioned is on top of the one provided by the more traditional elastic bumper the optical fibers are mounted on.

  17. Development of a tactile sensor for evaluation of detergents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuchimi, Daisuke; Tanaka, Mami

    2007-12-01

    This paper is concerned with the development of a tactile sensor using PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) film as a receptor of the sensor to evaluate a detergent. Tactile sense is the most important sense in the sensation receptor of the human body along with eyesight. When the dish which washed cleanly is rubbed with a finger of human, good tactile sense and sound (vibration signal) like "Kyu-kyu" are obtained. From this tactile sense and sound, we judge that a dish becomes squeaky-clean. This tactile sense and sound are evaluation parameters when consumer selects a detergent. In this study, a tactile sensor using PVDF film as the receptor is fabricated. Sensory test of detergents was conducted. Measurement experiment by the sensor is carried out. Experiment results show that sensor output have good correlation with the result of human sensory test of detergent.

  18. Method and device for producing a tactile display using an electrorheological fluid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garner, H. Douglas (Inventor)

    1996-01-01

    A tactile display device utilizes an electrorheological fluid to activate a plurality of tactile dots. A voltage is selectively produced uniformly across an electrorheological fluid flowing between a common ground electrode and a plurality of conductive dot electrodes, thereby producing an increase in the fluid's viscosity to the extent that fluid flow between the two electrodes is restricted. The flow restriction produces a build-up of electrorheological fluid in a corresponding dot actuator chamber. The resulting pressure increase in the chamber displaces an elastic diaphragm fixed to a display surface to form a lump which can be perceived by the reader as one dot in a Braille character cell. A flow regulation system provides a continually pressurized flow system and provides for free flow of the electrorheological fluid through the plurality of dot actuator chambers when they are not activated. The device is adaptable to printed circuit techniques and can simultaneously display tactile dots representative of a full page of Braille characters stored on a medium such as a tape cassette or to display tactile dots representative of non-Braille data appearing on a computer monitor or contained on another data storage medium. In an alternate embodiment, the elastic diaphragm drives a plurality of spring-loaded pins provided with positive stops to maintain consistent displacements of the pins in both their actuated and nonactuated positions.

  19. Modulation of the ∽20-Hz motor-cortex rhythm to passive movement and tactile stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Parkkonen, Eeva; Laaksonen, Kristina; Piitulainen, Harri; Parkkonen, Lauri; Forss, Nina

    2015-01-01

    Background Integration of afferent somatosensory input with motor-cortex output is essential for accurate movements. Prior studies have shown that tactile input modulates motor-cortex excitability, which is reflected in the reactivity of the ∽20-Hz motor-cortex rhythm. ∽20-Hz rebound is connected to inhibition or deactivation of motor cortex whereas suppression has been associated with increased motor cortex activity. Although tactile sense carries important information for controlling voluntary actions, proprioception likely provides the most essential feedback for motor control. Methods To clarify how passive movement modulates motor-cortex excitability, we studied with magnetoencephalography (MEG) the amplitudes and peak latencies of suppression and rebound of the ∽20-Hz rhythm elicited by tactile stimulation and passive movement of right and left index fingers in 22 healthy volunteers. Results Passive movement elicited a stronger and more robust ∽20-Hz rebound than tactile stimulation. In contrast, the suppression amplitudes did not differ between the two stimulus types. Conclusion Our findings suggest that suppression and rebound represent activity of two functionally distinct neuronal populations. The ∽20-Hz rebound to passive movement could be a suitable tool to study the functional state of the motor cortex both in healthy subjects and in patients with motor disorders. PMID:25874163

  20. Tactile sensors based on conductive polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellanos-Ramos, Julian; Navas-Gonzalez, Rafael; Macicior, Haritz; Ochoteco, Estibalitz; Vidal-Verdú, Fernando

    2009-05-01

    This paper presents results from a few tactile sensors we have designed and fabricated. These sensors are based on a common approach that consists of placing a sheet of piezoresistive material on the top of a set of electrodes. If a force is exerted against the surface of the so obtained sensor, the contact area between the electrodes and the piezoresistive material changes. Therefore, the resistance at the interface changes. This is exploited as transconduction principle to measure forces and build advanced tactile sensors. For this purpose, we use a thin film of conductive polymers as the piezoresistive material. Specifically, a conductive water-based ink of these polymers is deposited by spin coating on a flexible plastic sheet, giving as a result a smooth, homogeneous and conducting thin film on it. The main interest in this procedure is it is cheap and it allows the fabrication of flexible and low cost tactile sensors. In this work we present results from sensors made with two technologies. First, we have used a Printed Circuit Board technology to fabricate the set of electrodes and addressing tracks. Then we have placed the flexible plastic sheet with the conductive polymer film on them to obtain the sensor. The result is a simple, flexible tactile sensor. In addition to these sensors on PCB, we have proposed, designed and fabricated sensors with a screen printing technology. In this case, the set of electrodes and addressing tracks are made by printing an ink based on silver nanoparticles. There is a very interesting difference with the other sensors, that consists of the use of an elastomer as insulation material between conductive layers. Besides of its role as insulator, this elastomer allows the modification of the force versus resistance relationship. It also improves the dynamic response of the sensor because it implements a restoration force that helps the sensor to relax quicker when the force is taken off.

  1. Exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilburn, D.R.

    2002-01-01

    Exploration budgets fell for a fourth successive year in 2001. These decreases reflected low mineral commodity prices, mineral-market investment reluctance, company failures and a continued trend of company mergers and takeovers.

  2. An optical fiber Bragg grating tactile sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Barbara; Allsop, Thomas; Williams, John; Webb, David; Bennion, Ian; Fisher, Matthew

    2007-05-01

    Tactile sensors are needed for many emerging robotic and telepresence applications such as keyhole surgery and robot operation in unstructured environments. We have proposed and demonstrated a tactile sensor consisting of a fibre Bragg grating embedded in a polymer "finger". When the sensor is placed in contact with a surface and translated tangentially across it measurements on the changes in the reflectivity spectrum of the grating provide a measurement of the spatial distribution of forces perpendicular to the surface and thus, through the elasticity of the polymer material, to the surface roughness. Using a sensor fabricated from a Poly Siloxane polymer (Methyl Vinyl Silicone rubber) spherical cap 50 mm in diameter, 6 mm deep with an embedded 10 mm long Bragg grating we have characterised the first and second moment of the grating spectral response when scanned across triangular and semicircular periodic structures both with a modulation depth of 1 mm and a period of 2 mm. The results clearly distinguish the periodicity of the surface structure and the differences between the two different surface profiles. For the triangular structure a central wavelength modulation of 4 pm is observed and includes a fourth harmonic component, the spectral width is modulated by 25 pm. Although crude in comparison to human senses these results clearly shown the potential of such a sensor for tactile imaging and we expect that with further development in optimising both the grating and polymer "finger" properties a much increased sensitivity and spatial resolution is achievable.

  3. Bio-inspired tactile sensing arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahiya, Ravinder S.; Valle, Maurizio; Metta, Giorgio; Lorenzelli, Leandro

    2009-05-01

    This work presents the development of tactile sensing arrays, inspired by cutaneous sensing in humans, for the fingertips of a humanoid robot. The tactile sensing arrays have been developed in two phases. Microelectrode arrays (MEA), having 32 sensing elements - each epoxy adhered with 25μm thick piezoelectric polymer (PVDF-TrFE) film, were fabricated in the first phase. When connected to the gate of FET devices (external to the chip), each element on MEA acts like an extended gate; thereby facilitating modulation of charge in the induced channel by the charge generated in PVDF-TrFE film - as a result of applied force. Thus, each sensing element converts force into voltage. The tactile sensing arrays developed in second phase work on the same principle but are free from any extended gate. These arrays (having 25 sensing elements) use POSFET (Piezoelectric Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors) touch sensing elements - in which, piezoelectric polymer film is directly spin coated on the gate area of the FET devices. Thus, a POSFET touch sensing element 'senses and partially processes at same site' - as is done by receptors in human skin. The spatial-temporal performance of these chips is similar to that of skin in the human fingertips.

  4. Development of polyimide flexible tactile sensor skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Jonathan; Chen, Jack; Liu, Chang

    2003-05-01

    We present the development of a polyimide-based two-dimensional tactile sensing array realized using a novel inverted fabrication technique. Thermal silicon oxide or Pyrex® substrates are treated such that their surfaces are OH group terminated, allowing good adhesion between such substrates and a spun-on polyimide film during processing through what are suspected to be hydrogen bonds that can be selectively broken when release is desired. The release of the continuous polyimide film is rapidly accomplished by breaking these bonds. This process results in robust, low-cost and continuous polymer-film devices. The developed sensor skin contains an array of membrane-based tactile sensors (taxels). Micromachined thin-film metal strain gauges are positioned on the edges of polyimide membranes. The change in resistance from each strain gauge resulting from normal forces applied to tactile bumps on the top of the membranes is used to image force distribution. Response of an individual taxel is characterized. The effective gauge factor of the taxels is found to be approximately 1.3. Sensor array output is experimentally obtained. The demonstrated devices are robust enough for direct contact with humans, everyday objects and contaminants without undue care.

  5. An integrated tactile-thermal robot sensor with capacitive tactile array

    SciTech Connect

    Castelli, F.

    1995-12-31

    The paper discusses a tactile sensor system with high sampling resolution integrated with a thermal sensor. The integration is performed by using the column armature of the matrix of a capacitive tactile sensor as thermal resistor having positive temperature coefficient. A prototype of the sensor has been designed and constructed. Test results on this prototype, when used as tactile sensor with spatial resolution of 2 mm, showed a sensitivity of about 20 N/mm{sup 2} per picofarad or 0.05 pF per N/mm{sup 2} with linearity of about 0.4%. As thermal sensor, with spatial resolution of 2 mm, the temperature coefficient has been in about the 0.4% with sensitivity of about 0.4 m{Omega}/C.

  6. Active Learning for Directed Exploration of Complex Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burl, Michael C.; Wang, Esther

    2009-01-01

    Physics-based simulation codes are widely used in science and engineering to model complex systems that would be infeasible to study otherwise. Such codes provide the highest-fidelity representation of system behavior, but are often so slow to run that insight into the system is limited. For example, conducting an exhaustive sweep over a d-dimensional input parameter space with k-steps along each dimension requires k(sup d) simulation trials (translating into k(sup d) CPU-days for one of our current simulations). An alternative is directed exploration in which the next simulation trials are cleverly chosen at each step. Given the results of previous trials, supervised learning techniques (SVM, KDE, GP) are applied to build up simplified predictive models of system behavior. These models are then used within an active learning framework to identify the most valuable trials to run next. Several active learning strategies are examined including a recently-proposed information-theoretic approach. Performance is evaluated on a set of thirteen synthetic oracles, which serve as surrogates for the more expensive simulations and enable the experiments to be replicated by other researchers.

  7. A Modified Tactile Brush Algorithm for Complex Touch Gestures

    SciTech Connect

    Ragan, Eric

    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.

  8. Extravehicular Activity Asteroid Exploration and Sample Collection Capability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scoville, Zebulon; Sipila, Stephanie; Bowie, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    NASA's Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM) is challenged with primary mission objectives of demonstrating deep space Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and tools, and obtaining asteroid samples to return to Earth for further study. Although the Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit (MACES) is used for the EVAs, it has limited mobility which increases fatigue and decreases the crews' capability to perform EVA tasks. Furthermore, previous Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) spacewalks have benefited from EVA interfaces which have been designed and manufactured on Earth. Rigid structurally mounted handrails, and tools with customized interfaces and restraints optimize EVA performance. For ARCM, some vehicle interfaces and tools can leverage heritage designs and experience. However, when the crew ventures onto an asteroid capture bag to explore the asteroid and collect rock samples, EVA complexity increases due to the uncertainty of the asteroid properties. The variability of rock size, shape and composition, as well as bunching of the fabric bag will complicate EVA translation, tool restraint and body stabilization. The unknown asteroid hardness and brittleness will complicate tool use. The rock surface will introduce added safety concerns for cut gloves and debris control. Feasible solutions to meet ARCM EVA objectives were identified using experience gained during Apollo, Shuttle, and ISS EVAs, terrestrial mountaineering practices, NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16 mission, and during Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory testing in the MACES suit. The proposed concept utilizes expandable booms and integrated features of the asteroid capture bag to position and restrain the crew at the asteroid worksite. These methods enable the capability to perform both finesse, and high load tasks necessary to collect samples for scientific characterization of the asteroid. This paper will explore the design trade space and options that were examined for EVA, the

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27790087

  10. Object recognition and localization: the role of tactile sensors.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Achint; Kirchner, Frank

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24553087

  11. Object Recognition and Localization: The Role of Tactile Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, Achint; Kirchner, Frank

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24553087

  12. Object recognition and localization: the role of tactile sensors.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Achint; Kirchner, Frank

    2014-01-01

    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.

  13. Correlation of Vision Loss with Tactile-Evoked V1 Responses in Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Samantha I.; Weiland, James D.; Bao, Pinglei; Lopez-Jaime, Gilberto Raul; Tjan, Bosco S.

    2014-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have shown that the visual cortex of visually impaired humans is active during tactile tasks. We sought to determine if this cross-modal activation in the primary visual cortex is correlated with vision loss in individuals with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited degenerative photoreceptor disease that progressively diminishes vision later in life. RP and sighted subjects completed three tactile tasks: a symmetry discrimination task, a Braille-dot counting task, and a sandpaper roughness discrimination task. We measured tactile-evoked blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). For each subject, we quantified the cortical extent of the tactile-evoked response by the proportion of modulated voxels within the primary visual cortex (V1) and its strength by the mean absolute modulation amplitude of the modulated voxels. We characterized vision loss in terms of visual acuity and the areal proportion of V1 that corresponds to the preserved visual field. Visual acuity and proportion of the preserved visual field both had a highly significant effect on the cortical extent of the V1 BOLD response to tactile stimulation, while visual acuity also had a significant effect on the strength of the V1 response. These effects of vision loss on cross-modal responses were reliable despite high inter-subject variability. Controlling for task-evoked responses in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) across subjects further strengthened the effects of vision loss on cross-model responses in V1. We propose that such cross-modal responses in V1 and other visual areas may be used as a cortically localized biomarker to account for individual differences in visual performance following sight recovery treatments. PMID:25449160

  14. Sustained maintenance of somatotopic information in brain regions recruited by tactile working memory.

    PubMed

    Katus, Tobias; Müller, Matthias M; Eimer, Martin

    2015-01-28

    To adaptively guide ongoing behavior, representations in working memory (WM) often have to be modified in line with changing task demands. We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to demonstrate that tactile WM representations are stored in modality-specific cortical regions, that the goal-directed modulation of these representations is mediated through hemispheric-specific activation of somatosensory areas, and that the rehearsal of somatotopic coordinates in memory is accomplished by modality-specific spatial attention mechanisms. Participants encoded two tactile sample stimuli presented simultaneously to the left and right hands, before visual retro-cues indicated which of these stimuli had to be retained to be matched with a subsequent test stimulus on the same hand. Retro-cues triggered a sustained tactile contralateral delay activity component with a scalp topography over somatosensory cortex contralateral to the cued hand. Early somatosensory ERP components to task-irrelevant probe stimuli (that were presented after the retro-cues) and to subsequent test stimuli were enhanced when these stimuli appeared at the currently memorized location relative to other locations on the cued hand, demonstrating that a precise focus of spatial attention was established during the selective maintenance of tactile events in WM. These effects were observed regardless of whether participants performed the matching task with uncrossed or crossed hands, indicating that WM representations in this task were based on somatotopic rather than allocentric spatial coordinates. In conclusion, spatial rehearsal in tactile WM operates within somatotopically organized sensory brain areas that have been recruited for information storage. PMID:25632117

  15. Exploring the sheep rumen microbiome for carbohydrate-active enzymes.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Lucas Dantas; de Souza Lima, André Oliveira; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Darias, Phillip; da Silva, Lília Raquel Fé; Romagnoli, Emiliana Manesco; Louvandini, Helder; Abdalla, Adibe Luiz; Mendes, Rodrigo

    2015-07-01

    The rumen is a complex ecosystem enriched for microorganisms able to degrade biomass during the animal's digestion process. The recovery of new enzymes from naturally evolved biomass-degrading microbial communities is a promising strategy to overcome the inefficient enzymatic plant destruction in industrial production of biofuels. In this context, this study aimed to describe the bacterial composition and functions in the sheep rumen microbiome, focusing on carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAE). Here, we used phylogenetic profiling analysis (inventory of 16S rRNA genes) combined with metagenomics to access the rumen microbiome of four sheep and explore its potential to identify fibrolytic enzymes. The bacterial community was dominated by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, followed by Proteobacteria. As observed for other ruminants, Prevotella was the dominant genus in the microbiome, comprising more than 30 % of the total bacterial community. Multivariate analysis of the phylogenetic profiling data and chemical parameters showed a positive correlation between the abundance of Prevotellaceae (Bacteroidetes phylum) and organic matter degradability. A negative correlation was observed between Succinivibrionaceae (Proteobacteria phylum) and methane production. An average of 2 % of the shotgun metagenomic reads was assigned to putative CAE when considering nine protein databases. In addition, assembled contigs allowed recognition of 67 putative partial CAE (NCBI-Refseq) representing 12 glycosyl hydrolase families (Pfam database). Overall, we identified a total of 28 lignocellulases, 22 amylases and 9 other putative CAE, showing the sheep rumen microbiome as a promising source of new fibrolytic enzymes.

  16. Exploring the sheep rumen microbiome for carbohydrate-active enzymes.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Lucas Dantas; de Souza Lima, André Oliveira; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Darias, Phillip; da Silva, Lília Raquel Fé; Romagnoli, Emiliana Manesco; Louvandini, Helder; Abdalla, Adibe Luiz; Mendes, Rodrigo

    2015-07-01

    The rumen is a complex ecosystem enriched for microorganisms able to degrade biomass during the animal's digestion process. The recovery of new enzymes from naturally evolved biomass-degrading microbial communities is a promising strategy to overcome the inefficient enzymatic plant destruction in industrial production of biofuels. In this context, this study aimed to describe the bacterial composition and functions in the sheep rumen microbiome, focusing on carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAE). Here, we used phylogenetic profiling analysis (inventory of 16S rRNA genes) combined with metagenomics to access the rumen microbiome of four sheep and explore its potential to identify fibrolytic enzymes. The bacterial community was dominated by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, followed by Proteobacteria. As observed for other ruminants, Prevotella was the dominant genus in the microbiome, comprising more than 30 % of the total bacterial community. Multivariate analysis of the phylogenetic profiling data and chemical parameters showed a positive correlation between the abundance of Prevotellaceae (Bacteroidetes phylum) and organic matter degradability. A negative correlation was observed between Succinivibrionaceae (Proteobacteria phylum) and methane production. An average of 2 % of the shotgun metagenomic reads was assigned to putative CAE when considering nine protein databases. In addition, assembled contigs allowed recognition of 67 putative partial CAE (NCBI-Refseq) representing 12 glycosyl hydrolase families (Pfam database). Overall, we identified a total of 28 lignocellulases, 22 amylases and 9 other putative CAE, showing the sheep rumen microbiome as a promising source of new fibrolytic enzymes. PMID:25900454

  17. Light Activated Serotonin for Exploring Its Action in Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Rea, Adam C.; Vandenberg, Laura N.; Ball, Rebecca E.; Snouffer, Ashley A.; Hudson, Alicia G.; Zhu, Yue; McLain, Duncan E.; Johnston, Lindsey L.; Lauderdale, James D.; Levin, Michael; Dore, Timothy M.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Serotonin (5-HT) is a neuromodulator involved in regulating mood, appetite, memory, learning, pain, and establishment of left-right (LR) asymmetry in embryonic development. To explore the role of 5-HT in a variety of physiological contexts, we have created two forms of “caged” 5-HT, BHQ-O-5HT and BHQ-N-5HT. When exposed to 365- or 740-nm light, BHQ-O-5HT releases 5-HT through 1- or 2-photon excitation, respectively. BHQ-O-5HT mediated changes in neural activity in cultured primary sensory neurons from mouse and the trigeminal ganglion and optic tectum of intact zebrafish larvae in the form of high amplitude spiking in response to light. In Xenopus laevis embryos, 5-HT released from BHQ-O-5HT upon exposure to light increased the occurrence of LR patterning defects. Maximal rates of LR defects were observed when 5-HT was released at stage 5 compared to stage 8. These experiments show the potential for BHQ-caged serotonins in studying 5-HT-regulated physiological processes. PMID:24333002

  18. Galfenol tactile sensor array and visual mapping system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, Kathleen; Flatau, Alison

    2006-03-01

    The smart material, Galfenol, is being explored for its uses as a magnetostrictive material. This project seeks to determine if Galfenol can be used as a tactile sensor in a 2-D grid array, magnetic circuit system. When used within a magnetic circuit, Galfenol indicates induced stress and force as a change in flux, due to a change in permeability of the material. The change in flux is detected by Giant MagnetoResistive (GMR) Sensors, which produce a voltage change proportional to the field change. By using Galfenol in an array, this research attempts to create a sensory area. Galfenol is an alloy made of Iron and Gallium. Fe 100-xGa x, where 15 <= x <= 28, creates a material with useful mechanical and transduction attributes (Clark et al. and Kellogg). Galfenol is also distinguished by the crystalline structure of the material. Two types currently exist: single crystal and polycrystalline. Single crystal has higher transduction coefficients than polycrystalline, but is more costly. Polycrystalline Galfenol is currently available as either production or research grade. The designations are related to the sample growth rate with the slower rate being the research grade. The slower growth rate more closely resembles the single crystal Galfenol properties. Galfenol 17.5-18% research grade is used for this experiment, provided by Etrema Products Inc. The magnetic circuit and sensor array is first built at the macro scale so that the design can be verified. After the macro scale is proven, further development will move the system to the nano-level. Recent advances in nanofabrication have enabled Galfenol to be grown as nanowires. Using the nanowires, research will seek to create high resolution tactile sensors with spatial resolutions similar to human finger tips, but with greater force ranges and sensitivity capabilities (Flatau & Stadler). Possible uses of such systems include robotics and prosthetics.

  19. Tactile Defensiveness in Children with Developmental Disabilities: Responsiveness and Habituation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baranek, Grace T.; Berkson, Gershon

    1994-01-01

    Thirty-four school-aged children with developmental disabilities were assessed for level of tactile defensiveness (TD) and then presented with a repeated tactile stimulus while engaged in computer games. Evidence was found for a differential sensitivity in TD but not an inhibition deficit. Another finding included a negative correlation between TD…

  20. Reflex Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy: Seizures Induced by Tactile Stimulation.

    PubMed

    Turco, Emanuela Claudia; Pavlidis, Elena; Facini, Carlotta; Spagnoli, Carlotta; Andreolli, Anna; Geraci, Rosalia; Pisani, Francesco

    2016-06-01

    Myoclonic epilepsy with reflex seizures in infancy is an extremely rare condition, in which seizures are provoked mainly by auditory or auditory-tactile stimuli. To increase the awareness of pediatricians regarding this underrecognized condition, we describe a child with seizures provoked only by the tactile stimulation of specific areas of the head and face.

  1. Change of Reference Frame for Tactile Localization during Child Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pagel, Birthe; Heed, Tobias; Roder, Brigitte

    2009-01-01

    Temporal order judgements (TOJ) for two tactile stimuli, one presented to the left and one to the right hand, are less precise when the hands are crossed over the midline than when the hands are uncrossed. This "crossed hand" effect has been considered as evidence for a remapping of tactile input into an external reference frame. Since late, but…

  2. Tactile Functioning in Children Who Are Blind: A Clinical Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Withagen, Ans; Vervloed, Mathijs P. J.; Janssen, Neeltje M.; Knoors, Harry; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2010-01-01

    This study of 48 children with congenital blindness who attended mainstream schools focused on the tactile and haptic skills they needed in typical academic and everyday tasks. The results showed that, in general, the children mastered such tactile tasks, but some items posed special problems. (Contains 4 tables.)

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. Response requirements modulate tactile spatial congruency effects.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Dalton, Polly; Kreukniet, Bas; Spence, Charles

    2008-11-01

    Several recent studies have provided support for the view that tactile stimuli/events are remapped into an abstract spatial frame of reference beyond the initial somatotopic representation present in the primary somatosensory cortex. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that the extent to which this remapping of tactile stimuli takes place is dependent upon the particular demands imposed by the task that participants have to perform. Participants in the present study responded to either the elevation (up vs. down) or to the anatomical location (finger vs. thumb) of vibrotactile targets presented to one hand, while trying to ignore distractors presented simultaneously to the other hand. The magnitude and direction of the target-distractor congruency effect was measured as participants adopted one of two different postures with each hand (palm-up or palm-down). When the participants used footpedal responses (toe vs. heel; Experiment 1), congruency effects were determined by the relative elevation of the stimuli in external coordinates (same vs. different elevation), regardless of whether the relevant response feature was defined externally or anatomically. Even when participants responded verbally (Experiment 2), the influence of the relative elevation of the stimuli in external space, albeit attenuated, was still observed. However, when the task involved responding with the stimulated finger (four-alternative forced choice; Experiment 3), congruency effects were virtually eliminated. These findings support the view that tactile events can be remapped according to an abstract frame of reference resulting from multisensory integration, but that the frame of reference that is used while performing a particular task may depend to a large extent on the nature of the task demands. PMID:18709500

  5. Tactile multisensing on flexible aluminum nitride.

    PubMed

    Petroni, Simona; Guido, Francesco; Torre, Bruno; Falqui, Andrea; Todaro, Maria Teresa; Cingolani, Roberto; De Vittorio, Massimo

    2012-11-21

    The integration of a polycrystalline material such as aluminum nitride (AlN) on a flexible substrate allows the realization of elastic tactile sensors showing both piezoelectricity and significant capacitive variation under normal stress. The application of a normal stress on AlN generates deformation of the flexible substrate on which AlN is grown, which results in strain gradient of the polycrystalline layer. The strain gradient is responsible for an additional polarization described in the literature as the flexoelectric effect, leading to an enhancement of the transduction properties of the material. The flexible AlN is synthesized by sputtering deposition on kapton HN (poly 4,4'-oxydiphenyl pyromellitimide) in a highly oriented crystal structure. High orientation is demonstrated by X-ray diffraction spectra (FWHM = 0.55° of AlN (0002)) and HRTEM. The piezoelectric coefficient d(33) and stress sensitive capacitance are 4.7 ± 0.5 pm V(-1) and 4 × 10(-3) pF kPa(-1), respectively. The parallel plate capacitors realized for tactile sensing present a typical dome shape, very elastic under applied stress and sensitive in the pressure range of interest for robotic applications (10 kPa to 1 MPa). The flexibility of the device finalized for tactile applications is assessed by measuring the sensor capacitance before and after shaping the sensing foil on curved surfaces for 1 hour. Bending does not affect sensor's operation, which exhibits an electrical Q factor as high as 210, regardless of the bending, and a maximum capacitance shift of 0.02%.

  6. Tactile feedback display with spatial and temporal resolutions.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23982053

  7. Wearable Wireless Tactile Display for Virtual Interactions with Soft Bodies

    PubMed Central

    Frediani, Gabriele; Mazzei, Daniele; De Rossi, Danilo Emilio; Carpi, Federico

    2014-01-01

    We describe here a wearable, wireless, compact, and lightweight tactile display, able to mechanically stimulate the fingertip of users, so as to simulate contact with soft bodies in virtual environments. The device was based on dielectric elastomer actuators, as high-performance electromechanically active polymers. The actuator was arranged at the user’s fingertip, integrated within a plastic case, which also hosted a compact high-voltage circuitry. A custom-made wireless control unit was arranged on the forearm and connected to the display via low-voltage leads. We present the structure of the device and a characterization of it, in terms of electromechanical response and stress relaxation. Furthermore, we present results of a psychophysical test aimed at assessing the ability of the system to generate different levels of force that can be perceived by users. PMID:25225636

  8. Tactile Feedback Display with Spatial and Temporal Resolutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Tactile Feedback Display with Spatial and Temporal Resolutions

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23982053

  10. Tactile feedback display with spatial and temporal resolutions.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Tactile Teaching: Exploring Protein Structure/Function Using Physical Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, Tim; Morris, Jennifer; Colton, Shannon; Batiza, Ann; Patrick, Michael; Franzen, Margaret; Goodsell, David S.

    2006-01-01

    The technology now exists to construct physical models of proteins based on atomic coordinates of solved structures. We review here our recent experiences in using physical models to teach concepts of protein structure and function at both the high school and the undergraduate levels. At the high school level, physical models are used in a…

  12. Directional Tactile Pavings in a Universal Design Perspective.

    PubMed

    Deichmann, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    The topic of the presentation is the directional tactile pavings or tactile guidelines that are used by blind and visually impaired people for orientation, in this presentation primarily in the street environment. The focus is the difference between so-called natural and artificial tactile pavings, how they can and should be used, and how the tactile guidelines can be understood as devices of Universal Design. It is discussed whether guidelines based on foreign research can be transferred to the Danish context without additional Danish research. The tests that are known to have been made in Denmark have generally been conducted with a very low number of participants. A secondary focus is the architectural qualities of the tactile pavings, which is a subject for discussion among landscape architects in the Danish context. PMID:27534354

  13. Design of tactile device for medical application using magnetorheological fluid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, J. S.; Kim, J. K.; Lee, S. R.; Choi, S. B.; Song, B. K.

    2013-02-01

    For the tactile recognition of human organ in minimally invasive surgery (MIS), this paper presents a novel tactile device that incorporates with magnetorheological (MR fluid). The MR fluid is contained by diaphragm and several pins. The operator for MIS can feel different force (or stiffness) from the proposed tactile device by applying different magnetic field or current. In order to generate required force from the device, the repulsive force from the human body is measured as reference data and an appropriate size of tactile device is designed and manufactured. It has been demonstrated via experiment that the repulsive force corresponding to the human body can be achieved by applying proper control input current. In addition, it has been shown that we can control the repulsive force by dividing the tactile device by several sections.

  14. Directional Tactile Pavings in a Universal Design Perspective.

    PubMed

    Deichmann, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    The topic of the presentation is the directional tactile pavings or tactile guidelines that are used by blind and visually impaired people for orientation, in this presentation primarily in the street environment. The focus is the difference between so-called natural and artificial tactile pavings, how they can and should be used, and how the tactile guidelines can be understood as devices of Universal Design. It is discussed whether guidelines based on foreign research can be transferred to the Danish context without additional Danish research. The tests that are known to have been made in Denmark have generally been conducted with a very low number of participants. A secondary focus is the architectural qualities of the tactile pavings, which is a subject for discussion among landscape architects in the Danish context.

  15. The Hubble Education Program's Tactile Astronomy: Making the Universe Touchable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenhamer, Bonnie; Mutchler, M.; Cordes, K.; Weaver, D.; Ryer, H.

    2011-01-01

    Tactile Astronomy supports the Hubble Education Program's efforts in bringing the wonders of the universe to everyone, regardless of their visual ability. This new section of the Amazing Space Website features "Images of the Month;" a collection of the latest Hubble images that can be printed in a tactile format. The images are specifically designed to be downloaded and printed on a thermal paper expansion machine, thus allowing the visually impaired to feel what they cannot see. In addition, there is a "special projects" section that currently features the limited-edition Tactile Carina Nebula booklet and accompanying materials, such as background text about the Carina Nebula and an audio tour. The opening of Tactile Astronomy is in celebration of Hubble's 20th anniversary and features the 20th anniversary image of a small portion of the Carina Nebula. New tactile images and additional projects will continue to be added to the site.

  16. Vibrotactile pattern recognition: a portable compact tactile matrix.

    PubMed

    Thullier, Francine; Bolmont, Benoît; Lestienne, Francis G

    2012-02-01

    Compact tactile matrix (CTM) is a vibrotactile device composed of a seven-by-seven array of electromechanical vibrators "tactip" used to represent tactile patterns applied to a small skin area. The CTM uses a dynamic feature to generate spatiotemporal tactile patterns. The design requirements focus particularly on maximizing the transmission of the vibration from one tactip to the others as well as to the skin over a square area of 16 cm (2) while simultaneously minimizing the transmission of vibrations throughout the overall structure of the CTM. Experiments were conducted on 22 unpracticed subjects to evaluate how the CTM could be used to develop a tactile semantics for communication of instructions in order to test the ability of the subjects to identify: 1) directional prescriptors for gesture guidance and 2) instructional commands for operational task requirements in a military context. The results indicate that, after familiarization, recognition accuracies in the tactile patterns were remarkably precise for more 80% of the subjects.

  17. Auditory-tactile echo-reverberating stuttering speech corrector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuniszyk-Jozkowiak, Wieslawa; Adamczyk, Bogdan

    1997-02-01

    The work presents the construction of a device, which transforms speech sounds into acoustical and tactile signals of echo and reverberation. Research has been done on the influence of the echo and reverberation, which are transmitted as acoustic and tactile stimuli, on speech fluency. Introducing the echo or reverberation into the auditory feedback circuit results in a reduction of stuttering. A bit less, but still significant corrective effects are observed while using the tactile channel for transmitting the signals. The use of joined auditory and tactile channels increases the effects of their corrective influence on the stutterers' speech. The results of the experiment justify the use of the tactile channel in the stutterers' therapy.

  18. Interactions between tactile and proprioceptive representations in haptics.

    PubMed

    Rincon-Gonzalez, L; Naufel, S N; Santos, V J; Helms Tillery, S

    2012-01-01

    Neuroprosthetic limbs, regardless of their sophisticated motor control, require sensory feedback to viably interact with the environment. Toward that aim, the authors examined interrelationships between tactile and proprioceptive sensations. Through human psychophysics experiments, they evaluated error patterns of subjects estimating hand location in a horizontal 2-dimensional workspace under 3 tactile conditions. While tactile cues did not significantly affect the structure of the pattern of errors, touching the workspace reduced estimation errors. During neurophysiological experiments, a macaque grasped textured objects using 2 hand postures. Sensory coding showed dependence on both roughness of the manipulandum and posture. In summary, the authors suggest that tactile sensations underlying haptics are processed in a stable spatial reference frame provided by a proprioceptive system, and that tactile and proprioceptive inputs can be encoded simultaneously by individual cells. Such insights will be useful for providing stable, adaptive sensory feedback for neuroprosthetics.

  19. Exploring Genetic Drift and Natural Selection through a Simulation Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maret, Timothy J.; Rissing, Steven W.

    1998-01-01

    Reports on the development of a laboratory exercise that would allow students to explore the concept of genetic drift. Discusses the concept of genetic drift that is coincident with natural selection and that closely models the real world. (DDR)

  20. Tactile Sensitivity of Children: Effects of Frequency, Masking, and the Non-Pacinian I Psychophysical Channel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guclu, Burak; Oztek, Cigdem

    2007-01-01

    Tactile perception depends on the contributions of four psychophysical tactile channels mediated by four corresponding receptor systems. The sensitivity of the tactile channels is determined by detection thresholds that vary as a function of the stimulus frequency. It has been widely reported that tactile thresholds increase (i.e., sensitivity…

  1. Functional role of unmyelinated tactile afferents in human hairy skin: sympathetic response and perceptual localization.

    PubMed

    Olausson, Håkan; Cole, Jonathan; Rylander, Karin; McGlone, Francis; Lamarre, Yves; Wallin, B Gunnar; Krämer, Heidrun; Wessberg, Johan; Elam, Mikael; Bushnell, M Catherine; Vallbo, Ake

    2008-01-01

    In addition to A-beta fibres the human hairy skin has unmyelinated (C) fibres responsive to light touch. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in a subject with a neuronopathy who specifically lacks A-beta afferents indicated that tactile C afferents (CT) activate insular cortex, whereas no response was seen in somatosensory areas 1 and 2. Psychophysical tests suggested that CT afferents give rise to an inconsistent perception of weak and pleasant touch. By examining two neuronopathy subjects as well as control subjects we have now demonstrated that CT stimulation can elicit a sympathetic skin response. Further, the neuronopathy subjects' ability to localize stimuli which activate CT afferents was very poor but above chance level. The findings support the interpretation that the CT system is well suited to underpin affective rather than discriminative functions of tactile sensations.

  2. Tactile Stimulation Evokes Long-Lasting Potentiation of Purkinje Cell Discharge In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, K. B.; Voges, Kai; De Propris, Licia; De Zeeuw, Chris I.; D’Angelo, Egidio

    2016-01-01

    In the cerebellar network, a precise relationship between plasticity and neuronal discharge has been predicted. However, the potential generation of persistent changes in Purkinje cell (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 N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-A) receptor-dependent changes in PCs and molecular layer interneurons (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 tactile sensory stimulation engages multiple long-term plastic changes that are distributed along the mossy fiber-parallel fiber (MF-PF) pathway and operate synergistically to potentiate spike generation in PCs. In contrast, theta-pattern electrical stimulation (ES) of PFs indistinctly induced SR-P and SR-S both in PCs and MLIs, suggesting that tactile 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 PC activity is potentiated when the MF-PF system is activated in the absence of conjunctive climbing fiber (CF) activity. PMID:26924961

  3. Resting BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex correlate with tactile acuity.

    PubMed

    Haag, Lauren M; Heba, Stefanie; Lenz, Melanie; Glaubitz, Benjamin; Höffken, Oliver; Kalisch, Tobias; Puts, Nicholaas A; Edden, Richard A E; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias

    2015-03-01

    Sensory perception, including 2-point discrimination (2 ptD), is tightly linked to cortical processing of tactile stimuli in primary somatosensory cortices. While the role of cortical activity in response to a tactile stimulus has been widely investigated, the role of baseline cortical activity is largely unknown. Using resting state fMRI we investigated the relationship between local BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex (the representational field of the hand) and 2 ptD of the corresponding index finger (right and left). Cortical activity was measured using fractional amplitudes of the low frequency BOLD fluctuations (fALFF) and synchronicity using regional homogeneity (ReHo) of the S1 hand region during rest. 2 ptD correlated with higher ReHo values in the representational areas of the contralateral S1 cortex (left hand: p = .028; right hand: p = .049). 2 ptD additionally correlated with higher fALFF in the representational area of the left hand (p = .007) and showed a trend for a significant correlation in the representational area of the right hand (p = .051). Thus, higher BOLD amplitudes and synchronicity at rest, as measures of cortical activity and synchronicity, respectively, are related to better tactile discrimination abilities of the contralateral hand. Our findings extend the relationship seen between spontaneous BOLD fluctuations and sensory perception.

  4. Tactile experience shapes prey-capture behavior in Etruscan shrews.

    PubMed

    Anjum, Farzana; Brecht, Michael

    2012-01-01

    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 in most, but not all, aspects is similar to that of adults. Second, we performed whisker trimming for 3-4 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 by 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. PMID:22701408

  5. Auxiliary Propulsion Activities in Support of NASA's Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Best, Philip J.; Unger, Ronald J.; Waits, David A.

    2005-01-01

    The Space Launch Initiative (SLI) procurement mechanism NRA8-30 initiated the Auxiliary Propulsion System/Main Propulsion System (APS/MPS) Project in 2001 to address technology gaps and development risks for non-toxic and cryogenic propellants for auxiliary propulsion applications. These applications include reaction control and orbital maneuvering engines, and storage, pressure control, and transfer technologies associated with on-orbit maintenance of cryogens. The project has successfully evolved over several years in response to changing requirements for re-usable launch vehicle technologies, general launch technology improvements, and, most recently, exploration technologies. Lessons learned based on actual hardware performance have also played a part in the project evolution to focus now on those technologies deemed specifically relevant to the Exploration Initiative. Formal relevance reviews held in the spring of 2004 resulted in authority for continuation of the Auxiliary Propulsion Project through Fiscal Year 2005 (FY05), and provided for a direct reporting path to the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. The tasks determined to be relevant under the project were: continuation of the development, fabrication, and delivery of three 870 lbf thrust prototype LOX/ethanol reaction control engines; the fabrication, assembly, engine integration and testing of the Auxiliary Propulsion Test Bed at White Sands Test Facility; and the completion of FY04 cryogenic fluid management component and subsystem development tasks (mass gauging, pressure control, and liquid acquisition elements). This paper presents an overview of those tasks, their scope, expectations, and results to-date as carried forward into the Exploration Initiative.

  6. Cornell OEO Project: An Exploration in Urban Extension Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ostrander, Edward; And Others

    To explore ways of adapting cooperative extension education to help urban poor families solve their home management and consumer problems, the Cornell-OEO project trained and then employed 38 South Brooklyn women as family assistants to work with over 500 local families. The dynamic program changed frequently during its 2 year term as its range…

  7. Internet Activities Using Scientific Data. A Self-Guided Exploration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Froseth, Stan; Poppe, Barbara

    This guide is intended for the secondary school teacher (especially math or science) or the student who wants to access and learn about scientific data on the Internet. It is organized as a self-guided exploration. Nine exercises enable the user to access and analyze on-line information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration…

  8. Synergistic Activities of Near-Earth Object Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul

    2011-01-01

    U.S. President Obama stated on April 15, 2010 that the next goal for human spaceflight will be to send human beings to near-Earth asteroids by 2025. Missions to NEOs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific examinations of these primitive objects. Information obtained from a human investigation of a NEO, together with ground-based observations and prior spacecraft investigations of asteroids and comets, will also provide a real measure of ground truth to data obtained from terrestrial meteorite collections. Major advances in the areas of geochemistry, impact history, thermal history, isotope analyses, mineralogy, space weathering, formation ages, thermal inertias, volatile content, source regions, solar system formation, etc. can be expected from human NEO missions. Samples directly returned from a primitive body would lead to the same kind of breakthroughs for understanding NEOs that the Apollo samples provided for understanding the Earth-Moon system and its formation history. In addition, robotic precursor and human exploration missions to NEOs would allow the NASA and its international partners to gain operational experience in performing complex tasks (e.g., sample collection, deployment of payloads, retrieval of payloads, etc.) with crew, robots, and spacecraft under microgravity conditions at or near the surface of a small body. This would provide an important synergy between the worldwide Science and Exploration communities, which will be crucial for development of future international deep space exploration architectures and has potential benefits for future exploration of other destinations beyond low-Earth orbit.

  9. Long-range tactile masking occurs in the postural body schema.

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Sarah; Harris, Laurence R

    2016-02-01

    Long-range tactile masking has been reported between mirror symmetric body locations. This suggests a general principle of contralateral inhibition between corresponding points on each side of the body that may serve to enhance distinguishing touches on the two halves of the body. Do such effects occur before or after posture is added to the body schema? Here, we address this question by exploring the effect of arm position on long-range tactile masking. The influence of arm position was investigated using different positions of both the test and masking arms. Tactile sensitivity was measured on one forearm, while vibrotactile-masking stimulation was applied to the opposite arm or to a control site on the shoulder. No difference was found in sensitivity when test arm position was varied. Physical contact between the arms significantly increased the effectiveness of a masking stimulus applied to the other arm. Long-range masking between the arms was strongest when the arms were held parallel to each other and was abolished if the position of either the test arm or the masking arm was moved from this position. Modulation of the effectiveness of masking by the position of both the test and masking arms suggests that these effects occur after posture information is added to the body's representation in the brain. PMID:26553240

  10. Long-range tactile masking occurs in the postural body schema.

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Sarah; Harris, Laurence R

    2016-02-01

    Long-range tactile masking has been reported between mirror symmetric body locations. This suggests a general principle of contralateral inhibition between corresponding points on each side of the body that may serve to enhance distinguishing touches on the two halves of the body. Do such effects occur before or after posture is added to the body schema? Here, we address this question by exploring the effect of arm position on long-range tactile masking. The influence of arm position was investigated using different positions of both the test and masking arms. Tactile sensitivity was measured on one forearm, while vibrotactile-masking stimulation was applied to the opposite arm or to a control site on the shoulder. No difference was found in sensitivity when test arm position was varied. Physical contact between the arms significantly increased the effectiveness of a masking stimulus applied to the other arm. Long-range masking between the arms was strongest when the arms were held parallel to each other and was abolished if the position of either the test arm or the masking arm was moved from this position. Modulation of the effectiveness of masking by the position of both the test and masking arms suggests that these effects occur after posture information is added to the body's representation in the brain.

  11. Single-Grasp Object Classification and Feature Extraction with Simple Robot Hands and Tactile Sensors.

    PubMed

    Spiers, Adam J; Liarokapis, Minas V; Calli, Berk; Dollar, Aaron M

    2016-01-01

    Classical robotic approaches to tactile object identification often involve rigid mechanical grippers, dense sensor arrays, and exploratory procedures (EPs). Though EPs are a natural method for humans to acquire object information, evidence also exists for meaningful tactile property inference from brief, non-exploratory motions (a 'haptic glance'). In this work, we implement tactile object identification and feature extraction techniques on data acquired during a single, unplanned grasp with a simple, underactuated robot hand equipped with inexpensive barometric pressure sensors. Our methodology utilizes two cooperating schemes based on an advanced machine learning technique (random forests) and parametric methods that estimate object properties. The available data is limited to actuator positions (one per two link finger) and force sensors values (eight per finger). The schemes are able to work both independently and collaboratively, depending on the task scenario. When collaborating, the results of each method contribute to the other, improving the overall result in a synergistic fashion. Unlike prior work, the proposed approach does not require object exploration, re-grasping, grasp-release, or force modulation and works for arbitrary object start positions and orientations. Due to these factors, the technique may be integrated into practical robotic grasping scenarios without adding time or manipulation overheads. PMID:26829804

  12. Seismic exploration of Fuji volcano with active sources in 2003

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oikawa, J.; Kagiyama, T.; Tanaka, S.; Miyamachi, H.; Tsutsui, T.; Ikeda, Y.; Katayama, H.; Matsuo, N.; Oshima, H.; Nishimura, Y.; Yamamoto, K.; Watanabe, T.; Yamazaki, F.

    2004-12-01

    Fuji volcano (altitude 3,776 m) is the largest basaltic stratovolcano in Japan. In late August and early September 2003, seismic exploration was conducted around Fuji volcano by the detonation of 500 kg charges of dynamite to investigate the seismic structure of that area. Seismographs with an eigenfrequency of 2 Hz were used for observation, positioned along a WSW-ENE line passing through the summit of the mountain. A total of 469 observation points were installed at intervals of 250-500 m. The data were stored in memory on-site using data loggers. The sampling interval was 4 ms. Charges were detonated at 5 points, one at each end of the observation line and 3 along its length. The first arrival times at each observation point for each detonation were recorded as data. The P-wave velocity structure directly below the observation line was determined by forward calculation using the ray tracing method [Zelt and Smith, 1992]. The P-wave velocity structure below the volcano, assuming a layered structure, was found to be as follows. (1) The first layer extends for about 40 km around the summit and to a depth of 1-2 km. The P-wave velocity is 2.5 km/s on the upper surface of the layer and 3.5 km/s on the lower interface. (2) The second layer has P-wave velocities of 4.0 km/s on the top interface and 5.5 km/s at the lower interface. The layer is 25 km thick to the west of the summit and 1-2 km thick to the east, and forms a dome shape with a peak altitude of 2000 m directly below the summit. (3) The third layer is 5-12 km thick and has P-wave velocities of 5.7 km/s at the top interface and 6.5 km/s at the lower interface. This layer reaches shallower levels to the east of the summit, corresponding to the area where the second layer is thinner. Mt. Fuji is located slightly back from where the Philippine Sea Plate subducts below the Eurasian plate in association with collision with the Izu Peninsula. Matsuda (1971) suggested that Mt. Fuji lies on the same uplifted body as

  13. 75 FR 54370 - BOEMRE Information Collection Activity: 1010-0183, Information Requirements for Exploration Plans...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-07

    ... techniques sufficient to prevent or minimize the likelihood of blowouts, loss of well control, fires... review the data submitted to analyze future activities under Exploration Plans (EPs), Development...

  14. Tactile sensor integrated dielectric elastomer actuator for simultaneous actuation and sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadooka, Kevin; Imamura, Hiroya; Taya, Minoru

    2016-04-01

    Dielectric elastomers (DE) are a subgroup of electroactive polymers which may be used as soft transducers. Such soft transducers exhibit high energy density and silent operation, which makes them desirable for life-like robotic systems such as a robotic hand. A robotic hand must be able to sense the object being manipulated, in terms of normal and shear force being applied, and note when contact has been achieved or lost. To this end, a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) with integrated tactile sensing has been developed to provide simultaneous actuation and sensing. The tactile sensing dielectric elastomer actuator consists of a unimorph-type structure, where the active portion is a laminate of alternating DE and electrode material which expands under applied voltage, and the sensing portion is a stiffer sensing dielectric elastomer which has no electrical connection to the active portion. Under applied voltage, the deformation of the active portion expands but is constrained on one side by the sensing portion, resulting in bending actuation. The sensing portion is a DE with electrodes patterned to form 2x2 capacitive sensing arrays. Dome-shaped bumps positioned over the sensing arrays redistribute tactile forces onto the sensor segments, so that measurement of the capacitance change across the array allows for reconstruction of magnitude and direction of the incoming force.

  15. A tactile sensor using a conductive graphene-sponge composite.

    PubMed

    Chun, Sungwoo; Hong, Ahyoung; Choi, Yeonhoi; Ha, Chunho; Park, Wanjun

    2016-04-28

    For sensors that emulate human tactile perception, we suggest a simple method for fabricating a highly sensitive force sensor using a conductive polyurethane sponge where graphene flakes are self-assembled into the porous structure of the sponge. The complete sensor device shows a sensitive and reliable detection response for a broad range of pressure and dynamic pressure that correspond to human tactile perception. Sensitivity of the sensor to detect vibration is also confirmed with vertical actuations due to slipping over micro-scale ridge structures attached on the sensors. Based on the sensor's ability to detect both pressure and vibration, the sensor can be utilized as a flexible tactile sensor. PMID:27076360

  16. A tactile sensor using a conductive graphene-sponge composite.

    PubMed

    Chun, Sungwoo; Hong, Ahyoung; Choi, Yeonhoi; Ha, Chunho; Park, Wanjun

    2016-04-28

    For sensors that emulate human tactile perception, we suggest a simple method for fabricating a highly sensitive force sensor using a conductive polyurethane sponge where graphene flakes are self-assembled into the porous structure of the sponge. The complete sensor device shows a sensitive and reliable detection response for a broad range of pressure and dynamic pressure that correspond to human tactile perception. Sensitivity of the sensor to detect vibration is also confirmed with vertical actuations due to slipping over micro-scale ridge structures attached on the sensors. Based on the sensor's ability to detect both pressure and vibration, the sensor can be utilized as a flexible tactile sensor.

  17. Tactile texture and friction of soft sponge surfaces.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Akira; Suzuki, Makoto; Imai, Yumi; Nonomura, Yoshimune

    2015-06-01

    We evaluated the tactile texture and frictional properties of five soft sponges with various cell sizes. The frictional forces were measured by a friction meter containing a contact probe with human-finger-like geometry and mechanical properties. When the subjects touched these sponges with their fingers, hard-textured sponges were deemed unpleasant. This tactile feeling changed with friction factors including friction coefficients, their temporal patterns, as well as mechanical and shape factors. These findings provide useful information on how to control the tactile textures of various sponges.

  18. Audio-Visual, Visuo-Tactile and Audio-Tactile Correspondences in Preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Nava, Elena; Grassi, Massimo; Turati, Chiara

    2016-01-01

    Interest in crossmodal correspondences has recently seen a renaissance thanks to numerous studies in human adults. Yet, still very little is known about crossmodal correspondences in children, particularly in sensory pairings other than audition and vision. In the current study, we investigated whether 4-5-year-old children match auditory pitch to the spatial motion of visual objects (audio-visual condition). In addition, we investigated whether this correspondence extends to touch, i.e., whether children also match auditory pitch to the spatial motion of touch (audio-tactile condition) and the spatial motion of visual objects to touch (visuo-tactile condition). In two experiments, two different groups of children were asked to indicate which of two stimuli fitted best with a centrally located third stimulus (Experiment 1), or to report whether two presented stimuli fitted together well (Experiment 2). We found sensitivity to the congruency of all of the sensory pairings only in Experiment 2, suggesting that only under specific circumstances can these correspondences be observed. Our results suggest that pitch-height correspondences for audio-visual and audio-tactile combinations may still be weak in preschool children, and speculate that this could be due to immature linguistic and auditory cues that are still developing at age five. PMID:27311292

  19. Advanced planning activity. [for interplanetary flight and space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    Selected mission concepts for interplanetary exploration through 1985 were examined, including: (1) Jupiter orbiter performance characteristics; (2) solar electric propulsion missions to Mercury, Venus, Neptune, and Uranus; (3) space shuttle planetary missions; (4) Pioneer entry probes to Saturn and Uranus; (5) rendezvous with Comet Kohoutek and Comet Encke; (6) space tug capabilities; and (7) a Pioneer mission to Mars in 1979. Mission options, limitations, and performance predictions are assessed, along with probable configurational, boost, and propulsion requirements.

  20. Tiny Feel: A New Miniature Tactile Module Using Elastic and Electromagnetic Force for Mobile Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Tae-Heon; Kim, Sang-Youn; Book, Wayne J.; Kwon, Dong-Soo

    For tactile feedback in mobile devices, the size and the power consumption of tactile modules are the dominant factors. Thus, vibration motors have been widely used in mobile devices to provide tactile sensation. However, the vibration motor cannot sufficiently generate a great amount of tactile sensation because the magnitude and the frequency of the vibration motor are coupled. For the generation of a wide variety of tactile sensations, this paper presents a new tactile actuator that incorporates a solenoid, a permanent magnet and an elastic spring. The feedback force in this actuator is generated by elastic and electromagnetic force. This paper also proposes a tiny tactile module with the proposed actuators. To construct a tiny tactile module, the contactor gap of the module is minimized without decreasing the contactor stroke, the output force, and the working frequency. The elastic springs of the actuators are separated into several layers to minimize the contactor gap without decreasing the performance of the tactile module. Experiments were conducted to investigate each contactor output force as well as the frequency response of the proposed tactile module. Each contactor of the tactile module can generate enough output force to stimulate human mechanoreceptors. As the contactors are actuated in a wide range of frequency, the proposed tactile module can generate various tactile sensations. Moreover, the size of the proposed tactile module is small enough to be embedded it into a mobile device, and its power consumption is low. Therefore, the proposed tactile actuator and module have good potential in many interactive mobile devices.

  1. Tactile stimulation lowers stress in fish.

    PubMed

    Soares, Marta C; Oliveira, Rui F; Ros, Albert F H; Grutter, Alexandra S; Bshary, Redouan

    2011-01-01

    In humans, physical stimulation, such as massage therapy, reduces stress and has demonstrable health benefits. Grooming in primates may have similar effects but it remains unclear whether the positive effects are due to physical contact or to its social value. Here we show that physical stimulation reduces stress in a coral reef fish, the surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus. These fish regularly visit cleaner wrasses Labroides dimidiatus to have ectoparasites removed. The cleanerfish influences client decisions by physically touching the surgeonfish with its pectoral and pelvic fins, a behaviour known as tactile stimulation. We simulated this behaviour by exposing surgeonfish to mechanically moving cleanerfish models. Surgeonfish had significantly lower levels of cortisol when stimulated by moving models compared with controls with access to stationary models. Our results show that physical contact alone, without a social aspect, is enough to produce fitness-enhancing benefits, a situation so far only demonstrated in humans. PMID:22086335

  2. The Use of a Tactile-Vision Sensory Substitution System as an Augmentative Tool for Individuals with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Michael D.; Ray, Christopher T.; Griffith, Jennifer; De l'Aune, William

    2011-01-01

    The promise of novel technological strategies and solutions to assist persons with visual impairments (that is, those who are blind or have low vision) is frequently discussed and held to be widely beneficial in countless applications and daily activities. One such approach involving a tactile-vision sensory substitution modality as a mechanism to…

  3. A chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin with interactive colour changing controlled by tactile sensing

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Ho-Hsiu; Nguyen, Amanda; Chortos, Alex; To, John W.F.; Lu, Chien; Mei, Jianguo; Kurosawa, Tadanori; Bae, Won-Gyu; Tok, Jeffrey B.-H.; Bao, Zhenan

    2015-01-01

    Some animals, such as the chameleon and cephalopod, have the remarkable capability to change their skin colour. This unique characteristic has long inspired scientists to develop materials and devices to mimic such a function. However, it requires the complex integration of stretchability, colour-changing and tactile sensing. Here we show an all-solution processed chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin (e-skin), in which the e-skin colour can easily be controlled through varying the applied pressure along with the applied pressure duration. As such, the e-skin's colour change can also be in turn utilized to distinguish the pressure applied. The integration of the stretchable, highly tunable resistive pressure sensor and the fully stretchable organic electrochromic device enables the demonstration of a stretchable electrochromically active e-skin with tactile-sensing control. This system will have wide range applications such as interactive wearable devices, artificial prosthetics and smart robots. PMID:26300307

  4. Key role of the dorsal root ganglion in neuropathic tactile hypersensibility.

    PubMed

    Sukhotinsky, Inna; Ben-Dor, Efrat; Raber, Pnina; Devor, Marshall

    2004-04-01

    Cutting spinal nerves just distal to the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) triggers, with rapid onset, massive spontaneous ectopic discharge in axotomized afferent A-neurons, and at the same time induces tactile allodynia in the partially denervated hindlimb. We show that secondary transection of the dorsal root (rhizotomy) of the axotomized DRG, or suppression of the ectopia with topically applied local anesthetics, eliminates or attenuates the allodynia. Dorsal rhizotomy alone does not trigger allodynia. These observations support the hypothesis that ectopic firing in DRG A-neurons induces central sensitization which leads to tactile allodynia. The question of how activity in afferent A-neurons, which are not normally nociceptive, might induce allodynia is discussed in light of the current literature. PMID:14987623

  5. A chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin with interactive colour changing controlled by tactile sensing.

    PubMed

    Chou, Ho-Hsiu; Nguyen, Amanda; Chortos, Alex; To, John W F; Lu, Chien; Mei, Jianguo; Kurosawa, Tadanori; Bae, Won-Gyu; Tok, Jeffrey B-H; Bao, Zhenan

    2015-01-01

    Some animals, such as the chameleon and cephalopod, have the remarkable capability to change their skin colour. This unique characteristic has long inspired scientists to develop materials and devices to mimic such a function. However, it requires the complex integration of stretchability, colour-changing and tactile sensing. Here we show an all-solution processed chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin (e-skin), in which the e-skin colour can easily be controlled through varying the applied pressure along with the applied pressure duration. As such, the e-skin's colour change can also be in turn utilized to distinguish the pressure applied. The integration of the stretchable, highly tunable resistive pressure sensor and the fully stretchable organic electrochromic device enables the demonstration of a stretchable electrochromically active e-skin with tactile-sensing control. This system will have wide range applications such as interactive wearable devices, artificial prosthetics and smart robots. PMID:26300307

  6. A chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin with interactive colour changing controlled by tactile sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Ho-Hsiu; Nguyen, Amanda; Chortos, Alex; To, John W. F.; Lu, Chien; Mei, Jianguo; Kurosawa, Tadanori; Bae, Won-Gyu; Tok, Jeffrey B.-H.; Bao, Zhenan

    2015-08-01

    Some animals, such as the chameleon and cephalopod, have the remarkable capability to change their skin colour. This unique characteristic has long inspired scientists to develop materials and devices to mimic such a function. However, it requires the complex integration of stretchability, colour-changing and tactile sensing. Here we show an all-solution processed chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin (e-skin), in which the e-skin colour can easily be controlled through varying the applied pressure along with the applied pressure duration. As such, the e-skin's colour change can also be in turn utilized to distinguish the pressure applied. The integration of the stretchable, highly tunable resistive pressure sensor and the fully stretchable organic electrochromic device enables the demonstration of a stretchable electrochromically active e-skin with tactile-sensing control. This system will have wide range applications such as interactive wearable devices, artificial prosthetics and smart robots.

  7. A chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin with interactive colour changing controlled by tactile sensing.

    PubMed

    Chou, Ho-Hsiu; Nguyen, Amanda; Chortos, Alex; To, John W F; Lu, Chien; Mei, Jianguo; Kurosawa, Tadanori; Bae, Won-Gyu; Tok, Jeffrey B-H; Bao, Zhenan

    2015-08-24

    Some animals, such as the chameleon and cephalopod, have the remarkable capability to change their skin colour. This unique characteristic has long inspired scientists to develop materials and devices to mimic such a function. However, it requires the complex integration of stretchability, colour-changing and tactile sensing. Here we show an all-solution processed chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin (e-skin), in which the e-skin colour can easily be controlled through varying the applied pressure along with the applied pressure duration. As such, the e-skin's colour change can also be in turn utilized to distinguish the pressure applied. The integration of the stretchable, highly tunable resistive pressure sensor and the fully stretchable organic electrochromic device enables the demonstration of a stretchable electrochromically active e-skin with tactile-sensing control. This system will have wide range applications such as interactive wearable devices, artificial prosthetics and smart robots.

  8. Testing of tactile sensors for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kogan, Lisa; Weadon, Timothy L.; Evans, Thomas; DeVallance, David B.; Sabolsky, Edward M.

    2015-03-01

    There is a need to integrate tactile sensing into robotic manipulators performing tasks in space environments, including those used to repair satellites. Integration can be achieved by embedding specialized tactile sensors. Reliable and consistent signal interpretation can be obtained by ensuring that sensors with a suitable sensing mechanism are selected based on operational demands, and that materials used within the sensors do not change structurally under vacuum and expected applied pressures, and between temperatures of -80°C to +120°C. The sensors must be able to withstand space environmental conditions and remain adequately sensitive throughout their operating life. Additionally, it is necessary to integrate the sensors into the target system with minimum disturbance while remaining responsive to applied loads. Previous work has been completed to characterize sensors within the selected temperature and pressure ranges. The current work builds on this investigation by embedding these sensors in different geometries and testing the response measured among varying configurations. Embedding material selection was aided by using a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) to determine stress/strain behavior for adhesives and compliant layers used to keep the sensors in place and distribute stresses evenly. Electromechanical characterization of the embedded sensor packages was conducted by using the DMA in tandem with an inductance-capacitance-resistance (LCR) meter. Methods for embedding the sensor packages were developed with the aid of finite element analysis and physical testing to account for specific geometrical constraints. Embedded sensor prototypes were tested within representative models of potential embedding locations to compare final embedded sensor performance.

  9. A Classroom Activity Exploring the Complexity of Sexual Orientation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madson, Laura

    2001-01-01

    Describes an activity in which students categorize the sexual orientation (heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual) of 10 fictional people. Students study aspects of sexual orientation, including its resistance to rigid and consistent definitions. The activity has been used in Psychology of Women, Sexual Behavior, and Psychology of Sexual Orientation…

  10. Exploring Extension Involvement in Farm to School Program Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, Matthew C.

    2014-01-01

    The study reported here examined Extension professionals' involvement in farm-to-school program activities. Results of an online survey distributed to eight state Extension systems indicate that on average, Extension professionals are involved with one farm to school program activity, with most supporting school or community garden programs.…

  11. Exploration of the spontaneous fluctuating activity of single enzyme molecules.

    PubMed

    Schwabe, Anne; Maarleveld, Timo R; Bruggeman, Frank J

    2013-09-01

    Single enzyme molecules display inevitable, stochastic fluctuations in their catalytic activity. In metabolism, for instance, the stochastic activity of individual enzymes is averaged out due to their high copy numbers per single cell. However, many processes inside cells rely on single enzyme activity, such as transcription, replication, translation, and histone modifications. Here we introduce the main theoretical concepts of stochastic single-enzyme activity starting from the Michaelis-Menten enzyme mechanism. Next, we discuss stochasticity of multi-substrate enzymes, of enzymes and receptors with multiple conformational states and finally, how fluctuations in receptor activity arise from fluctuations in signal concentration. This paper aims to introduce the exciting field of single-molecule enzyme kinetics and stochasticity to a wider audience of biochemists and systems biologists.

  12. Prediction of the main cortical areas and connections involved in the tactile function of the visual cortex by network analysis.

    PubMed

    Négyessy, László; Nepusz, Tamás; Kocsis, László; Bazsó, Fülöp

    2006-04-01

    We explored the cortical pathways from the primary somatosensory cortex to the primary visual cortex (V1) by analysing connectional data in the macaque monkey using graph-theoretical tools. Cluster analysis revealed the close relationship of the dorsal visual stream and the sensorimotor cortex. It was shown that prefrontal area 46 and parietal areas VIP and 7a occupy a central position between the different clusters in the visuo-tactile network. Among these structures all the shortest paths from primary somatosensory cortex (3a, 1 and 2) to V1 pass through VIP and then reach V1 via MT, V3 and PO. Comparison of the input and output fields suggested a larger specificity for the 3a/1-VIP-MT/V3-V1 pathways among the alternative routes. A reinforcement learning algorithm was used to evaluate the importance of the aforementioned pathways. The results suggest a higher role for V3 in relaying more direct sensorimotor information to V1. Analysing cliques, which identify areas with the strongest coupling in the network, supported the role of VIP, MT and V3 in visuo-tactile integration. These findings indicate that areas 3a, 1, VIP, MT and V3 play a major role in shaping the tactile information reaching V1 in both sighted and blind subjects. Our observations greatly support the findings of the experimental studies and provide a deeper insight into the network architecture underlying visuo-tactile integration in the primate cerebral cortex.

  13. Change of reference frame for tactile localization during child development.

    PubMed

    Pagel, Birthe; Heed, Tobias; Röder, Brigitte

    2009-11-01

    Temporal order judgements (TOJ) for two tactile stimuli, one presented to the left and one to the right hand, are less precise when the hands are crossed over the midline than when the hands are uncrossed. This 'crossed hand' effect has been considered as evidence for a remapping of tactile input into an external reference frame. Since late, but not early, blind individuals show such remapping, it has been hypothesized that the use of an external reference frame develops during childhood. Five- to 10-year-old children were therefore tested with the tactile TOJ task, both with uncrossed and crossed hands. Overall performance in the TOJ task improved with age. While children older than 5 1/2 years displayed a crossed hand effect, younger children did not. Therefore the use of an external reference frame for tactile, and possibly multisensory, localization seems to be acquired at age 5. PMID:19840048

  14. The Tactile Vision Substitution System: Applications in Education and Employment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scadden, Lawrence A.

    1974-01-01

    The Tactile Vision Substitution System converts the visual image from a narrow-angle television camera to a tactual image on a 5-inch square, 100-point display of vibrators placed against the abdomen of the blind person. (Author)

  15. Mammalian tactile hair: divergence from a limited distribution.

    PubMed

    Sarko, Diana K; Rice, Frank L; Reep, Roger L

    2011-04-01

    Mammalian species use tactile hairs to address a variety of perceptual challenges in detecting and responding appropriately to environmental stimuli. With a wide range of functional roles that range from object detection, to fine texture discrimination, to hydrodynamic trail perception, tactile hairs have been adapted for a variety of environmental niches to enhance survival through optimizing detection of somatosensory cues. Because the high level of innervation associated with tactile hairs requires a commensurately high dedication of neural resources, their distribution is restricted to specific regions of the body that encounter stimuli of interest--commonly, the face. However, several species--namely bats, naked mole-rats, hyraxes, manatees, and dugongs--are rare exceptions, with tactile hair distribution that has expanded to cover the entire body. This review examines the behavioral advantages conferred by this unusual trait, the neuroanatomical adaptations that accompany it, and how this pattern might have evolved. PMID:21534996

  16. Numerical Priming Between Touch and Vision Depends on Tactile Discrimination.

    PubMed

    Faivre, Nathan; Salomon, Roy; Vuillaume, Laurène; Blanke, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    Although the interaction between vision and touch is of crucial importance for perceptual and bodily self-consciousness, only little is known regarding the link between conscious access and tactile processing. Here, we tested whether the numerical encoding of tactile stimuli depends on conscious discrimination. On each trial, participants received between zero and three taps at low, medium, or high intensity and had to enumerate the number of visual items subsequently presented as a visual target. We measured tactovisual numerical priming, that is, the modulation of reaction times according to the numerical distance between the visual target and tactile prime values. While numerical priming and repetition priming were respectively elicited by high and medium intensity stimuli, no effect was found for low intensity stimuli that were not discriminable. This suggests that numerical priming between touch and vision depends on tactile discrimination. We discuss our results considering recent advances in unconscious visual numerical priming.

  17. Exploring Preferences of Mentoring Activities among Generational Groups of Registered Nurses in Florida

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posey-Goodwin, Patricia Ann

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore differences in perceptions of mentoring activities from four generations of registered nurses in Florida, using the Alleman Mentoring Activities Questionnaire ® (AMAQ ®). Statistical procedures of analysis of variance (ANOVA) were employed to explore differences among 65 registered nurses in Florida from…

  18. Active Dust Mitigation Technology for Thermal Radiators for Lunar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Hopkins, J. W.; Holloway, N. M. H.; Connell, J. W.; Chen, A.; Irwin, S. A.; Case, S. O.; VanSuetendael, N. J.; Snyder, S. J.; Clements, J. S.

    2010-01-01

    Dust accumulation on thermal radiator surfaces planned for lunar exploration will significantly reduce their efficiency. Evidence from the Apollo missions shows that an insulating layer of dust accumulated on radiator surfaces could not be removed and caused serious thermal control problems. Temperatures measured at different locations in the magnetometer on Apollo 12 were 38 C warmer than expected due to lunar dust accumulation. In this paper, we report on the application of the Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS) technology being developed in our NASA laboratory and applied to thermal radiator surfaces. The EDS uses electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces generated by a grid of electrodes running a 2 micro A electric current to remove dust particles from surfaces. Working prototypes of EDS systems on solar panels and on thermal radiators have been successfully developed and tested at vacuum with clearing efficiencies above 92%. For this work EDS prototypes on flexible and rigid thermal radiators were developed and tested at vacuum.

  19. Explorative data analysis for changes in neural activity.

    PubMed

    Blythe, Duncan A J; Meinecke, Frank C; von Bünau, Paul; Müller, Klaus-Robert

    2013-04-01

    Neural recordings are non-stationary time series, i.e. their properties typically change over time. Identifying specific changes, e.g., those induced by a learning task, can shed light on the underlying neural processes. However, such changes of interest are often masked by strong unrelated changes, which can be of physiological origin or due to measurement artifacts. We propose a novel algorithm for disentangling such different causes of non-stationarity and in this manner enable better neurophysiological interpretation for a wider set of experimental paradigms. A key ingredient is the repeated application of Stationary Subspace Analysis (SSA) using different temporal scales. The usefulness of our explorative approach is demonstrated in simulations, theory and EEG experiments with 80 brain-computer interfacing subjects.

  20. Swarming Bristle-Bots: Exploring Properties of Active Matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forstner, Martin B.; Beasock, Damian

    Active Matter describes an ubiquitous class of non-equilibrium systems that encompasses a diverse range of phenomena in the living and non-living realm. Examples are microscopic bio-filaments and their associated motor proteins, flocks of birds and fish, vibrated rods and disks, or nanoscale colloids actuated by catalytic activity on their surface. What unifies these systems is that they are all composed of self-driven units. In consequence, these systems are not driven into non-equilibrium by energy input at their boundary, but by local energy injection. As fascinating as these systems are, there are currently barely any laboratory systems that allow for controlled experiments in dry active matter. That is, systems not immersed in a fluid that can be observed without specialized equipment. Here we present a two-dimensional `active matter' system consisting of hundreds of macroscopic (~0.05 m long), modified, commercially available bristle-bots. We show that this swarm of toys classifies as active matter as it exhibits properties such as dynamic phase separation. Because of their straight forward implementation, their size and controllability, such swarms can not only answer scientific questions, but they have great potential as educational tools in teaching labs and classrooms.

  1. A tactile sensor using a conductive graphene-sponge composite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chun, Sungwoo; Hong, Ahyoung; Choi, Yeonhoi; Ha, Chunho; Park, Wanjun

    2016-04-01

    For sensors that emulate human tactile perception, we suggest a simple method for fabricating a highly sensitive force sensor using a conductive polyurethane sponge where graphene flakes are self-assembled into the porous structure of the sponge. The complete sensor device shows a sensitive and reliable detection response for a broad range of pressure and dynamic pressure that correspond to human tactile perception. Sensitivity of the sensor to detect vibration is also confirmed with vertical actuations due to slipping over micro-scale ridge structures attached on the sensors. Based on the sensor's ability to detect both pressure and vibration, the sensor can be utilized as a flexible tactile sensor.For sensors that emulate human tactile perception, we suggest a simple method for fabricating a highly sensitive force sensor using a conductive polyurethane sponge where graphene flakes are self-assembled into the porous structure of the sponge. The complete sensor device shows a sensitive and reliable detection response for a broad range of pressure and dynamic pressure that correspond to human tactile perception. Sensitivity of the sensor to detect vibration is also confirmed with vertical actuations due to slipping over micro-scale ridge structures attached on the sensors. Based on the sensor's ability to detect both pressure and vibration, the sensor can be utilized as a flexible tactile sensor. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c6nr00774k

  2. To what extent do Gestalt grouping principles influence tactile perception?

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles

    2011-07-01

    Since their formulation by the Gestalt movement more than a century ago, the principles of perceptual grouping have primarily been investigated in the visual modality and, to a lesser extent, in the auditory modality. The present review addresses the question of whether the same grouping principles also affect the perception of tactile stimuli. Although, to date, only a few studies have explicitly investigated the existence of Gestalt grouping principles in the tactile modality, we argue that many more studies have indirectly provided evidence relevant to this topic. Reviewing this body of research, we argue that similar principles to those reported previously in visual and auditory studies also govern the perceptual grouping of tactile stimuli. In particular, we highlight evidence showing that the principles of proximity, similarity, common fate, good continuation, and closure affect tactile perception in both unimodal and crossmodal settings. We also highlight that the grouping of tactile stimuli is often affected by visual and auditory information that happen to be presented simultaneously. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and applied benefits that might pertain to the further study of Gestalt principles operating in both unisensory and multisensory tactile perception. PMID:21574680

  3. To what extent do Gestalt grouping principles influence tactile perception?

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles

    2011-07-01

    Since their formulation by the Gestalt movement more than a century ago, the principles of perceptual grouping have primarily been investigated in the visual modality and, to a lesser extent, in the auditory modality. The present review addresses the question of whether the same grouping principles also affect the perception of tactile stimuli. Although, to date, only a few studies have explicitly investigated the existence of Gestalt grouping principles in the tactile modality, we argue that many more studies have indirectly provided evidence relevant to this topic. Reviewing this body of research, we argue that similar principles to those reported previously in visual and auditory studies also govern the perceptual grouping of tactile stimuli. In particular, we highlight evidence showing that the principles of proximity, similarity, common fate, good continuation, and closure affect tactile perception in both unimodal and crossmodal settings. We also highlight that the grouping of tactile stimuli is often affected by visual and auditory information that happen to be presented simultaneously. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and applied benefits that might pertain to the further study of Gestalt principles operating in both unisensory and multisensory tactile perception.

  4. Differentiated audio-tactile correspondences in sighted and blind individuals.

    PubMed

    Deroy, Ophelia; Fasiello, Irène; Hayward, Vincent; Auvray, Malika

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the present study is to investigate whether the crossmodal correspondence robustly documented between auditory pitch and visual elevation has analogues in the audio-tactile domain. Across 4 experiments, the compatibility effects between intuitively congruent pairs of stimuli (i.e., outward tactile movement, going from the inside of the finger toward the fingertip and increasing pitch, or inward tactile movement and decreasing pitch) and incongruent pairs stimuli (i.e., the reverse associations) were measured. Two methods were compared to assess the behavioral effects of such a correspondence: One where participants have to respond to either the auditory or tactile stimulus presented simultaneously, while ignoring the other (speeded classification task), and the other where the auditory and tactile stimuli are presented sequentially and associated to different response buttons (implicit association test). No significant compatibility effect was observed under the speeded classification task. The implicit association test revealed a significant compatibility effect. This effect was similar in the conditions where the finger was placed vertically and horizontally. However, this implicit association between pitch and tactile movements was not observed in blind participants. These results have methodological implications for the explanation and testing of crossmodal correspondences, and the origin of the widely discussed association between pitch and vertical elevation. (PsycINFO Database Record

  5. Differentiated audio-tactile correspondences in sighted and blind individuals.

    PubMed

    Deroy, Ophelia; Fasiello, Irène; Hayward, Vincent; Auvray, Malika

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the present study is to investigate whether the crossmodal correspondence robustly documented between auditory pitch and visual elevation has analogues in the audio-tactile domain. Across 4 experiments, the compatibility effects between intuitively congruent pairs of stimuli (i.e., outward tactile movement, going from the inside of the finger toward the fingertip and increasing pitch, or inward tactile movement and decreasing pitch) and incongruent pairs stimuli (i.e., the reverse associations) were measured. Two methods were compared to assess the behavioral effects of such a correspondence: One where participants have to respond to either the auditory or tactile stimulus presented simultaneously, while ignoring the other (speeded classification task), and the other where the auditory and tactile stimuli are presented sequentially and associated to different response buttons (implicit association test). No significant compatibility effect was observed under the speeded classification task. The implicit association test revealed a significant compatibility effect. This effect was similar in the conditions where the finger was placed vertically and horizontally. However, this implicit association between pitch and tactile movements was not observed in blind participants. These results have methodological implications for the explanation and testing of crossmodal correspondences, and the origin of the widely discussed association between pitch and vertical elevation. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26950385

  6. Tactile device utilizing a single magnetorheological sponge: experimental investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Soomin; Kim, Pyunghwa; Choi, Seung-Hyun; Oh, Jong-Seok; Choi, Seung-Bok

    2015-04-01

    In the field of medicine, several new areas have been currently introduced such as robot-assisted surgery. However, the major drawback of these systems is that there is no tactile communication between doctors and surgical sites. When the tactile system is brought up, telemedicine including telerobotic surgery can be enhanced much more than now. In this study, a new tactile device is designed using a single magnetorhological (MR) sponge cell to realize the sensation of human organs. MR fluids and an open celled polyurethane foam are used to propose the MR sponge cell. The viscous and elastic sensational behaviors of human organs are realized by the MR sponge cell. Before developing the tactile device, tactile sensation according to touch of human fingers are quantified in advance. The finger is then treated as a reduced beam bundle model (BBM) in which the fingertip is comprised of an elastic beam virtually. Under the reduced BBM, when people want to sense an object, the fingertip is investigated by pushing and sliding. Accordingly, while several magnitudes of magnetic fields are applied to the tactile device, normal and tangential reaction forces and bending moment are measured by 6-axis force/torque sensor instead of the fingertip. These measured data are used to compare with soft tissues. It is demonstrated that the proposed MR sponge cell can realize any part of the organ based on the obtained data.

  7. Exploring Key Sustainable Development Themes through Learning Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cruickshank, Heather; Fenner, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to examine how a number of key themes are introduced in the Master's programme in Engineering for Sustainable Development, at Cambridge University, through student-centred activities. These themes include dealing with complexity, uncertainty, change, other disciplines, people, environmental limits, whole life…

  8. Seeing the Sky: 100 Projects, Activities, and Explorations in Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaaf, Fred

    1990-01-01

    Fourteen astronomy activities are presented including classroom procedures and questions. Topics include different investigations of the moon, planets, stars, sunsets, light pollution, and rainbows and halos. Additional information on measurements used for observations in astronomy, and rainbow characteristics is included. (CW)

  9. Exploring Predation and Animal Coloration through Outdoor Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fontaine, Joseph J.; Decker, Karie L.

    2009-01-01

    Although children often characterize animals by the animals' color or pattern, the children seldom understand the evolutionary and ecological factors that favor particular colors. In this article, we describe two activities that help students understand the distinct evolutionary strategies of warning coloration and camouflage. Because both of…

  10. College Student Activism: An Exploration of Learning Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosas, Marisela

    2010-01-01

    Researchers, politicians, and the public have criticized colleges and universities for not effectively preparing college students to be active participants in their communities and within a democratic society. Institutional initiatives on civic engagement have focused on community service and service-learning initiatives to meet this demand. The…

  11. Exploring Formative Assessment Using Cultural Historical Activity Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asghar, Mandy

    2013-01-01

    Formative assessment is a pedagogic practice that has been the subject of much research and debate, as to how it can be used most effectively to deliver enhanced student learning in the higher education setting. Often described as a complex concept it embraces activities that range from facilitating students understanding of assessment standards,…

  12. Exploring Healthy Eating: Activities for Parents and Children Together.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tufts Univ., Medford, MA. Center on Hunger, Poverty and Nutrition Policy.

    This collection of learning units introduces parents to the role of nutrition in their young child's cognitive development. Designed to be easy to read and useful for families with limited resources, the materials help parents teach their young children good eating habits by offering information, feeding tips, creative activities for parents and…

  13. Meta-Coordination Activities: Exploring Articulation Work in Hospitals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abraham, Joanna

    2010-01-01

    Coordination of distributed activities is central to organizational work. The effective functioning of organizations hinges on their ability to manage interdependencies both within (intra-) and between (inter-) various departments. However, more than just the management of these individual dependencies is required for smooth coordination in…

  14. Exploring Patient Activation in the Clinic: Measurement from Three Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ledford, Christy J. W.; Ledford, Christopher C.; Childress, Marc A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective. To further conceptualize and operationalize patient activation (PA), using measures from patient, physician, and researcher perspectives. Data Source/Study Setting. Multimethod observation in 2010 within a family medicine clinic. Study Design. Part of an intervention with 130 patients with type 2 diabetes, this observational study…

  15. Blogs and Social Network Sites as Activity Systems: Exploring Adult Informal Learning Process through Activity Theory Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heo, Gyeong Mi; Lee, Romee

    2013-01-01

    This paper uses an Activity Theory framework to explore adult user activities and informal learning processes as reflected in their blogs and social network sites (SNS). Using the assumption that a web-based space is an activity system in which learning occurs, typical features of the components were investigated and each activity system then…

  16. Hydraulic driven fast and precise nonmagnetic tactile stimulator for neurophysiological and MEG measurements.

    PubMed

    Broser, Philip J; Braun, Christoph

    2012-10-01

    Electric stimulation of the peripheral nerves is well established as a diagnostic and research tool to analyze the somatosensory system. However, electric stimulation has some disadvantages. Electric stimulation of the median nerve triggers action potentials in all fiber populations of the nerve. Electric stimulation further creates artifacts and courses discomfort which is usually not well tolerated in the awake child. Therefore, the development of a more specific stimulation has constantly been a goal in recent years. There have been several approaches in the past to deliver somatic stimulation. However, all of them failed short in some aspects. In this study, a new type of somatosensory stimulator device was developed and compared against the gold standard of electric stimulation. The stimulation is achieved by repetitive tactile stimulation of the index finger using a blunt needle. In contrast to all previous approaches, we use a hydraulic system to move the needle up and downward. Given that water is very well suited to conduct pressure pulses it is possible to place the tactile stimulator device holding the needle close to the subject and the hydraulic driving system outside a critical area. Using a phantom, we showed that our stimulator is capable of delivering a stimulus precise on the submillisecond time scale. In addition, we test our stimulator on a healthy adult and compare the results against the electric stimulation. We can show the feasibility of measuring the electric responses of the peripheral nerve and while using MEG also the response of the primary somatosensory cortex. The tactile stimulation showed a more spatial focuses activation of the primary somatosensory cortex when compared against the electric stimulation. The proposed high-precision tactile stimulator will make it possible to analyze the somatosensory system noninvasively in children in the future.

  17. Natural Whisker-Guided Behavior by Head-Fixed Mice in Tactile Virtual Reality

    PubMed Central

    Sofroniew, Nicholas J.; Cohen, Jeremy D.; Lee, Albert K.

    2014-01-01

    During many natural behaviors the relevant sensory stimuli and motor outputs are difficult to quantify. Furthermore, the high dimensionality of the space of possible stimuli and movements compounds the problem of experimental control. Head fixation facilitates stimulus control and movement tracking, and can be combined with techniques for recording and manipulating neural activity. However, head-fixed mouse behaviors are typically trained through extensive instrumental conditioning. Here we present a whisker-based, tactile virtual reality system for head-fixed mice running on a spherical treadmill. Head-fixed mice displayed natural movements, including running and rhythmic whisking at 16 Hz. Whisking was centered on a set point that changed in concert with running so that more protracted whisking was correlated with faster running. During turning, whiskers moved in an asymmetric manner, with more retracted whisker positions in the turn direction and protracted whisker movements on the other side. Under some conditions, whisker movements were phase-coupled to strides. We simulated a virtual reality tactile corridor, consisting of two moveable walls controlled in a closed-loop by running speed and direction. Mice used their whiskers to track the walls of the winding corridor without training. Whisker curvature changes, which cause forces in the sensory follicles at the base of the whiskers, were tightly coupled to distance from the walls. Our behavioral system allows for precise control of sensorimotor variables during natural tactile navigation. PMID:25031397

  18. A complementary role of intracortical inhibition in age-related tactile degradation and its remodelling in humans

    PubMed Central

    Pleger, Burkhard; Wilimzig, Claudia; Nicolas, Volkmar; Kalisch, Tobias; Ragert, Patrick; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2016-01-01

    Many attempts are currently underway to restore age-related degraded perception, however, the link between restored perception and remodeled brain function remains elusive. To understand remodeling of age-related cortical reorganization we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with assessments of tactile acuity, perceptual learning, and computational modeling. We show that aging leads to tactile degradation parallel to enhanced activity in somatosensory cortex. Using a neural field model we reconciled the empirical age-effects by weakening of cortical lateral inhibition. Using perceptual learning, we were able to partially restore tactile acuity, which however was not accompanied by the expected attenuation of cortical activity, but by a further enhancement. The neural field model reproduced these learning effects solely through a weakening of the amplitude of inhibition. These findings suggest that the restoration of age-related degraded tactile acuity on the cortical level is not achieved by re-strengthening lateral inhibition but by further weakening intracortical inhibition. PMID:27302219

  19. Lingual tactile acuity and food texture preferences among children and their mothers

    PubMed Central

    Lukasewycz, Laura D.; Mennella, Julie A.

    2012-01-01

    Despite anecdotal reports of children being more sensitive to texture than adults, and of texture being one of the main drivers of food aversions, there is a paucity of scientific knowledge on the influence of texture perception on food choice in children. The primary goals of this study were to assess the use of a modified letter-identification task to study lingual tactile acuity, one aspect of oral sensitivity, in children and to examine age-related differences in sensitivity. The secondary goal was to explore whether lingual tactile acuity and age relate to various measures of food choice and preference. To this end, children 7–10 years old (31 girls, 21 boys) and their mothers were tested using identical procedures. To assess lingual tactile acuity, children and mothers were asked to use the tips of their tongues to identify raised alphabetical letters of varying size (2.5–8.0 mm) on Teflon strips. To relate lingual tactile acuity to food texture preferences, a forced-choice questionnaire assessed preferences for foods similar in flavor but different in texture (e.g., smooth versus crunchy peanut butter). Children were able to complete the lingual acuity task as well as their mothers and took less time to assess each letter stimulus (p < 0.001); however, there were no age-related differences in lingual acuity (p = 0.14). Age, but not lingual acuity, related to food texture preferences: mothers preferred harder foods (p < 0.001) and those containing more particles (p < 0.04) than did children, although children‘s preferences became more adult-like with increasing age. The availability of a rapid, child-friendly method for assessing oral sensitivity opens up new possibilities of examining differences in oral tactile perceptions across the life span. That food preferences changed with age and were not related to oral sensitivity underscores the fact that factors such as experience, culture and family food practices have a significant impact on children

  20. Basal forebrain dynamics during a tactile discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Eric; Lou, Jason; Sylvester, Kathryn; McDonough, Annie; Tica, Stefani; Nicolelis, Miguel A

    2014-09-01

    The nucleus basalis (NB) is a cholinergic neuromodulatory structure that projects liberally to the entire cortical mantle and regulates information processing in all cortical layers. Here, we recorded activity from populations of single units in the NB as rats performed a whisker-dependent tactile discrimination task. Over 80% of neurons responded with significant modulation in at least one phase of the task. Such activity started before stimulus onset and continued for seconds after reward delivery. Firing rates monotonically increased with reward magnitude during the task, suggesting that NB neurons are not indicating the absolute deviation from expected reward amounts. Individual neurons also encoded significant amounts of information about stimulus identity. Such robust coding was not present when the same stimuli were delivered to lightly anesthetized animals, suggesting that the NB neurons contain a sensorimotor, rather than purely sensory or motor, representation of the environment. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that neurons in the NB provide a value-laden representation of the sensorimotor state of the animal as it engages in significant behavioral tasks.

  1. Basal forebrain dynamics during a tactile discrimination task

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Eric; Lou, Jason; Sylvester, Kathryn; McDonough, Annie; Tica, Stefani

    2014-01-01

    The nucleus basalis (NB) is a cholinergic neuromodulatory structure that projects liberally to the entire cortical mantle and regulates information processing in all cortical layers. Here, we recorded activity from populations of single units in the NB as rats performed a whisker-dependent tactile discrimination task. Over 80% of neurons responded with significant modulation in at least one phase of the task. Such activity started before stimulus onset and continued for seconds after reward delivery. Firing rates monotonically increased with reward magnitude during the task, suggesting that NB neurons are not indicating the absolute deviation from expected reward amounts. Individual neurons also encoded significant amounts of information about stimulus identity. Such robust coding was not present when the same stimuli were delivered to lightly anesthetized animals, suggesting that the NB neurons contain a sensorimotor, rather than purely sensory or motor, representation of the environment. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that neurons in the NB provide a value-laden representation of the sensorimotor state of the animal as it engages in significant behavioral tasks. PMID:24920019

  2. Exploring creative activity: a software environment for multimedia systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrett, Peter W.; Jardine, David A.

    1992-03-01

    This paper examines various issues related to the theory, design, and implementation of a system that supports creative activity for a multimedia environment. The system incorporates artificial intelligence notions to acquire concepts of the problem domain. This paper investigates this environment by considering a model that is a basis for a system, which supports a history of user interaction. A multimedia system that supports creative activity is problematic. It must function as a tool allowing users to experiment dynamically with their own creative reasoning process--a very nebulous task environment. It should also support the acquisition of domain knowledge so that empirical observation can be further evaluated. This paper aims to illustrate that via the reuse of domain-specific knowledge, closely related ideas can be quickly developed. This approach is useful in the following sense: Multimedia navigational systems hardcode referential links with respect to a web or network. Although users can access or control navigation in a nonlinear (static) manner, these referential links are 'frozen' and can not capture their creative actions, which are essential in tutoring or learning applications. This paper describes a multimedia assistant based on the notion of knowledge- links, which allows users to navigate through creative information in a nonlinear (dynamic) fashion. A selection of prototype code based on object-oriented techniques and logic programming partially demonstrates this.

  3. Exploratory Procedures of Tactile Images in Visually Impaired and Blindfolded Sighted Children: How They Relate to Their Consequent Performance in Drawing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vinter, Annie; Fernandes, Viviane; Orlandi, Oriana; Morgan, Pascal

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to compare the types of exploratory procedures employed by children when exploring bidimensional tactile patterns and correlate the use of these procedures with the children's shape drawing performance. 18 early blind children, 20 children with low vision and 24 age-matched blindfolded sighted children aged…

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27187496

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27187496

  7. Shear sensitive silicon piezoresistive tactile sensor prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lin; Beebe, David J.

    1998-09-01

    Shear sensing ability it important in many fields such as robotics, rehabilitation, teleoperation and human computer interfaces. A shear sensitive tactile sensor prototype is developed based on the principles of the piezoresistive effect in silicon, and using microfabrication technology. Analogous to the conventional silicon piezoresistive pressure sensor, piezoresistive resistors embedded in a silicon diaphragm are used to sense stress change. An additional mesa is fabricated on the top of the diaphragm and serves to transform an applied force to a stress. Both the shear and normal components of the force are resolved by measuring the resistance changes of the four resistors placed at the corners of a prism mesa. The prototype is tested both statically and dynamically when a spatial force of 0 - 300 gram is applied. Good linearity (R > 0.98) and high repeatability are observed. In this paper, the force sensing mechanism and force determination approach are described. The fabrication process is presented. The preliminary testing results are presented and discussed.

  8. Wearable tactile sensor based on flexible microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Joo Chuan; Yu, Jiahao; Koh, Zhao Ming; Wang, Zhiping; Lim, Chwee Teck

    2016-08-16

    In this work, we develop a liquid-based thin film microfluidic tactile sensor of high flexibility, robustness and sensitivity. The microfluidic elastomeric structure comprises a pressure sensitive region and parallel arcs that interface with screen-printed electrodes. The microfluidic sensor is functionalized with a highly conductive metallic liquid, eutectic gallium indium (eGaIn). Microdeformation on the pressure sensor results in fluid displacement which corresponds to a change in electrical resistance. By emulating parallel electrical circuitry in our microchannel design, we reduced the overall electrical resistance of the sensor, therefore enhancing its device sensitivity. Correspondingly, we report a device workable within a range of 4 to 100 kPa and sensitivity of up to 0.05 kPa(-1). We further demonstrate its robustness in withstanding >2500 repeated loading and unloading cycles. Finally, as a proof of concept, we demonstrate that the sensors may be multiplexed to detect forces at multiple regions of the hand. In particular, our sensors registered unique electronic signatures in object grasping, which could provide better assessment of finger dexterity. PMID:27438370

  9. Wearable tactile sensor based on flexible microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Joo Chuan; Yu, Jiahao; Koh, Zhao Ming; Wang, Zhiping; Lim, Chwee Teck

    2016-08-16

    In this work, we develop a liquid-based thin film microfluidic tactile sensor of high flexibility, robustness and sensitivity. The microfluidic elastomeric structure comprises a pressure sensitive region and parallel arcs that interface with screen-printed electrodes. The microfluidic sensor is functionalized with a highly conductive metallic liquid, eutectic gallium indium (eGaIn). Microdeformation on the pressure sensor results in fluid displacement which corresponds to a change in electrical resistance. By emulating parallel electrical circuitry in our microchannel design, we reduced the overall electrical resistance of the sensor, therefore enhancing its device sensitivity. Correspondingly, we report a device workable within a range of 4 to 100 kPa and sensitivity of up to 0.05 kPa(-1). We further demonstrate its robustness in withstanding >2500 repeated loading and unloading cycles. Finally, as a proof of concept, we demonstrate that the sensors may be multiplexed to detect forces at multiple regions of the hand. In particular, our sensors registered unique electronic signatures in object grasping, which could provide better assessment of finger dexterity.

  10. Exploring Park Director Roles in Promoting Community Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Terence; Derose, Kathryn Pitkin; Cohen, Deborah A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Parks provide numerous opportunities for physical activity (PA). Previous studies have evaluated parks’ physical features, but few have assessed how park staff influence PA. Methods We conducted semi -structured interviews with 49 park directors, focusing on perceptions of their role, park programs, marketing and outreach, external collaborations, and PA promotion. Directors also completed a questionnaire providing demographics, education and training, and other personal characteristics. Results Park directors’ descriptions of their roles varied widely, from primarily administrative to emphasizing community interaction, though most (70–80%) reported offering programs and community interaction as primary. Including PA in current programs and adding PA-specific programs were the most commonly reported ways of increasing PA. Also noted were facility and staffing improvements, and conducting citywide marketing. Many directors felt inadequately trained in marketing. Most parks reported community collaborations, but they appeared fairly superficial. An increasing administrative burden and bureaucracy were recurring themes throughout the interviews. Conclusions Staff training in marketing and operation of PA programs is needed. Partnerships with health departments and organizations can help facilitate the PA promotion potential of parks. As there are competing views of how parks should be managed, standardized benchmarks to evaluate efficiency may help to optimize usage and PA promotion. PMID:22733875

  11. Extravehicular Activity Asteroid Exploration and Sample Collection Capability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sipila, Stephanie A.; Scoville, Zebulon C.; Bowie, Jonathan T.; Buffington, Jesse A.

    2014-01-01

    One of the challenging primary objectives associated with NASA's Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM) is to demonstrate deep space Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and tools and to obtain asteroid samples to return to Earth for further study. Prior Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) spacewalks have benefited from engineered EVA interfaces which have been designed and manufactured on Earth. Rigid structurally mounted handrails, and tools with customized interfaces and restraints optimize EVA performance. For ARCM, EVA complexity increases due to the uncertainty of the asteroid properties. The variability of rock size, shape and composition, as well as behavior of the asteroid capture mechanism will complicate EVA translation, tool restraint, and body stabilization. The unknown asteroid hardness and brittleness will complicate tool use. The rock surface will introduce added safety concerns for cut gloves and debris control. Feasible solutions to meet ARCM EVA objectives were identified using experience gained during Apollo, Shuttle, and ISS EVAs, terrestrial mountaineering practices, NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16 mission, and during Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory testing in the Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit (MACES) suit. This paper will summarize the overall operational concepts for conducting EVAs for the ARCM mission including translation paths and body restraint methods, potential tools used to extract the samples, design implications for the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV) for EVA, and the results of early development testing of potential EVA tasks.

  12. Wiki-Based Collaborative Writing Activities in EFL Classrooms: Exploring Teachers' Intervention in the Collaborative Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alghasab, Maha

    2014-01-01

    This pilot study was designed to explore EFL teachers' and students' online interaction during wiki based collaborative writing activities. It aims to explore the collaborative behaviours that students engaged in and to what extent the teachers' intervention can promote students' collaboration. The study has a multiple qualitative case study…

  13. Exploring Social and Environmental Factors Affecting Adolescents' Participation in Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dagkas, Symeon; Stathi, Afroditi

    2007-01-01

    This study explores the social factors that influence young people's participation in school and out of school physical activities. Fifty-two 16-year-old adolescents from different socioeconomic backgrounds in one suburban and one inner-city secondary school in the Midlands, UK, participated in group interviews which explored their perceptions…

  14. Locomotor activity, object exploration and space preference in children with autism and Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kawa, Rafał; Pisula, Ewa

    2010-01-01

    There have been ambiguous accounts of exploration in children with intellectual disabilities with respect to the course of that exploration, and in particular the relationship between the features of explored objects and exploratory behaviour. It is unclear whether reduced exploratory activity seen with object exploration but not with locomotor activity is autism-specific or if it is also present in children with other disabilities. The purpose of the present study was to compare preschool children with autism with their peers with Down syndrome and typical development in terms of locomotor activity and object exploration and to determine whether the complexity of explored objects affects the course of exploration activity in children with autism. In total there were 27 children in the study. The experimental room was divided into three zones equipped with experimental objects providing visual stimulation of varying levels of complexity. Our results indicate that children with autism and Down syndrome differ from children with typical development in terms of some measures of object exploration (i.e. looking at objects) and time spent in the zone with the most visually complex objects.

  15. Science Activities for Teachers and Families To Explore with Young Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abdi, S. Wali; Freilich, Mark B.; Taylor, Satomi Izumi

    1998-01-01

    Describes science activities for preschool through primary-grade children, focusing on goals of science education, science processes, and characteristics of high-quality science activities. Notes that hands-on activities explore scientific concepts such as volume, gravity, heat conductivity, and condensation. (KB)

  16. Generating STEAM with Engaging Lunar Exploration Education/Public Outreach Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Runyon, C. J.; Hall, C.; Joyner, E.; Daou, D.; Hurd, D.; Boyce, K.; Garver, K.

    2012-03-01

    Our E/PO activities and programs present the ongoing story of lunar exploration and discovery and help teachers engage students in learning how the Moon and planetary surfaces form. Outreach materials highlight not just STEM, but also fine arts.

  17. Microfabricated Tactile Sensors for Biomedical Applications: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Saccomandi, Paola; Schena, Emiliano; Oddo, Calogero Maria; Zollo, Loredana; Silvestri, Sergio; Guglielmelli, Eugenio

    2014-01-01

    During the last decades, tactile sensors based on different sensing principles have been developed due to the growing interest in robotics and, mainly, in medical applications. Several technological solutions have been employed to design tactile sensors; in particular, solutions based on microfabrication present several attractive features. Microfabrication technologies allow for developing miniaturized sensors with good performance in terms of metrological properties (e.g., accuracy, sensitivity, low power consumption, and frequency response). Small size and good metrological properties heighten the potential role of tactile sensors in medicine, making them especially attractive to be integrated in smart interfaces and microsurgical tools. This paper provides an overview of microfabricated tactile sensors, focusing on the mean principles of sensing, i.e., piezoresistive, piezoelectric and capacitive sensors. These sensors are employed for measuring contact properties, in particular force and pressure, in three main medical fields, i.e., prosthetics and artificial skin, minimal access surgery and smart interfaces for biomechanical analysis. The working principles and the metrological properties of the most promising tactile, microfabricated sensors are analyzed, together with their application in medicine. Finally, the new emerging technologies in these fields are briefly described. PMID:25587432

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. Visual detail about the body modulates tactile localisation biases.

    PubMed

    Margolis, Aaron N; Longo, Matthew R

    2015-02-01

    The localisation of tactile stimuli requires the integration of visual and somatosensory inputs within an internal representation of the body surface and is prone to consistent bias. Joints may play a role in segmenting such internal body representations, and may therefore influence tactile localisation biases, although the nature of this influence remains unclear. Here, we investigate the relationship between conceptual knowledge of joint locations and tactile localisation biases on the hand. In one task, participants localised tactile stimuli applied to the dorsum of their hand. A distal localisation bias was observed in all participants, consistent with previous results. We also manipulated the availability of visual information during this task, to determine whether the absence of this information could account for the distal bias observed here and by Mancini et al. (Neuropsychologia 49:1194-1201, 2011). The observed distal bias increased in magnitude when visual information was restricted, without a corresponding decrease in precision. In a separate task, the same participants indicated, from memory, knuckle locations on a silhouette image of their hand. Analogous distal biases were also seen in the knuckle localisation task. The accuracy of conceptual joint knowledge was not correlated with tactile localisation bias magnitude, although a similarity in observed bias direction suggests that both tasks may rely on a common, higher-order body representation. These results also suggest that distortions of conceptual body representation may be more common in healthy individuals than previously thought.

  20. Haptic and Tactile Adjectives Are Consistently Mapped onto Color Space.

    PubMed

    Jraissati, Yasmina; Slobodenyuk, Nadiya; Kanso, Ali; Ghanem, Lama; Elhajj, Imad

    2016-01-01

    Cross-modal associations refer to non-arbitrary associations of features across sensory modalities. Such associations have been observed between many different sensory features. One association that has rarely been studied so far is between touch and color. In this study, participants were asked to match tactile and haptic adjectives to color samples shown individually on a screen. They could select one to 11 tactile and haptic terms, presented in 11 pairs of opposed adjectives. The results showed a regular pattern in the way tactile and haptic terms were matched to color. Our results further revealed that the colors to which tactile and haptic terms were matched did not fall within the boundaries of color lexical categories, suggesting that the associations were not based on lexicon--despite the frequent occurrence of linguistic expressions such as 'soft pink', not all colors called 'pink' were matched to 'soft'. In contrast with one recent study, the distribution of tactile and haptic terms across the Munsell array suggests that along with brightness and chroma, hue was also relevant to participants' responses. Specifically in the case of hue, several opposed adjectives were relatively well matched to opposed colors, along the orthogonal Yellow/Blue and Red/Green axes, which are suggested to structure the space of hue experience. Possible accounts of these results are considered. PMID:27311299

  1. Microfabricated tactile sensors for biomedical applications: a review.

    PubMed

    Saccomandi, Paola; Schena, Emiliano; Oddo, Calogero Maria; Zollo, Loredana; Silvestri, Sergio; Guglielmelli, Eugenio

    2014-12-01

    During the last decades, tactile sensors based on different sensing principles have been developed due to the growing interest in robotics and, mainly, in medical applications. Several technological solutions have been employed to design tactile sensors; in particular, solutions based on microfabrication present several attractive features. Microfabrication technologies allow for developing miniaturized sensors with good performance in terms of metrological properties (e.g., accuracy, sensitivity, low power consumption, and frequency response). Small size and good metrological properties heighten the potential role of tactile sensors in medicine, making them especially attractive to be integrated in smart interfaces and microsurgical tools. This paper provides an overview of microfabricated tactile sensors, focusing on the mean principles of sensing, i.e., piezoresistive, piezoelectric and capacitive sensors. These sensors are employed for measuring contact properties, in particular force and pressure, in three main medical fields, i.e., prosthetics and artificial skin, minimal access surgery and smart interfaces for biomechanical analysis. The working principles and the metrological properties of the most promising tactile, microfabricated sensors are analyzed, together with their application in medicine. Finally, the new emerging technologies in these fields are briefly described.

  2. A predictive nature for tactile awareness? Insights from damaged and intact central-nervous-system functioning.

    PubMed

    Pia, Lorenzo; Garbarini, Francesca; Burin, Dalila; Fossataro, Carlotta; Berti, Anna

    2015-01-01

    In the present paper, we will attempt to gain hints regarding the nature of tactile awareness in humans. At first, we will review some recent literature showing that an actual tactile experience can emerge in absence of any tactile stimulus (e.g., tactile hallucinations, tactile illusions). According to the current model of tactile awareness, we will subsequently argue that such (false) tactile perceptions are subserved by the same anatomo-functional mechanisms known to underpin actual perception. On these bases, we will discuss the hypothesis that tactile awareness is strongly linked to expected rather than actual stimuli. Indeed, this hypothesis is in line with the notion that the human brain has a strong predictive, rather than reactive, nature. PMID:26042020

  3. A predictive nature for tactile awareness? Insights from damaged and intact central-nervous-system functioning

    PubMed Central

    Pia, Lorenzo; Garbarini, Francesca; Burin, Dalila; Fossataro, Carlotta; Berti, Anna

    2015-01-01

    In the present paper, we will attempt to gain hints regarding the nature of tactile awareness in humans. At first, we will review some recent literature showing that an actual tactile experience can emerge in absence of any tactile stimulus (e.g., tactile hallucinations, tactile illusions). According to the current model of tactile awareness, we will subsequently argue that such (false) tactile perceptions are subserved by the same anatomo-functional mechanisms known to underpin actual perception. On these bases, we will discuss the hypothesis that tactile awareness is strongly linked to expected rather than actual stimuli. Indeed, this hypothesis is in line with the notion that the human brain has a strong predictive, rather than reactive, nature. PMID:26042020

  4. MoS2 -Based Tactile Sensor for Electronic Skin Applications.

    PubMed

    Park, Minhoon; Park, Yong Ju; Chen, Xiang; Park, Yon-Kyu; Kim, Min-Seok; Ahn, Jong-Hyun

    2016-04-01

    A conformal tactile sensor based on MoS2 and graphene is demonstrated. The MoS2 tactile sensor exhibits excellent sensitivity, high uniformity, and good repeatability in terms of various strains. In addition, the outstanding flexibility enables the MoS2 strain tactile sensor to be realized conformally on a finger tip. The MoS2 -based tactile sensor can be utilized for wearable electronics, such as electronic skin. PMID:26833813

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

    PubMed Central

    Patanè, Luca; Hellbach, Sven; Krause, André F.; Arena, Paolo; Dürr, Volker

    2012-01-01

    Insects carry a pair of antennae on their head: multimodal sensory organs that serve a wide range of sensory-guided behaviors. During locomotion, antennae are involved in near-range orientation, for example in detecting, localizing, 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 localization in a polar coordinate system. Finally, the damping behavior 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 localization 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 (ANN) 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 factorization. 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 input signals

  6. Vision of embodied rubber hands enhances tactile distractor processing.

    PubMed

    Wesslein, Ann-Katrin; Spence, Charles; Frings, Christian

    2015-02-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that viewing one's hand can induce tactile response compatibility effects at the hands. Here, we investigated the question of whether vision of one's own hand is actually necessary. The Eriksen flanker task was combined with the rubber hand illusion in order to determine whether tactile distractors presented to the hand would be processed up to the level of response selection when a pair of rubber hands was seen (while one's own hands were not). Our results demonstrate that only if the rubber hands are perceived as belonging to one's own body, is enhanced distractor processing (up to the level of response selection) observed at the hands. In conclusion, vision of a pair of fake hands enhances tactile distractor processing at the hands if, and only if, it happens to be incorporated into the body representation.

  7. Chondroitin sulfate attenuates formalin-induced persistent tactile allodynia.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, Wataru; Yamada, Kotaro; Ogata, Yoshiki; Nakagawasai, Osamu; Onodera, Katsuhito; Sakurai, Hidetomo; Tan-No, Koichi

    2016-08-01

    We examined the effect of chondroitin sulfate (CS), a compound used in the treatment of osteoarthritis and joint pain, on the formalin-induced tactile allodynia in mice. A repeated oral administration of CS (300 mg/kg, b.i.d.) significantly ameliorated the formalin-induced tactile allodynia from day 10 after formalin injection. On day 14, the phosphorylation of spinal p38 MAPK and subsequent increase in c-Fos-immunoreactive dorsal lumbar neurons were attenuated by the repeated administration of CS. These findings suggest that CS attenuates formalin-induced tactile allodynia through the inhibition of p38 MAPK phosphorylation and subsequent up-regulation of c-Fos expression in the dorsal lumbar spinal cord. PMID:27567476

  8. A Finite element model of tactile flow for softness perception.

    PubMed

    Battaglia, Edoardo; Bianchi, Matteo; D'Angelo, Maria Laura; D'Imperio, Mariapaola; Cannella, Ferdinando; Scilingo, Enzo P; Bicchi, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Touch is an extremely dynamic sense. To take into account this aspect, it has been hypothesized that there are mechanisms in the brain that specialize in processing dynamic tactile stimuli, in a way not too dissimilar from what happens for optical flow in dynamic vision. The concept of tactile flow, related to the rate of expansion of isostrain volumes in the human fingerpad, was used to explain some perceptual illusions as well as mechanisms of human softness perception. In this paper we describe a computational model of tactile flow, and apply it to a finite element model of interaction between deformable bodies. The shape and material properties of the bodies are modeled from those of a human fingertip interacting with specimens with different softness properties. Results show that the rate of expansion of isostrain volumes can be used to discriminate different materials in terms of their softness characteristics.

  9. Optical based tactile shear and normal load sensor

    SciTech Connect

    Salisbury, Curt Michael

    2015-06-09

    Various technologies described herein pertain to a tactile sensor that senses normal load and/or shear load. The tactile sensor includes a first layer and an optically transparent layer bonded together. At least a portion of the first layer is made of optically reflective material. The optically transparent layer is made of resilient material (e.g., clear silicone rubber). The tactile sensor includes light emitter/light detector pair(s), which respectively detect either normal load or shear load. Light emitter(s) emit light that traverses through the optically transparent layer and reflects off optically reflective material of the first layer, and light detector(s) detect and measure intensity of reflected light. When a normal load is applied, the optically transparent layer compresses, causing a change in reflected light intensity. When shear load is applied, a boundary between optically reflective material and optically absorptive material is laterally displaced, causing a change in reflected light intensity.

  10. Effects of a Wearable, Tactile Aid on Language Comprehension of Prelingual Profoundly Deaf Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Proctor, Adele

    Factors influencing the use of nonacoustic aids (such as visual displays and tactile devices) with the hearing impaired are reviewed. The benefits of tactile devices in improving speech reading/lipreading and speech are pointed out. Tactile aids which provide information on rhythm, rate, intensity, and duration of speech increase lipreading and…

  11. Robot-Assisted Proprioceptive Training with Added Vibro-Tactile Feedback Enhances Somatosensory and Motor Performance

    PubMed Central

    Cuppone, Anna Vera; Squeri, Valentina; Semprini, Marianna; Masia, Lorenzo; Konczak, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the trainability of the proprioceptive sense and explored the relationship between proprioception and motor learning. With vision blocked, human learners had to perform goal-directed wrist movements relying solely on proprioceptive/haptic cues to reach several haptically specified targets. One group received additional somatosensory movement error feedback in form of vibro-tactile cues applied to the skin of the forearm. We used a haptic robotic device for the wrist and implemented a 3-day training regimen that required learners to make spatially precise goal-directed wrist reaching movements without vision. We assessed whether training improved the acuity of the wrist joint position sense. In addition, we checked if sensory learning generalized to the motor domain and improved spatial precision of wrist tracking movements that were not trained. The main findings of the study are: First, proprioceptive acuity of the wrist joint position sense improved after training for the group that received the combined proprioceptive/haptic and vibro-tactile feedback (VTF). Second, training had no impact on the spatial accuracy of the untrained tracking task. However, learners who had received VTF significantly reduced their reliance on haptic guidance feedback when performing the untrained motor task. That is, concurrent VTF was highly salient movement feedback and obviated the need for haptic feedback. Third, VTF can be also provided by the limb not involved in the task. Learners who received VTF to the contralateral limb equally benefitted. In conclusion, somatosensory training can significantly enhance proprioceptive acuity within days when learning is coupled with vibro-tactile sensory cues that provide feedback about movement errors. The observable sensory improvements in proprioception facilitates motor learning and such learning may generalize to the sensorimotor control of the untrained motor tasks. The implications of these findings for

  12. Lumbar tactile acuity is near identical between sides in healthy pain-free participants.

    PubMed

    Wand, Benedict Martin; Catley, Mark Jon; Luomajoki, Hannu Antero; O'Sullivan, Kieran James; Di Pietro, Flavia; O'Connell, Neil Edward; Moseley, G Lorimer

    2014-10-01

    A growing body of literature suggests that alterations in brain structure and function are a feature of chronic back pain. Tactile acuity is considered a clinical signature of primary somatosensory representation and offers a simple measure of cortical reorganisation. Clinical interpretation of test scores from an individual patient is hampered by variance in published normative values and less than ideal inter-rater reliability. These problems might be mitigated in people with unilateral back pain by using the patient as their own control and comparing tactile acuity at the painful site to performance at the corresponding position on the non-painful side. The first step in exploring this approach is to quantify the normal side-to-side difference in healthy populations. We pooled data from three previous studies that measured lumbar tactile acuity bilaterally in healthy controls using similar protocols. We calculated the mean and variance of the absolute error between sides, the standard error of measurement and the reliable change index (RCI). The mean difference between sides was 3.2 mm (±5.2) when assessed vertically and 1.9 mm (±3.2) when assessed horizontally. The standard error of measurement was 4.2 mm when assessed vertically and 2.7 mm when assessed horizontally. The RCI suggests that differences of greater than 13 mm when assessed horizontally and 17 mm when assessed vertically equate to 95% confidence that a difference truly exists. Several assumptions related to the application of this approach need to be investigated further.

  13. Sensing Senses: Tactile Feedback for the Prevention of Decubitus Ulcers

    PubMed Central

    Verbunt, Marcel

    2009-01-01

    Decubitus ulcers, also known as pressure sores, is a major problem in health care, in particular for patients with spinal cord injuries. These patients cannot feel the discomfort that would urge healthy people to change their posture. We describe a system that uses a sensor mat to detect problematic postures and provides tactile feedback to the user. The results of our preliminary study with healthy subjects show that the tactile feedback is a viable option to spoken feedback. We envision the system being used for rehabilitation games, but also for everyday Decubitus ulcers prevention. PMID:19949852

  14. Cortical correlates of perceptual decision making during tactile spatial pattern discrimination.

    PubMed

    Li Hegner, Yiwen; Lindner, Axel; Braun, Christoph

    2015-09-01

    Perceptual decision making involves a distributed cortical network including areas related to sensory feature extraction, decision formation, and finally signalling the decision through a motor response. Although these processing steps are supposed to occur in sequence, the seemingly instant mapping of a perceptual decision onto a motor response renders these processes almost indistinguishable. To dissociate cortical areas related to sensory decision making from areas that prepare the subsequent motor response, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging during a tactile spatial pattern discrimination task with interleaved immediate and delayed response conditions. Decision difficulty was manipulated parametrically by adding spatial noise to the tactile patterns, resulting in a rise in decision time with increasing noise. We assumed that areas involved in making the decision should show a variation in their activation with decision time and irrespective of whether (immediate response condition) or not (delayed response condition) a motor response could be prepared in advance. To exhibit these putative decision areas, we used response time, as was obtained in the immediate response condition, as parametric predictor for the difficulty-dependent variations of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD)-activity in both response conditions. BOLD activations in right (contralateral) postcentral sulcus, right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and bilateral anterior insula (aINS) reflected this parametric modulation in both response conditions, suggesting a role of these areas in tactile decisions independent of decision-specific motor preparation. Furthermore, a multivariate pattern analysis performed on the BOLD responses in the delayed response condition for a single difficulty level independently validated IPS and aINS as decision-related areas.

  15. Cortical correlates of perceptual decision making during tactile spatial pattern discrimination.

    PubMed

    Li Hegner, Yiwen; Lindner, Axel; Braun, Christoph

    2015-09-01

    Perceptual decision making involves a distributed cortical network including areas related to sensory feature extraction, decision formation, and finally signalling the decision through a motor response. Although these processing steps are supposed to occur in sequence, the seemingly instant mapping of a perceptual decision onto a motor response renders these processes almost indistinguishable. To dissociate cortical areas related to sensory decision making from areas that prepare the subsequent motor response, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging during a tactile spatial pattern discrimination task with interleaved immediate and delayed response conditions. Decision difficulty was manipulated parametrically by adding spatial noise to the tactile patterns, resulting in a rise in decision time with increasing noise. We assumed that areas involved in making the decision should show a variation in their activation with decision time and irrespective of whether (immediate response condition) or not (delayed response condition) a motor response could be prepared in advance. To exhibit these putative decision areas, we used response time, as was obtained in the immediate response condition, as parametric predictor for the difficulty-dependent variations of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD)-activity in both response conditions. BOLD activations in right (contralateral) postcentral sulcus, right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and bilateral anterior insula (aINS) reflected this parametric modulation in both response conditions, suggesting a role of these areas in tactile decisions independent of decision-specific motor preparation. Furthermore, a multivariate pattern analysis performed on the BOLD responses in the delayed response condition for a single difficulty level independently validated IPS and aINS as decision-related areas. PMID:26095426

  16. Exploring Ohio Police Preparedness for Active Shooter Incidents in Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pignatelli, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    School shootings, such as Columbine, have prompted police executives to explore response tactics and preparedness efforts for combating active shooters. This qualitative exploratory case study focused on specific preparation initiatives that have been implemented for the purpose of dealing with active shooters. Being prepared is one of the only…

  17. Policy, Pedagogy, and Priorities: Exploring Stakeholder Perspectives on Active Learning in the Maldives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Di Biase, Rhonda

    2015-01-01

    Challenges of implementing active-learning reform have been reported across a range of countries and include the need for greater attention to contextual factors and practical realities in the reform process. This study investigates how teachers enact active-learning pedagogy within the Maldives. Using design-based research, it explores--through…

  18. Exploring Socio-Ecological Factors Influencing Active and Inactive Spanish Students in Years 12 and 13

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Devís-Devís, José; Beltrán-Carrillo, Vicente J.; Peiró-Velert, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores socio-ecological factors and their interplay that emerge from a qualitative study and influence adolescents' physical activity and sport participation. A total of 13 boys and 7 girls active and inactive adolescents, from years 12 and 13 and different types of school (state and private), participated in semi-structured…

  19. 48 CFR 1852.228-78 - Cross-waiver of liability for science or space exploration activities unrelated to the...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... for science or space exploration activities unrelated to the International Space Station. 1852.228-78... Cross-waiver of liability for science or space exploration activities unrelated to the International... Liability for Science or Space Exploration Activities Unrelated to the International Space Station (OCT...

  20. 48 CFR 1852.228-78 - Cross-waiver of liability for science or space exploration activities unrelated to the...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... for science or space exploration activities unrelated to the International Space Station. 1852.228-78... Cross-waiver of liability for science or space exploration activities unrelated to the International... Liability for Science or Space Exploration Activities Unrelated to the International Space Station (OCT...

  1. 14 CFR § 1266.104 - Cross-waiver of liability for launch agreements for science or space exploration activities...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... agreements for science or space exploration activities unrelated to the International Space Station. § 1266... exploration activities unrelated to the International Space Station. (a) The purpose of this section is to... exploration activities that are not related to the International Space Station (ISS) but involve a launch....

  2. Ionic Polymer Metal Composites As Tactile Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mieney, Chris

    . Overall, the data shows that regardless of the electrolyte of choice, IPMCs demonstrate a repeatable response to a force input and show promise for either precision or "binary" tactile sensors.

  3. Fluid–Structure Interaction-Based Biomechanical Perception Model for Tactile Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zheng

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24260228

  4. Planetary protection R&D activities in the ESA exploration programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, G.

    Since the begin of the Aurora exploration programme in 2001 the Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration Directorate HME of ESA has invested in research and development activities related to planetary protection Some of these activities are focused on the recently approved ExoMars mission others are applicable to Mars missions in general including MSR the technology development of the latter one being part of the exploration core programme The proposed activities have been approved and initiated An overview of the activities and first results will be presented The main activities are begin itemize item Bioburden and Biodiversity evaluation in S C Facilities this activity will cover a period of almost two years and include the standard assay extension of the standard assay culture conditions identification of isolates using 16S rDNA via PCR and test of a rapid spore assay Protocols are developed in coordination with NASA-JPL item Extension of dry heat microbial reduction process to higher temperatures this activity will include a detailed study of the humidity effect on the inactivation kinetics This activity is in coordination with efforts at NASA-JPL item Validation of a dry heat sterilization process item Development of a low-temperature sterilization method the focus of this activity is on vapor hydrogen peroxide item Robotic capabilities for clean AIV AIT item Decontamination of man-rated systems item Definition of functional requirements for a Mars Sample Return Biological Containment Facility end itemize In

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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. PMID:26605086

  6. Planar and finger-shaped optical tactile sensors for robotic applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begej, Stefan

    1988-01-01

    Progress is described regarding the development of optical tactile sensors specifically designed for application to dexterous robotics. These sensors operate on optical principles involving the frustration of total internal reflection at a waveguide/elastomer interface and produce a grey-scale tactile image that represents the normal (vertical) forces of contact. The first tactile sensor discussed is a compact, 32 x 32 planar sensor array intended for mounting on a parallel-jaw gripper. Optical fibers were employed to convey the tactile image to a CCD camera and microprocessor-based image analysis system. The second sensor had the shape and size of a human fingertip and was designed for a dexterous robotic hand. It contained 256 sensing sites (taxels) distributed in a dual-density pattern that included a tactile fovea near the tip measuring 13 x 13 mm and containing 169 taxels. The design and construction details of these tactile sensors are presented, in addition to photographs of tactile imprints.

  7. Simultaneous Stimulus Preexposure Enhances Human Tactile Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodríguez, Gabriel; Angulo, Rocío

    2014-01-01

    An experiment with human participants established a novel procedure to assess perceptual learning with tactile stimuli. Participants received unsupervised exposure to two sandpaper surfaces differing in roughness (A and B). The ability of the participants to discriminate between the stimuli was subsequently assessed on a same/different test. It…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. A User Study on Tactile Graphic Generation Methods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krufka, S. E.; Barner, K. E.

    2006-01-01

    Methods to automatically convert graphics into tactile representations have been recently investigated, creating either raised-line or relief images. In particular, we briefly review one raised-line method where important features are emphasized. This paper focuses primarily on the effects of such emphasis and on comparing both raised-line and…

  10. To What Extent Do Gestalt Grouping Principles Influence Tactile Perception?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Since their formulation by the Gestalt movement more than a century ago, the principles of perceptual grouping have primarily been investigated in the visual modality and, to a lesser extent, in the auditory modality. The present review addresses the question of whether the same grouping principles also affect the perception of tactile stimuli.…

  11. A Tactile Stimulator for Studying Passive Shape Perception

    PubMed Central

    Lane, John W.; Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Yau, Jeffrey M.; Pembeci, Izzet; Hsiao, Steven S.

    2009-01-01

    We describe a computer-controlled tactile stimulator for use in human psychophysical and monkey neurophysiological studies of 3-D shape perception. The stimulator is constructed primarily of commercially available parts, as well as a few custom-built pieces for which we will supply diagrams upon request. There are two components to the stimulator: a tactile component and a hand positioner component. The tactile component consists of multiple stimulating units that move about in a Cartesian plane above the restrained hand. Each stimulating unit contains a servo-controlled linear motor with an attached small rotary stepper motor, allowing arbitrary stimulus shapes to contact the skin through vibration, static indentation, or scanning. The hand positioner component modifies the conformation of the restrained hand through a set of mechanical linkages under motorized control. The present design controls the amount of spread between digits two and three, the spread between digits four and three, and the degree to which digit three is flexed or extended, thereby simulating different conformations of the hand in contact with objects. This design is easily modified to suit the needs of the experimenter. Because the two components of the stimulator are independently controlled, the stimulator allows for parametric study of the mechanoreceptive and proprioceptive contributions to 3-D tactile shape perception. PMID:19800916

  12. Tactile feedback to the palm using arbitrarily shaped DEA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mößinger, Holger; Haus, Henry; Kauer, Michaela; Schlaak, Helmut F.

    2014-03-01

    Tactile stimulation enhances user experience and efficiency in human machine interaction by providing information via another sensory channel to the human brain. DEA as tactile interfaces have been in the focus of research in recent years. Examples are (vibro-) tactile keyboards or Braille displays. These applications of DEA focus mainly on interfacing with the user's fingers or fingertips only - demonstrating the high spatial resolution achievable with DEA. Besides providing a high resolution, the flexibility of DEA also allows designing free form surfaces equipped with single actuators or actuator matrices which can be fitted to the surface of the human skin. The actuators can then be used to provide tactile stimuli to different areas of the body, not to the fingertips only. Utilizing and demonstrating this flexibility we designed a free form DEA pad shaped to fit into the inside of the human palm. This pad consists of four single actuators which can provide e.g. directional information such as left, right, up and down. To demonstrate the value of such free form actuators we manufactured a PC-mouse using 3d printing processes. The actuator pad is mounted on the back of the mouse, resting against the palm while operating it. Software on the PC allows control of the vibration patterns displayed by the actuators. This allows helping the user by raising attention to certain directions or by discriminating between different modes like "pick" or "manipulate". Results of first tests of the device show an improved user experience while operating the PC mouse.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  14. Reproducibility of tactile assessments for children with unilateral cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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 Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments: 75% (90%); single-point localization: 69% (97%); static two-point discrimination: 93% (97%); and moving two-point discrimination: 87% (97%). Test-retest reliability for registration and unilateral spatial tactile perception tests was high in children with CP (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.79-0.96). Two tests demonstrated a learning effect for children with CP, double simultaneous and tactile texture perception. Stereognosis had a ceiling effect for TDC (ICC = 0) and variability for children with CP (% exact agreement = 47%-50%). The Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, single-point localization, and both static and moving two-point discrimination are recommended for use in practice and research. Although recommended to provide a comprehensive assessment, the measures of double simultaneous, stereognosis, and tactile texture perception may not be responsive to change over time in children with unilateral CP.

  15. A Test of Tactile Concentration and Short-Term Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kainthola, S. D.; Singh, T. B.

    1992-01-01

    Twenty students and 45 adults with visual impairments or blindness were administered a test of tactile concentration and short-term memory involving the reproduction of the order of finger stimulation using the Finger Knocking Box. Reliability and validity scores indicated encouraging results with use of the instrument. (JDD)

  16. Flexible PZT Thin Film Tactile Sensor for Biomedical Monitoring

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23698262

  17. Tactile Assessment in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Clinimetric Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

    This review evaluates the clinimetric properties of tactile assessments for children with cerebral palsy. Assessment of registration was reported using Semmes Weinstein Monofilaments (SWMs) or exteroception. Assessment of two-point discrimination was reported using the Disk-Criminator[R] or paperclip methods; Single point localization and double…

  18. Thermal Variation and Tactile Discrimination in the Dominant Hand.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Standring, John J.; Gronbech, C. Eric

    A study sought to ascertain the effect, if any, exposure to different temperatures would have on an individual's ability to discriminate between different tactile stimuli. Ten young adult males were repeatedly subjected to emersion of their dominant hand in water ranging in temperature from ice, to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (F), in increments of 15…

  19. [Psychological measurement of tactile-kinesthetic perception in early childhood].

    PubMed

    Kiese-Himmel, C; Höch, J; Liebeck, H

    1998-04-01

    The perception theory of Affolter (1987), the theory of sensory integration of Ayres (1979, 1984) as well as the development theory of Piaget (1973) consider sensorimotor experiences as a basis for the child's cognitive development. Tactile-kinesthetic perception has hereby a central position. In the German-speaking psychology, no standardized tests exist to measure the developmental age of tactile-kinesthetic perception in early childhood. The subtests of neuropsychological batteries have not been primarily constructed for young children, therefore they may not portray the age dependence of tactile-kinesthetic perception exactly. That is why we have collected a pool of items, empirically based descriptors of tactile-kinesthetic behavior, to test this perceptual modality. Then we proved it in a series of pretests. The resulting preliminary developmental test contains 7 functions: Localization of touch, pressure sensibility, two-point-discrimination, finger identification, object stereognosis, stereognosis of object properties, and graphesthesia. It was administered to 111 children aged from 3;2 to 6;5 years in kindergarten. Data of the item analysis demonstrated that many items proved to be to easy. Nevertheless, the instrument is useful and measures reliably. The deficits of the experimental test version will now be corrected by a revision. We will start a detailed analysis again using the revised test.

  20. Altered tactile processing in children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Tavassoli, Teresa; Bellesheim, Katherine; Tommerdahl, Mark; Holden, Jameson M; Kolevzon, Alexander; Buxbaum, Joseph D

    2016-06-01

    Although tactile reactivity issues are commonly reported in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Less feed-forward inhibition has been proposed as a potential mechanism for some symptoms of ASD. We tested static and dynamic tactile thresholds as a behavioral proxy of feed-forward inhibition in 42 children (21 children with ASD and 21 typically developing [TD] children). Subthreshold conditioning typically raises the dynamic detection threshold, thus comparison of the dynamic to the static threshold generates a metric that predicts gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mediated feed-forward inhibition. Children with ASD had marginally higher static thresholds and a significantly lower ratio between thresholds as compared with TD children. The lower ratio, only seen in children with ASD, might be indicative of less inhibition. Static thresholds were correlated with autism spectrum quotient scores, indicating the higher the tactile threshold, the more ASD traits. The amount of feed-forward inhibition (ratio between dynamic/static) was negatively correlated with autism diagnostic observation schedule repetitive behavior scores, meaning the less inhibition the more ASD symptoms. In summary, children with ASD showed altered tactile processing compared with TD children; thus measuring static and dynamic thresholds could be a potential biomarker for ASD and might be useful for prediction of treatment response with therapeutics, including those that target the GABAergic system. Autism Res 2016, 9: 616-620. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23698262

  2. Bilateral Symmetry of Distortions of Tactile Size Perception.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Durable Tactile Glove for Human or Robot Hand

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  5. Tactile soft-sparse mean fluid-flow imaging with a robotic whisker array.

    PubMed

    Tuna, Cagdas; Jones, Douglas L; Kamalabadi, Farzad

    2015-08-01

    An array of whiskers is critical to many mammals to survive in their environment. However, current engineered systems generally employ vision, radar or sonar to explore the surroundings, not having sufficiently benefited from tactile perception. Inspired by the whisking animals, we present here a novel tomography-based tactile fluid-flow imaging technique for the reconstruction of surroundings with an artificial whisker array. The moment sensed at the whisker base is the weighted integral of the drag force per length, which is proportional to the relative velocity squared on a whisker segment. We demonstrate that the 2D cross-sectional mean fluid-flow velocity-field can be successfully mapped out by collecting moment measurements at different angular positions with the whisker array. We use a regularized version of the FOCal underdetermined system solver algorithm with a smoothness constraint to obtain soft-sparse static estimates of the 2D cross-sectional velocity-squared distribution. This new proposed approach has the strong potential to be an alternative environmental sensing technology, particularly in dark or murky environments. PMID:26241787

  6. Tactile soft-sparse mean fluid-flow imaging with a robotic whisker array.

    PubMed

    Tuna, Cagdas; Jones, Douglas L; Kamalabadi, Farzad

    2015-08-04

    An array of whiskers is critical to many mammals to survive in their environment. However, current engineered systems generally employ vision, radar or sonar to explore the surroundings, not having sufficiently benefited from tactile perception. Inspired by the whisking animals, we present here a novel tomography-based tactile fluid-flow imaging technique for the reconstruction of surroundings with an artificial whisker array. The moment sensed at the whisker base is the weighted integral of the drag force per length, which is proportional to the relative velocity squared on a whisker segment. We demonstrate that the 2D cross-sectional mean fluid-flow velocity-field can be successfully mapped out by collecting moment measurements at different angular positions with the whisker array. We use a regularized version of the FOCal underdetermined system solver algorithm with a smoothness constraint to obtain soft-sparse static estimates of the 2D cross-sectional velocity-squared distribution. This new proposed approach has the strong potential to be an alternative environmental sensing technology, particularly in dark or murky environments.

  7. Layer V Perirhinal Cortical Ensemble Activity during Object Exploration: A Comparison between Young and Aged Rats

    PubMed Central

    Burke, S.N.; Hartzell, A.L.; Lister, J.P.; Hoang, L.T.; Barnes, C.A.

    2012-01-01

    Object recognition memory requires the perirhinal cortex (PRC) and this cognitive function declines during normal aging. Recent electrophysiological recordings from young rats have shown that neurons in layer V of the PRC are activated by 3-dimensional objects. Thus, it is possible that age-related object recognition deficits result from alterations in PRC neuron activity in older animals. To examine this, the present study used cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescence in situ hybridization (catFISH) with confocal microscopy to monitor cellular distributions of activity-induced Arc RNA in layer V of the PRC. Activity was monitored during two distinct epochs of object exploration. In one group of rats (6 young/6 aged) animals were placed in a familiar testing arena and allowed to explore five different 3-dimensional objects for two 5-min sessions separated by a 20-min rest (AA). The second group of animals (6 young/6 aged) also explored the same objects for two 5-min sessions, but the environment was changed between the first and the second epoch (AB). Behavioral data showed that both age groups spent less time exploring objects during the second epoch, even when the environment changed, indicating successful recognition. Although the proportion of active neurons between epochs did not change in the AA group, in the AB group more neurons were active during epoch 2 of object exploration. This recruitment of neurons into the active neural ensemble could serve to signal that familiar stimuli are being encountered in a new context. When numbers of Arc positive neurons were compared between age groups, the old rats had significantly lower proportions of Arc-positive PRC neurons in both the AA and AB behavioral conditions. These data support the hypothesis that age-associated functional alterations in the PRC contribute to declines in stimulus recognition over the lifespan. PMID:22987683

  8. Layer V perirhinal cortical ensemble activity during object exploration: a comparison between young and aged rats.

    PubMed

    Burke, S N; Hartzell, A L; Lister, J P; Hoang, L T; Barnes, C A

    2012-10-01

    Object recognition memory requires the perirhinal cortex (PRC) and this cognitive function declines during normal aging. Recent electrophysiological recordings from young rats have shown that neurons in Layer V of the PRC are activated by three-dimensional objects. Thus, it is possible that age-related object recognition deficits result from alterations in PRC neuron activity in older animals. To examine this, the present study used cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescence in situ hybridization (catFISH) with confocal microscopy to monitor cellular distributions of activity-induced Arc RNA in layer V of the PRC. Activity was monitored during two distinct epochs of object exploration. In one group of rats (6 young/6 aged) animals were placed in a familiar testing arena and allowed to explore five different three-dimensional objects for two 5-min sessions separated by a 20-min rest (AA). The second group of animals (6 young/6 aged) also explored the same objects for two 5-min sessions, but the environment was changed between the first and the second epoch (AB). Behavioral data showed that both age groups spent less time exploring objects during the second epoch, even when the environment changed, indicating successful recognition. Although the proportion of active neurons between epochs did not change in the AA group, in the AB group more neurons were active during epoch 2 of object exploration. This recruitment of neurons into the active neural ensemble could serve to signal that familiar stimuli are being encountered in a new context. When numbers of Arc positive neurons were compared between age groups, the old rats had significantly lower proportions of Arc-positive PRC neurons in both the AA and AB behavioral conditions. These data support the hypothesis that age-associated functional alterations in the PRC contribute to declines in stimulus recognition over the lifespan.

  9. A reconfigurable tactile display based on polymer MEMS technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaosong

    A tactile display provides information such as shape, texture, temperature, and hardness to a user. Ultimately, a tactile display could be used to recreate a virtual object that may be stored in a computer. However, such advanced displays are not yet widely available, primarily due to the lack of low cost, large area, compact actuator arrays that can stimulate the large numbers of receptors of the user and that can also meet the high requirements for user safety and comfort. This research focuses on the development of polymer microfabrication technologies for the realization of two major components of a pneumatic tactile display: a microactuator array and a complementary microvalve (control) array. In this work, the concept, fabrication, and characterization of a kinematically-stabilized polymeric microbubble actuator ("endoskeletal microbubble actuator") is presented. A systematic design and modeling procedure was carried out to generate an optimized geometry of the corrugated diaphragm to satisfy membrane deflection, force, and stability requirements set forth by the tactile display goals. A mass-manufacturable actuator has been fabricated using the approaches of lithography and micromolding. A prototype of a single endoskeletal bubble actuator with a diameter of 2.6mm has been fabricated and characterized. In addition, in order to further reduce the size and cost of the tactile display, a microvalve array can be integrated into the tactile display system to control the pneumatic fluid that actuates the microbubble actuator. A piezoelectrically-driven and hydraulically-amplified polymer microvalve has been designed, fabricated, and tested. An incompressible elastomer was used as a solid hydraulic medium to convert the small axial displacement of a piezoelectric actuator into a large valve head stroke while maintaining a large blocking force. The function of the microvalve as an on-off switch for a pneumatic microbubble tactile actuator has been demonstrated

  10. Replacing overt verbal and gestural prompts with unobtrusive covert tactile prompting for students with autism.

    PubMed

    Anson, Heather M; Todd, James T; Cassaretto, Kimberley J

    2008-11-01

    Verbal responses, gestures, and other physical stimuli are often used to prompt children to pay attention to their teacher, participate in group responding, and engage in independent activities in the classroom. Prompts can be intrusive and draw attention to the problem, however. In the present study, unobtrusive vibrating pagers were used to discreetly alert children to attend directly to the teacher or the ongoing activity, thus reducing the number of disruptions the children created in their classrooms. The children were then able to learn more effectively and with less interference to others in the vicinity. Specifically, 5 male children, between 4 and 7 years old, who attended a regular education preschool or regular education first-grade classroom, participated. An alternating baseline and treatment conditions design was used, in which periods of overt traditional prompting were alternated with periods of covert tactile and overt traditional prompting. The data showed that covert tactile prompting was successful in reducing the amount of overt traditional prompting that was needed for attention to a teacher, group responding, and engagement in independent activities.

  11. Electret film-enhanced triboelectric nanogenerator matrix for self-powered instantaneous tactile imaging.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya; Zhang, Hulin; Zhong, Xiandai; Yi, Fang; Yu, Ruomeng; Zhang, Yue; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2014-03-12

    We report the first self-powered electronic skin that consists of light-emitting diode (LED) and triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) arrays that can be utilized for spatially mapping applied instantaneous-touch events and tracking the movement location of the target object by recording the electroluminescent signals of the LEDs without external power sources. The electret film-based TENG can deliver an open-circuit voltage of about -1070 V, a short-circuit current density of 10 mA/m(2), and a power density of 288 mW/m(2) on an external load of 100 MΩ. The LEDs can be turned on locally when the back surface of the active matrix is touched, and the intensity of the emitted light depends on the magnitude of the applied local pressure on the device. A constructed active matrix of the LED-TENG array (8 × 7 pixels) can achieve self-powered, visual, and high-resolution tactile sensing by recording the electroluminescent signals from all of the pixels, where the active size of each pixel can be decreased to 10 mm(2). This work is a significant step forward in self-powered tactile-mapping visualization technology, with a wide range of potential applications in touchpad technology, personal signatures, smart wallpapers, robotics, and safety-monitoring devices.

  12. A tactile sensor translating texture and sliding motion information into electrical pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Zhipeng; Liu, Weihua; Wu, You; Zhang, Chen; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Xiaoli; Li, Xin

    2015-06-01

    An electric pulse output by a nanogenerator upon a strain-and-release event resembles a neural impulse. Cutaneous receptors imbedded in skin transduce mechanical forces impinging the skin into neural impulses and the tactile information is encoded into the firing rates of the neural impulses. Here, we report a nanogenerator-type tactile sensor, which records the texture and sliding motion by outputting a sequence of electric pulses. The sensitive component of the device is an NG embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane package. An artificial finger-print serving as a strain introducer mimicking finger prints is integrated over the NG. The electric pulses outputted by the device transmit the texture and sliding motion information. The device demonstrates a capability of detecting punch holes with depth less than 200 μm on a nonwoven cloth. It also shows a perfect reproducibility of the electric pulses as it scans the same area of a band wire and a piece of nonwoven cloth. The artificial finger-print is the key element in transferring the strain direction, which allows the active sensor (a nanogenerator) beneath to detect the bumpy structure during a touch and sliding motion.An electric pulse output by a nanogenerator upon a strain-and-release event resembles a neural impulse. Cutaneous receptors imbedded in skin transduce mechanical forces impinging the skin into neural impulses and the tactile information is encoded into the firing rates of the neural impulses. Here, we report a nanogenerator-type tactile sensor, which records the texture and sliding motion by outputting a sequence of electric pulses. The sensitive component of the device is an NG embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane package. An artificial finger-print serving as a strain introducer mimicking finger prints is integrated over the NG. The electric pulses outputted by the device transmit the texture and sliding motion information. The device demonstrates a capability of detecting punch holes with depth less

  13. Disentangling the External Reference Frames Relevant to Tactile Localization

    PubMed Central

    Backhaus, Jenny; Röder, Brigitte; Badde, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Different reference frames appear to be relevant for tactile spatial coding. When participants give temporal order judgments (TOJ) of two tactile stimuli, one on each hand, performance declines when the hands are crossed. This effect is attributed to a conflict between anatomical and external location codes: hand crossing places the anatomically right hand into the left side of external space. However, hand crossing alone does not specify the anchor of the external reference frame, such as gaze, trunk, or the stimulated limb. Experiments that used explicit localization responses, such as pointing to tactile stimuli rather than crossing manipulations, have consistently implicated gaze-centered coding for touch. To test whether crossing effects can be explained by gaze-centered coding alone, participants made TOJ while the position of the hands was manipulated relative to gaze and trunk. The two hands either lay on different sides of space relative to gaze or trunk, or they both lay on one side of the respective space. In the latter posture, one hand was on its "regular side of space" despite hand crossing, thus reducing overall conflict between anatomical and external codes. TOJ crossing effects were significantly reduced when the hands were both located on the same side of space relative to gaze, indicating gaze-centered coding. Evidence for trunk-centered coding was tentative, with an effect in reaction time but not in accuracy. These results link paradigms that use explicit localization and TOJ, and corroborate the relevance of gaze-related coding for touch. Yet, gaze and trunk-centered coding did not account for the total size of crossing effects, suggesting that tactile localization relies on additional, possibly limb-centered, reference frames. Thus, tactile location appears to be estimated by integrating multiple anatomical and external reference frames. PMID:27391805

  14. Disentangling the External Reference Frames Relevant to Tactile Localization.

    PubMed

    Heed, Tobias; Backhaus, Jenny; Röder, Brigitte; Badde, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Different reference frames appear to be relevant for tactile spatial coding. When participants give temporal order judgments (TOJ) of two tactile stimuli, one on each hand, performance declines when the hands are crossed. This effect is attributed to a conflict between anatomical and external location codes: hand crossing places the anatomically right hand into the left side of external space. However, hand crossing alone does not specify the anchor of the external reference frame, such as gaze, trunk, or the stimulated limb. Experiments that used explicit localization responses, such as pointing to tactile stimuli rather than crossing manipulations, have consistently implicated gaze-centered coding for touch. To test whether crossing effects can be explained by gaze-centered coding alone, participants made TOJ while the position of the hands was manipulated relative to gaze and trunk. The two hands either lay on different sides of space relative to gaze or trunk, or they both lay on one side of the respective space. In the latter posture, one hand was on its "regular side of space" despite hand crossing, thus reducing overall conflict between anatomical and external codes. TOJ crossing effects were significantly reduced when the hands were both located on the same side of space relative to gaze, indicating gaze-centered coding. Evidence for trunk-centered coding was tentative, with an effect in reaction time but not in accuracy. These results link paradigms that use explicit localization and TOJ, and corroborate the relevance of gaze-related coding for touch. Yet, gaze and trunk-centered coding did not account for the total size of crossing effects, suggesting that tactile localization relies on additional, possibly limb-centered, reference frames. Thus, tactile location appears to be estimated by integrating multiple anatomical and external reference frames. PMID:27391805

  15. Disentangling the External Reference Frames Relevant to Tactile Localization.

    PubMed

    Heed, Tobias; Backhaus, Jenny; Röder, Brigitte; Badde, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Different reference frames appear to be relevant for tactile spatial coding. When participants give temporal order judgments (TOJ) of two tactile stimuli, one on each hand, performance declines when the hands are crossed. This effect is attributed to a conflict between anatomical and external location codes: hand crossing places the anatomically right hand into the left side of external space. However, hand crossing alone does not specify the anchor of the external reference frame, such as gaze, trunk, or the stimulated limb. Experiments that used explicit localization responses, such as pointing to tactile stimuli rather than crossing manipulations, have consistently implicated gaze-centered coding for touch. To test whether crossing effects can be explained by gaze-centered coding alone, participants made TOJ while the position of the hands was manipulated relative to gaze and trunk. The two hands either lay on different sides of space relative to gaze or trunk, or they both lay on one side of the respective space. In the latter posture, one hand was on its "regular side of space" despite hand crossing, thus reducing overall conflict between anatomical and external codes. TOJ crossing effects were significantly reduced when the hands were both located on the same side of space relative to gaze, indicating gaze-centered coding. Evidence for trunk-centered coding was tentative, with an effect in reaction time but not in accuracy. These results link paradigms that use explicit localization and TOJ, and corroborate the relevance of gaze-related coding for touch. Yet, gaze and trunk-centered coding did not account for the total size of crossing effects, suggesting that tactile localization relies on additional, possibly limb-centered, reference frames. Thus, tactile location appears to be estimated by integrating multiple anatomical and external reference frames.

  16. Abnormal visual experience during development alters the early stages of visual-tactile integration.

    PubMed

    Niechwiej-Szwedo, Ewa; Chin, Jessica; Wolfe, Paul J; Popovich, Christina; Staines, W Richard

    2016-05-01

    Visual experience during the critical periods in early postnatal life is necessary for the normal development of the visual system. Disruption of visual input during this period results in amblyopia, which is associated with reduced activation of the striate and extrastriate cortices. It is well known that visual input converges with other sensory signals and exerts a significant influence on cortical processing in multiple association areas. Recent work in healthy adults has also shown that task-relevant visual input can modulate neural excitability at very early stages of information processing in the primary somatosensory cortex. Here we used electroencephalography to investigate visual-tactile interactions in adults with abnormal binocular vision due to amblyopia and strabismus. Results showed three main findings. First, in comparison to a visually normal control group, participants with abnormal vision had a significantly lower amplitude of the P50 somatosensory event related potential (ERP) when visual and tactile stimuli were presented concurrently. Second, the amplitude of the P100 somatosensory ERP was significantly greater in participants with abnormal vision. These results indicate that task relevant visual input does not significantly influence the excitability of the primary somatosensory cortex, instead, the excitability of the secondary somatosensory cortex is increased. Third, participants with abnormal vision had a higher amplitude of the P1 visual ERP when a tactile stimulus was presented concurrently. Importantly, these results were not modulated by viewing condition, which indicates that the impact of amblyopia on crossmodal interactions is not simply related to the reduced visual acuity as it was evident when viewing with the unaffected eye and binocularly. These results indicate that the consequences of abnormal visual experience on neurophysiological processing extend beyond the primary and secondary visual areas to other modality

  17. Physical activity: exploring views of older Russian-speaking slavic immigrants.

    PubMed

    Purath, Janet; Van Son, Catherine; Corbett, Cynthia F

    2011-01-01

    Many of the 1.3 million Russian-speaking immigrants in the US have chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. They engage in physical activity less often than other groups, and little is known about their views of physical activity. This qualitative study explored physical activity attitudes, beliefs, motivators, and barriers among older Russian-speaking immigrants. In four focus group interviews, 23 participants discussed physical activity. "Movement is life" was a theme throughout all interviews. Walking was the most frequently mentioned activity. Increased energy and decreased pain were described as health benefits. Motivators for physical activity were maintaining function, improved health, and the support of God and family. Barriers included poor health and environmental safety concerns. Participants suggested community walking groups and church-supported programs as useful methods to promote physical activity. Future research includes developing culturally appropriate interventions that utilize physical activity to prevent and manage chronic illness with ethnic minority older adults.

  18. Are One-to-One Computers Necessary? An Analysis of Collaborative Web Exploration Activities Supported by Shared Displays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Chia-Jung; Liu, Chen-Chung; Shen, Yan-Jhih

    2012-01-01

    Collaborative web exploration, in which learners work together to explore the World Wide Web, has become a key learning activity in education contexts. Learners can use a shared computer with a shared display to explore the web together. However, such a shared-computer approach may limit active participation among learners. To address this issue,…

  19. Integration of experiments for the detection of biological activity in extraterrestrial exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merek, E. L.; Oyama, V. I.

    1970-01-01

    Although many experiments have been suggested and described for the detection of biological activity in planetary exploration, each experiment has required its own sample for the detection of a specific phenomenon. An experimental design which could detect growth, catabolic and anabolic activity on a single sample is described. Growth is monitored in a liquid medium which is in contact with, and chemically influenced by, a relatively large sample. Catabolic activity is indicated by changes in the gas composition of the atmosphere above the sample. Anabolic activity is indicated by the appearance of reduced carbon compounds, from oxidized precursors, in the liquid medium.

  20. An empirical exploration of metacognitive assessment activities in a third-year civil engineering hydraulics course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Jan H. F.; Knight, David B.; Callaghan, David P.; Baldock, Tom E.

    2015-05-01

    Threshold concepts are transformative, integrative, and provocative; understanding these difficult concepts allows students to be capable of solving advanced problems. This investigation and evaluation of a metacognitive curricular approach explore variation in students' and teachers' discernment of structural complexity of concepts and its potential for enhancing students' learning and conceptual understanding of threshold concepts. Three trials of a metacognitive assessment activity administered to two cohorts of a civil engineering course (n = 276 and n = 264) were investigated. Students were presented with several answers (varying in structural complexity) to a question about a threshold concept and asked to mark each response. Quantitative analyses compared students' and teachers' marking schemes within and across trials, and qualitative analyses explored students' written reflections following the activity. Students' justifications for their marking schemes, their reflections on the activity's usefulness, and the convergence of students' and teachers' marking schemes suggest that the activity supported deep forms of student learning.

  1. Distributed Operations for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wick, Justin V.; Callas, John L.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A., III

    2005-01-01

    Due to the length of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, most scientists were unable to stay at the central operations facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This created a need for distributed operations software, in the form of the Distributed Science Activity Planner. The distributed architecture saved a considerable amount of money and increased the number of individuals who could be actively involved in the mission, contributing to its success.

  2. 78 FR 33859 - Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities in the Gulf of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-05

    ... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities in the Gulf of Mexico; Correction AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.... SUMMARY: On May 10, 2013, BOEM published a document in the Federal Register (78 FR 27427) entitled...

  3. Exploring a Sociocultural Approach to Writing Strategy Research: Mediated Actions in Writing Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lei, Xiao

    2008-01-01

    In contrast to the traditional cognitive view of writing strategies, this study explores English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' writing strategy use within the Activity Theory framework, adding to the growing body of writing strategy research and sociocultural research on writing and second language acquisition (SLA). Drawing on data…

  4. Exploring Students' Perceptions about Learning in School: An Activity Theory Based Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portnov-Neeman, Yelena; Barak, Moshe

    2013-01-01

    In the current study, we used Activity Theory as the conceptual framework for exploring students' perceptions about how learning in school is affected by the following five elements: Object, Tools, Rules, Community and Division of Labor. Data were collected by administrating a semi-structured questionnaire among 70 junior high school students and…

  5. Cross Space: The Exploration of SNS-Based Writing Activities in a Multimodal Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Kwang-Soon; Kim, Bong-Gyu

    2016-01-01

    This study explores the positive learning effect of formulating English sentences via Social Network Service (SNS; "Kakao-Talk") on less proficient L2 university students' (LPSs') writing, when the application is utilized as a tool to link in and out-of class activities in a multimodal-learning environment. Its objective is also to…

  6. Social Inequalities in Body Weight and Physical Activity: Exploring the Role of Fitness Centers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLaren, Lindsay; Rock, Melanie J.; McElgunn, Jamie

    2012-01-01

    Fitness centers are a viable option for physical activity, particularly in climates with significant weather variation. Due to variation in economic and social expressions of exclusivity, fitness centers may have some relation to social inequalities in physical inactivity and related health outcomes; thus, our objective was to explore this…

  7. The Role of Active Exploration of 3D Face Stimuli on Recognition Memory of Facial Information

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Chang Hong; Ward, James; Markall, Helena

    2007-01-01

    Research on face recognition has mainly relied on methods in which observers are relatively passive viewers of face stimuli. This study investigated whether active exploration of three-dimensional (3D) face stimuli could facilitate recognition memory. A standard recognition task and a sequential matching task were employed in a yoked design.…

  8. Popular Culture, Cultural Resistance, and Anticonsumption Activism: An Exploration of Culture Jamming as Critical Adult Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandlin, Jennifer A.

    2007-01-01

    This chapter examines popular culture as a site of cultural resistance. Specifically, it explores how "culture jamming," a cultural-resistance activity, can be a form of adult education. It examines adult education and learning as it intersects with both consumerism and popular culture. Focus is placed on a growing social movement of individuals…

  9. Activating Metaphors: Exploring the Embodied Nature of Metaphorical Mapping in Political Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giovanelli, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Metaphor is generally understood as the process of understanding one thing in terms of another. The activity described here is designed to make use of the principles of embodied cognition and meaning, and specifically the embodied nature of metaphor, to explore political discourse and communication. With high-school junior or senior students in…

  10. Uncovering Students' Environmental Identity: An Exploration of Activities in an Environmental Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blatt, Erica

    2014-01-01

    This study at a public high school in the Northeastern United States explores how students' environmental identities are affected by various activities in an Environmental Science course. Data was collected as part of an ethnographic study involving an Environmental Science teacher and her tenth-twelfth grade students. The results focus on…

  11. Exploring the Moon: A Teacher's Guide with Activities for Earth and Space Sciences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    This educational guide concerns exploring the moon. Activities are divided into three units: Pre-Apollo, Learning from Apollo, and The Future. These correspond, at least roughly, to exercises that can be done before the Lunar Sample Disk (available from NASA) arrives to the school (Pre-Apollo), while it is there (Learning from Apollo), and after…

  12. Participation Patterns of Korean Adolescents in School-Based Career Exploration Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rojewski, Jay W.; Lee, In Heok; Hill, Roger B.

    2014-01-01

    Variations in the school-based career exploration activities of Korean high school students were examined. Data represented 5,227 Korean adolescents in Grade 11 contained in the Korean Education Longitudinal Study of 2005, a nationally representative longitudinal database administered by the Korean Educational Development Institute. Latent class…

  13. Neurotrophins: peripherally and centrally acting modulators of tactile stimulus-induced inflammatory pain hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Mannion, R J; Costigan, M; Decosterd, I; Amaya, F; Ma, Q P; Holstege, J C; Ji, R R; Acheson, A; Lindsay, R M; Wilkinson, G A; Woolf, C J

    1999-08-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is expressed in nociceptive sensory neurons and transported anterogradely to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord where it is located in dense core vesicles in C-fiber terminals. Peripheral inflammation substantially up-regulates BDNF mRNA and protein in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) in a nerve growth factor-dependent fashion and results in novel expression of BDNF by DRG neurons with myelinated axons. C-fiber electrical activity also increases BDNF expression in the DRG, and both inflammation and activity increase full-length TrkB receptor levels in the dorsal horn. Sequestration of endogenous BDNF/neurotrophin 4 by intraspinal TrkB-Fc fusion protein administration does not, in noninflamed animals, change basal pain sensitivity nor the mechanical hypersensitivity induced by peripheral capsaicin administration, a measure of C fiber-mediated central sensitization. TrkB-Fc administration also does not modify basal inflammatory pain hypersensitivity, but does block the progressive hypersensitivity elicited by low-intensity tactile stimulation of inflamed tissue. BDNF, by virtue of its nerve growth factor regulation in sensory neurons including novel expression in A fibers, has a role as a central modulator of tactile stimulus-induced inflammatory pain hypersensitivity.

  14. TMS of the occipital cortex induces tactile sensations in the fingers of blind Braille readers.

    PubMed

    Ptito, M; Fumal, A; de Noordhout, A Martens; Schoenen, J; Gjedde, A; Kupers, R

    2008-01-01

    Various non-visual inputs produce cross-modal responses in the visual cortex of early blind subjects. In order to determine the qualitative experience associated with these occipital activations, we systematically stimulated the entire occipital cortex using single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in early blind subjects and in blindfolded seeing controls. Whereas blindfolded seeing controls reported only phosphenes following occipital cortex stimulation, some of the blind subjects reported tactile sensations in the fingers that were somatotopically organized onto the visual cortex. The number of cortical sites inducing tactile sensations appeared to be related to the number of hours of Braille reading per day, Braille reading speed and dexterity. These data, taken in conjunction with previous anatomical, behavioural and functional imaging results, suggest the presence of a polysynaptic cortical pathway between the somatosensory cortex and the visual cortex in early blind subjects. These results also add new evidence that the activity of the occipital lobe in the blind takes its qualitative expression from the character of its new input source, therefore supporting the cortical deference hypothesis.

  15. Comparison of upper extremity function, pain, and tactile sense between the uneffected side of hemiparetic patients and healthy subjects.

    PubMed

    Balcı, Nilay Comuk; Dogru, Esra; Aytar, Aydan; Gokmen, Ozge; Depreli, Ozde

    2016-07-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to compare the unaffected upper extremity of patients with hemiparesis with that of healthy subjects in terms of function, pain, and tactile sense. [Subjects and Methods] Upper extremity evaluation parameters of 20 patients with hemiparesis were compared with an age-matched control group of 20 healthy subjects. A shorter version of the Disability of Arm and Shoulder Questionnaire, Upper Extremity Functional Index, and Simple Shoulder Test were used to evaluate the upper extremity functionality. The Visual Analog Scale was used to measure pain severity at rest, at night, and during activity. Tactile sensation levels were assessed by Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments at four palmar areas. [Results] A statistically significant difference was found in the upper extremity functionality between the groups. Pain severity at rest was significantly higher in the hemiparetic group. There was no significant difference in night and activity pain severities or tactile sensation levels between the groups. [Conclusion] According to our results, the unaffected side of patients with hemiparesis differs in functionality and pain at rest compared with that of healthy persons. Studies with larger sample size and various evaluation tests are needed to further investigate the unaffected side of patients with hemiparesis. PMID:27512250

  16. Comparison of upper extremity function, pain, and tactile sense between the uneffected side of hemiparetic patients and healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    Balcı, Nilay Comuk; Dogru, Esra; Aytar, Aydan; Gokmen, Ozge; Depreli, Ozde

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to compare the unaffected upper extremity of patients with hemiparesis with that of healthy subjects in terms of function, pain, and tactile sense. [Subjects and Methods] Upper extremity evaluation parameters of 20 patients with hemiparesis were compared with an age-matched control group of 20 healthy subjects. A shorter version of the Disability of Arm and Shoulder Questionnaire, Upper Extremity Functional Index, and Simple Shoulder Test were used to evaluate the upper extremity functionality. The Visual Analog Scale was used to measure pain severity at rest, at night, and during activity. Tactile sensation levels were assessed by Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments at four palmar areas. [Results] A statistically significant difference was found in the upper extremity functionality between the groups. Pain severity at rest was significantly higher in the hemiparetic group. There was no significant difference in night and activity pain severities or tactile sensation levels between the groups. [Conclusion] According to our results, the unaffected side of patients with hemiparesis differs in functionality and pain at rest compared with that of healthy persons. Studies with larger sample size and various evaluation tests are needed to further investigate the unaffected side of patients with hemiparesis. PMID:27512250

  17. Learning touch preferences with a tactile robot using dopamine modulated STDP in a model of insular cortex

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Ting-Shuo; Bucci, Liam D.; Krichmar, Jeffrey L.

    2015-01-01

    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, insular cortex activities 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. PMID:26257639

  18. When vision influences the invisible distractor: tactile response compatibility effects require vision.

    PubMed

    Wesslein, Ann-Katrin; Spence, Charles; Frings, Christian

    2014-04-01

    Research on the nature of crossmodal interactions between vision and touch has shown that even task-irrelevant visual information can support the processing of tactile targets. In the present study, we implemented a tactile variant of the Eriksen flanker task to investigate the influences of vision on the processing of tactile distractors. In particular, we analyzed whether the size of the flanker effect at the level of perceptual congruency and at the level of response compatibility would differ as a function of the availability of vision (Experiments 1 and 2). Tactile distractors were processed up to the level of response selection only if visual information was provided (i.e., no flanker effects were observed at the level of response compatibility for blindfolded participants). In Experiment 3, we manipulated whether the part of the body receiving the tactile target or distractor was visible, while the other body part was occluded from view. Flanker effects at the level of response compatibility were observed in both conditions, meaning that vision of either the body part receiving the tactile target or the body part receiving the tactile distractor was sufficient to further the processing of tactile distractors from the level of perceptual congruency to the level of response selection. Taken together, these results suggest that vision modulates tactile distractor processing because it results in the processing of tactile distractors up to the level of response selection.

  19. Re-examining overlap between tactile and visual motion responses within hMT+ and STS.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fang; Beauchamp, Michael S; Fine, Ione

    2015-10-01

    Here, we examine overlap between tactile and visual motion BOLD responses within the human MT+ complex. Although several studies have reported tactile responses overlapping with hMT+, many used group average analyses, leaving it unclear whether these responses were restricted to subregions of hMT+. Moreover, previous studies either employed a tactile task or passive stimulation, leaving it unclear whether or not tactile responses in hMT+ are simply the consequence of visual imagery. Here, we carried out a replication of one of the classic papers finding tactile responses in hMT+. We mapped MT and MST in individual subjects using visual field localizers. We then examined responses to tactile motion on the arm, either presented passively or in the presence of a visual task performed at fixation designed to minimize visualization of the concurrent tactile stimulation. To our surprise, without a visual task, we found only weak tactile motion responses in MT (6% of voxels showing tactile responses) and MST (2% of voxels). With an unrelated visual task designed to withdraw attention from the tactile modality, responses in MST were reduced to almost nothing (<1% regions). Consistent with previous results, we did observe tactile responses in STS regions superior and anterior to hMT+. Despite the lack of individual overlap, group-averaged responses produced strong spurious overlap between tactile and visual motion responses within hMT+ that resembled those observed in previous studies. The weak nature of tactile responses in hMT+ (and their abolition by withdrawal of attention) suggests that hMT+ may not serve as a supramodal motion processing module.

  20. Re-examining overlap between tactile and visual motion responses within hMT+ and STS.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fang; Beauchamp, Michael S; Fine, Ione

    2015-10-01

    Here, we examine overlap between tactile and visual motion BOLD responses within the human MT+ complex. Although several studies have reported tactile responses overlapping with hMT+, many used group average analyses, leaving it unclear whether these responses were restricted to subregions of hMT+. Moreover, previous studies either employed a tactile task or passive stimulation, leaving it unclear whether or not tactile responses in hMT+ are simply the consequence of visual imagery. Here, we carried out a replication of one of the classic papers finding tactile responses in hMT+. We mapped MT and MST in individual subjects using visual field localizers. We then examined responses to tactile motion on the arm, either presented passively or in the presence of a visual task performed at fixation designed to minimize visualization of the concurrent tactile stimulation. To our surprise, without a visual task, we found only weak tactile motion responses in MT (6% of voxels showing tactile responses) and MST (2% of voxels). With an unrelated visual task designed to withdraw attention from the tactile modality, responses in MST were reduced to almost nothing (<1% regions). Consistent with previous results, we did observe tactile responses in STS regions superior and anterior to hMT+. Despite the lack of individual overlap, group-averaged responses produced strong spurious overlap between tactile and visual motion responses within hMT+ that resembled those observed in previous studies. The weak nature of tactile responses in hMT+ (and their abolition by withdrawal of attention) suggests that hMT+ may not serve as a supramodal motion processing module. PMID:26123373

  1. Scaffold explorer: an interactive tool for organizing and mining structure-activity data spanning multiple chemotypes.

    PubMed

    Agrafiotis, Dimitris K; Wiener, John J M

    2010-07-01

    We introduce Scaffold Explorer, an interactive tool that allows medicinal chemists to define hierarchies of chemical scaffolds and use them to explore their project data. Scaffold Explorer allows the user to construct a tree, where each node corresponds to a specific scaffold. Each node can have multiple children, each of which represents a more refined substructure relative to its parent node. Once the tree is defined, it can be mapped onto any collection of compounds and be used as a navigational tool to explore structure-activity relationships (SAR) across different chemotypes. The rich visual analytics of Scaffold Explorer afford the user a "bird's-eye" view of the chemical space spanned by a particular data set, map any physicochemical property or biological activity of interest onto the individual scaffold nodes, serve as an aggregator for the properties of the compounds represented by these nodes, and quickly distinguish promising chemotypes from less interesting or problematic ones. Unlike previous approaches, which focused on automated extraction and classification of scaffolds, the utility of the new tool rests on its interactivity and ability to accommodate the medicinal chemists' intuition by allowing the use of arbitrary substructures containing variable atoms, bonds, and/or substituents such as those employed in substructure search.

  2. Human C-Tactile Afferents Are Tuned to the Temperature of a Skin-Stroking Caress

    PubMed Central

    Backlund Wasling, Helena; Liljencrantz, Jaquette; Olausson, Håkan; Johnson, Richard D.; Wessberg, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Human C-tactile (CT) afferents respond vigorously to gentle skin stroking and have gained attention for their importance in social touch. Pharmacogenetic activation of the mouse CT equivalent has positively reinforcing, anxiolytic effects, suggesting a role in grooming and affiliative behavior. We recorded from single CT axons in human participants, using the technique of microneurography, and stimulated a unit's receptive field using a novel, computer-controlled moving probe, which stroked the skin of the forearm over five velocities (0.3, 1, 3, 10, and 30 cm s−1) at three temperatures (cool, 18°C; neutral, 32°C; warm, 42°C). We show that CTs are unique among mechanoreceptive afferents: they discharged preferentially to slowly moving stimuli at a neutral (typical skin) temperature, rather than at the cooler or warmer stimulus temperatures. In contrast, myelinated hair mechanoreceptive afferents proportionally increased their firing frequency with stroking velocity and showed no temperature modulation. Furthermore, the CT firing frequency correlated with hedonic ratings to the same mechano-thermal stimulus only at the neutral stimulus temperature, where the stimuli were felt as pleasant at higher firing rates. We conclude that CT afferents are tuned to respond to tactile stimuli with the specific characteristics of a gentle caress delivered at typical skin temperature. This provides a peripheral mechanism for signaling pleasant skin-to-skin contact in humans, which promotes interpersonal touch and affiliative behavior. PMID:24553929

  3. Use of tactile feedback to control exploratory movements to characterize object compliance

    PubMed Central

    Su, Zhe; Fishel, Jeremy A.; Yamamoto, Tomonori; Loeb, Gerald E.

    2012-01-01

    Humans have been shown to be good at using active touch to perceive subtle differences in compliance. They tend to use highly stereotypical exploratory strategies, such as applying normal force to a surface. We developed similar exploratory and perceptual algorithms for a mechatronic robotic system (Barrett arm/hand system) equipped with liquid-filled, biomimetic tactile sensors (BioTac® from SynTouch LLC). The distribution of force on the fingertip was measured by the electrical resistance of the conductive liquid trapped between the elastomeric skin and a cluster of four electrodes on the flat fingertip surface of the rigid core of the BioTac. These signals provided closed-loop control of exploratory movements, while the distribution of skin deformations, measured by more lateral electrodes and by the hydraulic pressure, were used to estimate material properties of objects. With this control algorithm, the robot plus tactile sensor was able to discriminate the relative compliance of various rubber samples. PMID:22855676

  4. Hydrostatically coupled dielectric elastomer actuators for tactile displays and cutaneous stimulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpi, Federico; Frediani, Gabriele; De Rossi, Danilo

    2010-04-01

    Hydrostatic coupling has been recently reported as a means to improve versatility and safety of dielectric elastomer (DE) actuators. Hydrostatically coupled DE actuators rely on an incompressible fluid that mechanically couples a DE-based active part to a passive part interfaced to the load. In this paper, we present ongoing development of bubble-like versions of such transducers, made of silicone and oil. In particular, the paper describes millimeter-scale actuators, currently being developed as soft, light, acoustically silent and cheap devices for two types of applications: tactile displays and cutaneous stimulators. In both cases, the most significant advantages of the proposed technology are represented by high versatility for design (due to the fluid based transmission mechanism), tailorable stiffness perceived by the user (obtained by adjusting the internal fluid pressure), and suitable electrical safety (enabled by both a passive interface with the user and the insulating internal fluid). Millimeter-scale prototypes showed a resonance frequency of about 250 Hz, which represents the value at which Pacinian cutaneous mechanoreceptors exhibit maximum sensitivity; this provides an optimum condition to eventually code tactile information dynamically, either in combination or as an alternative to static driving.

  5. A tactile sensor translating texture and sliding motion information into electrical pulses.

    PubMed

    Liao, Zhipeng; Liu, Weihua; Wu, You; Zhang, Chen; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Xiaoli; Li, Xin

    2015-06-28

    An electric pulse output by a nanogenerator upon a strain-and-release event resembles a neural impulse. Cutaneous receptors imbedded in skin transduce mechanical forces impinging the skin into neural impulses and the tactile information is encoded into the firing rates of the neural impulses. Here, we report a nanogenerator-type tactile sensor, which records the texture and sliding motion by outputting a sequence of electric pulses. The sensitive component of the device is an NG embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane package. An artificial finger-print serving as a strain introducer mimicking finger prints is integrated over the NG. The electric pulses outputted by the device transmit the texture and sliding motion information. The device demonstrates a capability of detecting punch holes with depth less than 200 μm on a nonwoven cloth. It also shows a perfect reproducibility of the electric pulses as it scans the same area of a band wire and a piece of nonwoven cloth. The artificial finger-print is the key element in transferring the strain direction, which allows the active sensor (a nanogenerator) beneath to detect the bumpy structure during a touch and sliding motion. PMID:26036597

  6. Human C-tactile afferents are tuned to the temperature of a skin-stroking caress.

    PubMed

    Ackerley, Rochelle; Backlund Wasling, Helena; Liljencrantz, Jaquette; Olausson, Håkan; Johnson, Richard D; Wessberg, Johan

    2014-02-19

    Human C-tactile (CT) afferents respond vigorously to gentle skin stroking and have gained attention for their importance in social touch. Pharmacogenetic activation of the mouse CT equivalent has positively reinforcing, anxiolytic effects, suggesting a role in grooming and affiliative behavior. We recorded from single CT axons in human participants, using the technique of microneurography, and stimulated a unit's receptive field using a novel, computer-controlled moving probe, which stroked the skin of the forearm over five velocities (0.3, 1, 3, 10, and 30 cm s(-1)) at three temperatures (cool, 18 °C; neutral, 32 °C; warm, 42 °C). We show that CTs are unique among mechanoreceptive afferents: they discharged preferentially to slowly moving stimuli at a neutral (typical skin) temperature, rather than at the cooler or warmer stimulus temperatures. In contrast, myelinated hair mechanoreceptive afferents proportionally increased their firing frequency with stroking velocity and showed no temperature modulation. Furthermore, the CT firing frequency correlated with hedonic ratings to the same mechano-thermal stimulus only at the neutral stimulus temperature, where the stimuli were felt as pleasant at higher firing rates. We conclude that CT afferents are tuned to respond to tactile stimuli with the specific characteristics of a gentle caress delivered at typical skin temperature. This provides a peripheral mechanism for signaling pleasant skin-to-skin contact in humans, which promotes interpersonal touch and affiliative behavior. PMID:24553929

  7. Activity Sculptures: Exploring the Impact of Physical Visualizations on Running Activity.

    PubMed

    Stusak, Simon; Tabard, Aurélien; Sauka, Franziska; Khot, Rohit Ashok; Butz, Andreas

    2014-12-01

    Data sculptures are a promising type of visualizations in which data is given a physical form. In the past, they have mostly been used for artistic, communicative or educational purposes, and designers of data sculptures argue that in such situations, physical visualizations can be more enriching than pixel-based visualizations. We present the design of Activity Sculptures: data sculptures of running activity. In a three-week field study we investigated the impact of the sculptures on 14 participants' running activity, the personal and social behaviors generated by the sculptures, as well as participants' experiences when receiving these individual physical tokens generated from the specific data of their runs. The physical rewards generated curiosity and personal experimentation but also social dynamics such as discussion on runs or envy/competition. We argue that such passive (or calm) visualizations can complement nudging and other mechanisms of persuasion with a more playful and reflective look at ones' activity. PMID:26356934

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. Contact Pressure Level Indication Using Stepped Output Tactile Sensors.

    PubMed

    Choi, Eunsuk; Sul, Onejae; Kim, Juyoung; Kim, Kyumin; Kim, Jong-Seok; Kwon, Dae-Yong; Choi, Byong-Deok; Lee, Seung-Beck

    2016-04-09

    In this article, we report on a novel diaphragm-type tactile pressure sensor that produces stepwise output currents depending on varying low contact pressures. When contact pressures are applied to the stepped output tactile sensor (SOTS), the sensor's suspended diaphragm makes contact with the substrate, which completes a circuit by connecting resistive current paths. Then the contact area, and therefore the number of current paths, would determine the stepped output current produced. This mechanism allows SOTS to have high signal-to-noise ratio (>20 dB) in the 3-500 Hz frequency range at contact pressures below 15 kPa. Moreover, since the sensor's operation does not depend on a material's pressure-dependent electrical properties, the SOTS is able to demonstrate high reproducibility and reliability. By forming a 4 × 4 array of SOTS with a surface bump structure, we demonstrated shear sensing as well as surface (1 × 1 cm²) pressure mapping capabilities.

  10. Soft capacitive tactile sensing arrays fabricated via direct filament casting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bin; Gao, Yang; Fontecchio, Adam; Visell, Yon

    2016-07-01

    Advances in soft electronics are enabling the development of mechanical sensors that can conform to curved surfaces or soft objects, allowing them to interface seamlessly with the human body. In this paper, we report on intrinsically deformable tactile sensing arrays that achieve a unique combination of high spatial resolution, sensitivity, and mechanical stretchability. The devices are fabricated via a casting process that yields arrays of microfluidic channels in low modulus polymer membranes with thickness as small as one millimeter. Using liquid metal alloy as a conductor, we apply matrix-addressed capacitive sensing in order to resolve spatially distributed strain with millimeter precision over areas of several square centimeters. Due to the use of low-modulus polymers, the devices readily achieve stretchability greater than 500%, making them well suited for novel applications in wearable tactile sensing for biomedical applications.

  11. Flexible tactile sensing based on piezoresistive composites: a review.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-14

    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.

  12. Dynamic interaction of fingertip skin and pin of tactile device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigas, Vytautas; Tolocka, Rymantas T.; Ziliukas, Pranas

    2007-12-01

    The present paper deals with investigations performed with the aim to study transmitting tactile information into the area of mechanoreceptors of the fingertip skin segment and to estimate the dynamic properties and behavior of the skin by performing numerical analysis. A computational finite element model consisting of four main layers of skin was used for transient analysis of contact dynamic interaction when loading the skin by a moving pin, as well as for modal analysis of skin and analysis of skin stress-strain state under harmonic loading (a plane strain case was studied). Material properties of the skin were assumed as linear elastic because of a very small excitation signal level. The efficiency of the regime of the skin dynamic loading in terms of the tactile signal level was defined on the basis of the strain level in the dermis zone where mechanoreceptors are placed. The possibilities of using vibratory control signal were analyzed.

  13. Development of an endoscopic tactile sensor using PVDF films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okuyama, Takeshi; Sone, Mikiko; Tanahashi, Yoshikatsu; Chonan, Seiji; Tanaka, Mami

    2007-12-01

    In this work, a prototype Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) tactile sensor for endoscopic application has been developed. The sensor aims to measure hardness, which is one of the information of tactile perceptions, of biomedical tissue. This sensor is composed of two PVDF films, a silicone cylindrical column, and an aluminum cylinder. And the classification of hardness is concerned with the ratio of these PVDF outputs. In this paper, two sensors are fabricated using two silicone cylindrical columns with different Young's modulus. The performance evaluation of each sensor is conducted using 6 silicone rubbers as measuring object. The experimental results correspond with the simplified theoretical analysis and the proposed sensor can distinguish a difference of elastic property.

  14. A Magnetoresistive Tactile Sensor for Harsh Environment Applications

    PubMed Central

    Alfadhel, Ahmed; Khan, Mohammed Asadullah; Cardoso, Susana; Leitao, Diana; Kosel, Jürgen

    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. PMID:27164113

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. Flexible tactile sensing based on piezoresistive composites: a review.

    PubMed

    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

  17. A Magnetoresistive Tactile Sensor for Harsh Environment Applications.

    PubMed

    Alfadhel, Ahmed; Khan, Mohammed Asadullah; Cardoso, Susana; Leitao, Diana; Kosel, Jürgen

    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. PMID:27164113

  18. Virtual patients as activities: exploring the research implications of an activity theoretical stance.

    PubMed

    Ellaway, Rachel H

    2014-09-01

    Virtual patients are computer-based simulators of patient encounters for the purposes of instruction, practice, and assessment. Although virtual patients have been around for some time they have yet to become part of mainstream medical education. A major reason for this would seem to be a lack of clarity as to what educational value virtual patients actually have. This paper argues that virtual patients should be seen as activities rather than artifacts and that activity theory can be used to generate different ways to frame scholarship in and around virtual patients. Drawing on the work of Leont'ev and Engeström this paper describes a range of perspectives based on the operations, actions, and objectives in and around virtual patients; the use of virtual patients to mediate activities; and the sociocultural context and the participants in virtual patient activities. This approach allows us to move beyond the 'does or does not work' discourse of much of the existing scholarship around virtual patients and, to an extent, around educational technologies as a whole. Activity perspectives, and activity theory in particular, offer new horizons for research and evaluation that address many of the limitations of intervention-based paradigms of inquiry.

  19. Active Motor Training Has Long-term Effects on Infants’ Object Exploration

    PubMed Central

    Wiesen, Sarah E.; Watkins, Rachel M.; Needham, Amy Work

    2016-01-01

    Long-term changes in infants’ behavior as a result of active motor training were studied. Thirty-two infants completed three visits to the laboratory. At the first visit, infants were 3 months old and completed an object exploration assessment. Then the experimenter demonstrated the motor training procedures appropriate for the infant’s experimental condition, and parents took home custom infant mittens (either sticky or non-sticky) and a bag of lightweight toys to practice with their infants. Over the course of the following 2 weeks, infants participated in 10 sessions of either active (sticky) or passive (non-sticky) mittens training at home with their parents. Infants who participated in active mittens training wore mittens with the palms covered in Velcro, allowing them to pick up and move around small toys. Infants who participated in passive mittens training wore non-sticky mittens, and their parents moved the toys through their visual fields on their behalf. After completing the training, infants returned to the lab for the second visit. At visit two, infants participated in another object exploration assessment as well as a reaching assessment. Parents returned the training materials to the lab at the second visit, and were told not to continue any specific training regimen from this point forward. Two months later, when infants were about 5.5 months of age, they returned to the lab for a third visit. At the third visit, infants completed the same two assessments as during the second visit. The results of this study indicate that infants who participated in active motor training engaged in more sophisticated object exploration when compared to infants who received passive training. These findings are consistent with others in the literature showing that active motor training at 3 months of age facilitates the processes of object exploration and engagement. The current results and others reveal that the effects of early experience can last long after

  20. Active Motor Training Has Long-term Effects on Infants' Object Exploration.

    PubMed

    Wiesen, Sarah E; Watkins, Rachel M; Needham, Amy Work

    2016-01-01

    Long-term changes in infants' behavior as a result of active motor training were studied. Thirty-two infants completed three visits to the laboratory. At the first visit, infants were 3 months old and completed an object exploration assessment. Then the experimenter demonstrated the motor training procedures appropriate for the infant's experimental condition, and parents took home custom infant mittens (either sticky or non-sticky) and a bag of lightweight toys to practice with their infants. Over the course of the following 2 weeks, infants participated in 10 sessions of either active (sticky) or passive (non-sticky) mittens training at home with their parents. Infants who participated in active mittens training wore mittens with the palms covered in Velcro, allowing them to pick up and move around small toys. Infants who participated in passive mittens training wore non-sticky mittens, and their parents moved the toys through their visual fields on their behalf. After completing the training, infants returned to the lab for the second visit. At visit two, infants participated in another object exploration assessment as well as a reaching assessment. Parents returned the training materials to the lab at the second visit, and were told not to continue any specific training regimen from this point forward. Two months later, when infants were about 5.5 months of age, they returned to the lab for a third visit. At the third visit, infants completed the same two assessments as during the second visit. The results of this study indicate that infants who participated in active motor training engaged in more sophisticated object exploration when compared to infants who received passive training. These findings are consistent with others in the literature showing that active motor training at 3 months of age facilitates the processes of object exploration and engagement. The current results and others reveal that the effects of early experience can last long after

  1. Consistency in boldness, activity and exploration at different stages of life

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Animals show consistent individual behavioural patterns over time and over situations. This phenomenon has been referred to as animal personality or behavioural syndromes. Little is known about consistency of animal personalities over entire life times. We investigated the repeatability of behaviour in common voles (Microtus arvalis) at different life stages, with different time intervals, and in different situations. Animals were tested using four behavioural tests in three experimental groups: 1. before and after maturation over three months, 2. twice as adults during one week, and 3. twice as adult animals over three months, which resembles a substantial part of their entire adult life span of several months. Results Different behaviours were correlated within and between tests and a cluster analysis showed three possible behavioural syndrome-axes, which we name boldness, exploration and activity. Activity and exploration behaviour in all tests was highly repeatable in adult animals tested over one week. In animals tested over maturation, exploration behaviour was consistent whereas activity was not. Voles that were tested as adults with a three-month interval showed the opposite pattern with stable activity but unstable exploration behaviour. Conclusions The consistency in behaviour over time suggests that common voles do express stable personality over short time. Over longer periods however, behaviour is more flexible and depending on life stage (i.e. tested before/after maturation or as adults) of the tested individual. Level of boldness or activity does not differ between tested groups and maintenance of variation in behavioural traits can therefore not be explained by expected future assets as reported in other studies. PMID:24314274

  2. Trends in tactile biosensors, smell-sensitive biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higuchi, K.; Kawana, Y.; Kimura, J.

    1986-03-01

    Biosensors, whch combine substances from living organisms such as enzymes with electrochemical transducers, are considered taste-sensitive biosensors. Touch sensors were analyzed using various pressure-sensitive elements, but no attempts were made to use substances from organisms. The sense of smell is a gase sensor for the body; there are numerous uncertainties about the meaning of smell-sensitive biosensors. Tactile biosensors and olfactor biosensors were examined. Biosensors include sensors directly apply materials extracted from organisms and sensors which copy sensors.

  3. Associative Activation and Its Relation to Exploration and Exploitation in the Brain.

    PubMed

    Baror, Shira; Bar, Moshe

    2016-06-01

    Associative activation is commonly assumed to rely on associative strength, such that if A is strongly associated with B, B is activated whenever A is activated. We challenged this assumption by examining whether the activation of associations is state dependent. In three experiments, subjects performed a free-association task while the level of a simultaneous load was manipulated in various ways. In all three experiments subjects in the low-load conditions provided significantly more diverse and original associations compared with subjects in the high-load conditions, who exhibited high consensus. In an additional experiment, we found increased semantic priming of immediate associations under high load and of remote associations under low load. Taken together, these findings imply that activation of associations is an exploratory process by default, but is narrowed to exploiting the more immediate associations under conditions of high load. We propose a potential mechanism for processing associations in exploration and in exploitation modes, and suggest clinical implications.

  4. Exploring the use of Storybooks to Reach Mothers of Preschoolers with Nutrition and Physical Activity Messages

    PubMed Central

    Bellows, Laura; Spaeth, Amanda; Lee, Victoria; Anderson, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To assess perceptions stay-at-home mothers have about their preschoolers’ eating and physical activity behaviors and to explore the feasibility of utilizing storybooks in home-based nutrition and activity programming. Methods Focus groups were conducted with 24 mothers; intercept interviews with 30 parents; and a storybook prototype was developed and pretested in 8 preschool classrooms. Results Mothers acknowledged picky eating as an issue and were less likely to identify issues with physical activity but were interested in information on gross motor development. Mothers strongly supported storybooks as a modality to convey and reinforce health messages at home. The storybook prototype was well liked by parents, teachers and preschoolers. Conclusions and Implications Storybooks are a practical method to reach mothers and preschoolers and have the potential to elicit changes in eating and activity behaviors. Understanding mothers’ perceptions of healthy eating and physical activity is essential to ensure that storybook messages resonate with this audience. PMID:23415760

  5. Exploring self-perceptions and social influences as correlates of adolescent leisure-time physical activity.

    PubMed

    Sabiston, Catherine M; Crocker, Peter R E

    2008-02-01

    This study examined adolescent leisure-time physical activity correlates using the expectancy-value (EV) model. Adolescents (N = 857) completed questionnaires to assess competence and value self-perceptions, social influences, and physical activity. Direct and indirect effects of self-perceptions and parent and best friend influences on physical activity were explored using structural equation modeling. Measurement models were a good fit to the data and gender invariance was supported. The structural mediation model was a reasonable fit to the data, whereby the indirect effects of parents and peers and the direct effects of competence beliefs and values together accounted for 49% of the variance in physical activity. In this model, the pattern of relationships was similar for adolescent males and females. Findings supporting the EV model provide theoretical and practical implications for understanding adolescent physical activity.

  6. Exploring self-perceptions and social influences as correlates of adolescent leisure-time physical activity.

    PubMed

    Sabiston, Catherine M; Crocker, Peter R E

    2008-02-01

    This study examined adolescent leisure-time physical activity correlates using the expectancy-value (EV) model. Adolescents (N = 857) completed questionnaires to assess competence and value self-perceptions, social influences, and physical activity. Direct and indirect effects of self-perceptions and parent and best friend influences on physical activity were explored using structural equation modeling. Measurement models were a good fit to the data and gender invariance was supported. The structural mediation model was a reasonable fit to the data, whereby the indirect effects of parents and peers and the direct effects of competence beliefs and values together accounted for 49% of the variance in physical activity. In this model, the pattern of relationships was similar for adolescent males and females. Findings supporting the EV model provide theoretical and practical implications for understanding adolescent physical activity. PMID:18369240

  7. Cross-modal tactile-taste interactions in food evaluations

    PubMed Central

    Slocombe, B. G.; Carmichael, D.A.; Simner, J.

    2016-01-01

    Detecting the taste components within a flavoured substance relies on exposing chemoreceptors within the mouth to the chemical components of ingested food. In our paper, we show that the evaluation of taste components can also be influenced by the tactile quality of the food. We first discuss how multisensory factors might influence taste, flavour and smell for both typical and atypical (synaesthetic) populations and we then present two empirical studies showing tactile-taste interactions in the general population. We asked a group of average adults to evaluate the taste components of flavoured food substances, whilst we presented simultaneous cross-sensory visuo-tactile cues within the eating environment. Specifically, we presented foodstuffs between subjects that were otherwise identical but had a rough versus smooth surface, or were served on a rough versus smooth serving-plate. We found no effect of the serving-plate, but we found the rough/smoothness of the foodstuff itself significantly influenced perception: food was rated as significantly more sour if it had a rough (vs. smooth) surface. In modifying taste perception via ostensibly unrelated dimensions, we demonstrate that the detection of tastes within flavours may be influenced by higher level cross-sensory cues. Finally, we suggest that the direction of our cross-sensory associations may speak to the types of hedonic mapping found both in normal multisensory integration, and in the unusual condition of synaesthesia. PMID:26169315

  8. Tactile Stimuli Increase Effects of Modality Compatibility in Task Switching.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Denise Nadine; Koch, Iring

    2015-01-01

    Modality compatibility refers to the similarity of stimulus modality and modality of response-related sensory consequences. Previous dual-task studies found increased switch costs for modality incompatible tasks (auditory-manual/visual-vocal) compared to modality compatible tasks (auditory-vocal/visual-manual). The present task-switching study further examined modality compatibility and investigated vibrotactile stimulation as a novel alternative to visual stimulation. Interestingly, a stronger modality compatibility effect on switch costs was revealed for the group with tactile-auditory stimulation compared to the visual-auditory stimulation group. We suggest that the modality compatibility effect is based on crosstalk of central processing codes due to ideomotor "backward" linkages between the anticipated response effects and the stimuli indicating this response. This crosstalk is increased in the tactile-auditory stimulus group compared to the visual-auditory stimulus group due to a higher degree of ideomotor-compatibility in the tactile-manual tasks. Since crosstalk arises between tasks, performance is only affected in task switching and not in single tasks.

  9. A biomimetic tactile sensing system based on polyvinylidene fluoride film.

    PubMed

    Xin, Yi; Tian, Hongying; Guo, Chao; Li, Xiang; Sun, Hongshuai; Wang, Peiyuan; Qian, Chenghui; Wang, Shuhong; Wang, Cheng

    2016-02-01

    Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film has been widely investigated as a sensing material due to its outstanding properties such as biocompatibility, high thermal stability, good chemical resistance, high piezo-, pyro- and ferro-electric properties. This paper reports on the design, test, and analysis of a biomimetic tactile sensor based on PVDF film. This sensor consists of a PVDF film with aluminum electrodes, a pair of insulating layers, and a "handprint" friction layer with a copper foil. It is designed for easy fabrication and high reliability in outputting signals. In bionics, the fingerprint of the glabrous skin plays an important role during object handling. Therefore, in order to enhance friction and to provide better manipulation, the ridges of the fingertips were introduced into the design of the proposed tactile sensor. And, a basic experimental study on the selection of the high sensitivity fingerprint type for the biomimetic sensor was performed. In addition, we proposed a texture distinguish experiment to verify the sensor sensitivity. The experiment's results show that the novel biomimetic sensor is effective in discriminating object surface characteristics. Furthermore, an efficient visual application program (LabVIEW) and a quantitative evaluation method were proposed for the verification of the biomimetic sensor. The proposed tactile sensor shows great potential for contact force and slip measurements. PMID:26931883

  10. A biomimetic tactile sensing system based on polyvinylidene fluoride film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xin, Yi; Tian, Hongying; Guo, Chao; Li, Xiang; Sun, Hongshuai; Wang, Peiyuan; Qian, Chenghui; Wang, Shuhong; Wang, Cheng

    2016-02-01

    Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film has been widely investigated as a sensing material due to its outstanding properties such as biocompatibility, high thermal stability, good chemical resistance, high piezo-, pyro- and ferro-electric properties. This paper reports on the design, test, and analysis of a biomimetic tactile sensor based on PVDF film. This sensor consists of a PVDF film with aluminum electrodes, a pair of insulating layers, and a "handprint" friction layer with a copper foil. It is designed for easy fabrication and high reliability in outputting signals. In bionics, the fingerprint of the glabrous skin plays an important role during object handling. Therefore, in order to enhance friction and to provide better manipulation, the ridges of the fingertips were introduced into the design of the proposed tactile sensor. And, a basic experimental study on the selection of the high sensitivity fingerprint type for the biomimetic sensor was performed. In addition, we proposed a texture distinguish experiment to verify the sensor sensitivity. The experiment's results show that the novel biomimetic sensor is effective in discriminating object surface characteristics. Furthermore, an efficient visual application program (LabVIEW) and a quantitative evaluation method were proposed for the verification of the biomimetic sensor. The proposed tactile sensor shows great potential for contact force and slip measurements.

  11. Investigation of the piezoelectric thimble tactile device operating modes.

    PubMed

    Bansevicius, Ramutis; Dragasius, Egidijus; Grigas, Vytautas; Jurenas, Vytautas; Mazeika, Darius; Zvironas, Arunas

    2014-01-01

    A multifunctional device to transfer graphical or text information for blind or visually impaired is presented. The prototype using tactile perception has been designed where information displayed on the screen of electronic device (mobile phone, PC) is transferred by oscillating needle, touching the fingertip. Having the aim to define optimal parameters of the fingertip excitation by needle, the computational analysis of different excitation modes has been carried out. A 3D solid computational finite element model of the skin segment, comprising four main fingertip skin layers (stratum corneum, epidermis, dermis and hypodermis) was built by using ANSYS Workbench FEA software. Harmonic analysis of its stress-strain state under excitation with different frequency (up to 10000 Hz) and harmonic force (0.01 N), acting outer stratum corneum layer in normal direction at one, two or three points has been performed. The influence of the mode of dynamic loading of skin was evaluated (in terms of the tactile signal level) on the basis of the normal and shear elastic strain in dermis, where mechanoreceptors are placed. It is shown that the tactile perception of information, delivered by three vibrating pins, may be influenced by configuration of excitation points (their number and phase of loading) and the frequency of excitation.

  12. Evaluation of a compound eye type tactile endoscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshimoto, Kayo; Yamada, Kenji; Sasaki, Nagisa; Takeda, Maki; Shimizu, Sachiko; Nagakura, Toshiaki; Takahashi, Hideya; Ohno, Yuko

    2013-03-01

    Minimally invasive surgical techniques for endoscope become widely used, for example, laparoscopic operation, NOTES (Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery), robotic surgery and so on. There are so many demand and needs for endoscopic diagnosis. Especially, palpation is most important diagnosis on any surgery. However, conventional endoscopic system has no tactile sensibility. There are many studies about tactile sensor for medical application. These sensors can measure object at a point. It is necessary to sense in areas for palpation. To overcome this problem, we propose compound eye type tactile endoscope. The proposed system consists of TOMBO (Thin Observation Module by Bound Optics) and clear silicon rubber. Our proposed system can estimate hardness of target object by measuring deformation of a projected pattern on the silicon rubber. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the proposed system. At first, we introduce approximated models of the silicone and the object. We formulate the stiffness of object, the deformation of silicone, and the whole object. We investigate the accuracy of measured silicone's lower surface for deformation of silicone by prototype system. Finally, we evaluate the calculated stiffness of the soft object.

  13. Cross-modal tactile-taste interactions in food evaluations.

    PubMed

    Slocombe, B G; Carmichael, D A; Simner, J

    2016-07-29

    Detecting the taste components within a flavoured substance relies on exposing chemoreceptors within the mouth to the chemical components of ingested food. In our paper, we show that the evaluation of taste components can also be influenced by the tactile quality of the food. We first discuss how multisensory factors might influence taste, flavour and smell for both typical and atypical (synaesthetic) populations and we then present two empirical studies showing tactile-taste interactions in the general population. We asked a group of non-synaesthetic adults to evaluate the taste components of flavoured food substances, whilst we presented simultaneous cross-sensory visuo-tactile cues within the eating environment. Specifically, we presented foodstuffs between subjects that were otherwise identical but had a rough versus smooth surface, or were served on a rough versus smooth serving-plate. We found no effect of the serving-plate, but we found the rough/smoothness of the foodstuff itself significantly influenced perception: food was rated as significantly more sour if it had a rough (versus smooth) surface. In modifying taste perception via ostensibly unrelated dimensions, we demonstrate that the detection of tastes within flavours may be influenced by higher level cross-sensory cues. Finally, we suggest that the direction of our cross-sensory associations may speak to the types of hedonic mapping found both in normal multisensory integration, and in the unusual condition of synaesthesia.

  14. Induction of transcription factors in somatosensory cortex after tactile stimulation.

    PubMed

    Mack, K J; Mack, P A

    1992-01-01

    Immediate early response genes have been shown to be inducible in the central nervous system after a variety of stimuli. Induction of these transcription factors in cerebral cortex by a physiological stimulus had not previously been demonstrated. In this study, tactile stimuli induced multiple transcription factors in the somatosensory cortex. Adult male rats were lightly anesthetized with urethane. Tactile stimuli was delivered by a paint brush gently stroking an animals whiskers on one side of its face for a 15 min period. Two h later, the animals were sacrificed. Cortex contralateral to the stimulation was compared with ipsilateral cortex using antibodies raised against immediate early response gene products NGFI-A, NGFI-B, and c-fos. The different transcription factors showed slightly different patterns of response to the tactile stimulus. However, the induction of immunohistochemical staining was most prominent in layer 4 with all antibodies under study. This increase in the number of cell bodies stained was less robust than that seen in the somatosensory cortex after a seizure, and showed more of a predominance in layer 4 cells. These data demonstrate that physiologic stimulation can induce immediate early response genes in cortical cells, and that multiple immediate early response genes react to a stimulus. PMID:1312199

  15. Learning in Activity: Exploring the Methodological Potential of Action Research in Activity Theorising of Social Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darwin, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), founded on the seminal work of Vygotsky and evolving in the subsequent work of Leont'ev and Engestrom, continues to emerge as a robust and increasingly widely used conceptual framework for the research and analysis of the complex social mediation of human learning and development. Yet there remains…

  16. Explorations of electric current system in solar active regions. I - Empirical inferences of the current flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ding, Y. J.; Hong, Q. F.; Hagyard, M. J.; Deloach, A. C.; Liu, X. P.

    1987-01-01

    Techniques to identify sources of electric current systems and their channels of flow in solar active regions are explored. Measured photospheric vector magnetic fields together with high-resolution white-light and H-alpha filtergrams provide the data base to derive the current systems in the photosphere and chromosphere. As an example, the techniques are then applied to infer current systems in AR 2372 in early April 1980.

  17. Comparison of measurement methods for capacitive tactile sensors and their implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarapata, Grzegorz; Sienkiewicz, Rafał

    2015-09-01

    This paper presents a review of ideas and implementations of measurement methods utilized for capacity measurements in tactile sensors. The paper describes technical method, charge amplification method, generation and as well integration method. Three selected methods were implemented in dedicated measurement system and utilised for capacitance measurements of ourselves made tactile sensors. The tactile sensors tested in this work were fully fabricated with the inkjet printing technology. The tests result were presented and summarised. The charge amplification method (CDC) was selected as the best method for the measurement of the tactile sensors.

  18. Virtual Surface Characteristics of a Tactile Display Using Magneto-Rheological Fluids

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chul-Hee; Jang, Min-Gyu

    2011-01-01

    Virtual surface characteristics of tactile displays are investigated to characterize the feeling of human touch for a haptic interface application. In order to represent the tactile feeling, a prototype tactile display incorporating Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluid has been developed. Tactile display devices simulate the finger’s skin to feel the sensations of contact such as compliance, friction, and topography of the surface. Thus, the tactile display can provide information on the surface of an organic tissue to the surgeon in virtual reality. In order to investigate the compliance feeling of a human finger’s touch, normal force responses of a tactile display under various magnetic fields have been assessed. Also, shearing friction force responses of the tactile display are investigated to simulate the action of finger dragging on the surface. Moreover, different matrix arrays of magnetic poles are applied to form the virtual surface topography. From the results, different tactile feelings are observed according to the applied magnetic field strength as well as the arrays of magnetic poles combinations. This research presents a smart tactile display technology for virtual surfaces. PMID:22163769

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Active inhibition and memory promote exploration and search of natural scenes

    PubMed Central

    Bays, Paul M.; Husain, Masud

    2012-01-01

    Active exploration of the visual world depends on sequential shifts of gaze that bring prioritized regions of a scene into central vision. The efficiency of this system is commonly attributed to a mechanism of “inhibition of return” (IOR) that discourages re-examination of previously-visited locations. Such a process is fundamental to computational models of attentional selection and paralleled by neurophysiological observations of inhibition of target-related activity in visuomotor areas. However, studies examining eye movements in naturalistic visual scenes appear to contradict the hypothesis that IOR promotes exploration. Instead, these reports reveal a surprisingly strong tendency to shift gaze back to the previously fixated location, suggesting that refixations might even be facilitated under natural conditions. Here we resolve this apparent contradiction, based on a probabilistic analysis of gaze patterns recorded during both free-viewing and search of naturalistic scenes. By simulating saccadic selection based on instantaneous influences alone, we show that the observed frequency of return saccades is in fact substantially less than predicted for a memoryless system, demonstrating that refixation is actively inhibited under natural viewing conditions. Furthermore, these observations reveal that gaze history significantly influences the way in which natural scenes are explored, contrary to accounts that suggest visual search has no memory. PMID:22895881

  2. Rasch-Built Measure of Pleasant Touch through Active Fingertip Exploration

    PubMed Central

    Klöcker, Anne; Arnould, Carlyne; Penta, Massimo; Thonnard, Jean-Louis

    2012-01-01

    Background: Evidence suggests that somatic sensation has a modality for pleasant touch. Objective: To investigate pleasant touch at the fingertip level (i.e., glabrous skin site) through the elaboration of a linear unidimensional scale that measures (i) various materials according to the level of pleasantness they elicit through active fingertip explorations and (ii) subjects according to their pleasantness leniency levels. Subjects: We enrolled 198 healthy subjects without any neurological disease. Methods: Blindfolded subjects actively explored 48 materials with their index fingertips and reported the perceived pleasantness of each on a 4-level scale. The fingertip moisture levels on each subject were measured before the experimental session. Data were analyzed using the Rasch model. Results: We elaborated unidimensional linear scale that included 37 materials according to their pleasantness of touch. The pleasantness level of 21 materials was perceived differently, depending on the fingertip moisture levels of the subjects. Conclusion: Based on our findings, we formulated a Pleasant Touch Scale. Fingertip moisture levels appeared to be a major factor for (un)pleasant feelings during active exploration. PMID:22737122

  3. [Affective behavioural responses by dogs to tactile human-dog interactions].

    PubMed

    Kuhne, Franziska; Hössler, Johanna C; Struwe, Rainer

    2012-01-01

    The communication of dogs is based on complex, subtle body postures and facial expressions. Some social interaction between dogs includes physical contact. Humans generally use both verbal and tactile signals to communicate with dogs. Hence, interaction between humans and dogs might lead to conflicts because the behavioural responses of dogs to human-dog interaction may be misinterpreted and wrongly assessed. The behavioural responses of dogs to tactile human-dog interactions and human gestures are the focus of this study. The participating dogs (n = 47) were privately owned pets.They were of varying breed and gender.The test consisted of nine randomised test sequences (e. g. petting the dog's head or chest). A test sequence was performed for a period of 30 seconds. The inter-trial interval was set at 60 seconds and the test-retest interval was set at 10 minutes. The frequency and duration of the dogs'behavioural responses were recorded using INTERACT. To examine the behavioural responses of the dogs, a two-way analysis of variance within the linear mixed models procedure of IBM SPSS Statistics 19 was conducted. A significant influence of the test-sequenc order on the dogs' behaviour could be analysed for appeasement gestures (F8,137 = 2.42; p = 0.018), redirected behaviour (F8,161 = 6.31; p = 0.012) and socio-positive behaviour (F8,148 = 6.28; p = 0.012). The behavioural responses of the dogs, which were considered as displacement activities (F8,109 = 2.5; p = 0.014) differed significantly among the test sequences. The response of the dogs, measured as gestures of appeasement, redirected behaviours, and displacement activities, was most obvious during petting around the head and near the paws.The results of this study conspicuously indicate that dogs respond to tactile human-dog interactions with gestures of appeasement and displacement activities. Redirected behaviours, socio-positive behaviours as well displacement activities are behavioural responses which dogs

  4. Exploring physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility in Japan: a qualitative study.

    PubMed

    Shimazaki, Takashi; Iio, Misa; Lee, YingHua; Konuma, Kayo; Takenaka, Koji

    2016-12-01

    Previous research has shown that physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility (i.e. a focus on small lifestyle changes) contributes to the adoption of and long-term success in behavior change intervention. The present study aims to explore the physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility in which people already engage in their everyday life in Japan. Sixty-four participants (22 males and 42 females ranging in age from 36 to 89) participated in a qualitative research survey that asked what type of physical activity they engaged in on a daily basis to maintain good health. Results of a thematic analysis revealed nine themes (behavioral categories), which included four core themes of exercise, gymnastic exercises, stretch exercises, sports, and strength training, and five core themes of nonexercise activity, walking, cleaning, using the stairs, engaging in agriculture, and gardening based on a description analysis. A thematic map was constructed based on Japanese physical activity guidelines. Key findings of this study are as follows: (1) walking has a low psychological burden and high feasibility; (2) gymnastic exercise is efficacious from a physical and psychological perspective; (3) nonexercise activities are more acceptable than exercise activities; and (4) a focus on intervention with nonexercise activities has the potential for high engagement in the Japanese population. The study indicates that significant resources are available for promoting health behavior change interventions that would increase physical activity in the Japanese population. PMID:26785720

  5. Exploring physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility in Japan: a qualitative study.

    PubMed

    Shimazaki, Takashi; Iio, Misa; Lee, YingHua; Konuma, Kayo; Takenaka, Koji

    2016-12-01

    Previous research has shown that physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility (i.e. a focus on small lifestyle changes) contributes to the adoption of and long-term success in behavior change intervention. The present study aims to explore the physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility in which people already engage in their everyday life in Japan. Sixty-four participants (22 males and 42 females ranging in age from 36 to 89) participated in a qualitative research survey that asked what type of physical activity they engaged in on a daily basis to maintain good health. Results of a thematic analysis revealed nine themes (behavioral categories), which included four core themes of exercise, gymnastic exercises, stretch exercises, sports, and strength training, and five core themes of nonexercise activity, walking, cleaning, using the stairs, engaging in agriculture, and gardening based on a description analysis. A thematic map was constructed based on Japanese physical activity guidelines. Key findings of this study are as follows: (1) walking has a low psychological burden and high feasibility; (2) gymnastic exercise is efficacious from a physical and psychological perspective; (3) nonexercise activities are more acceptable than exercise activities; and (4) a focus on intervention with nonexercise activities has the potential for high engagement in the Japanese population. The study indicates that significant resources are available for promoting health behavior change interventions that would increase physical activity in the Japanese population.

  6. New applications of the nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machine by using advanced tactile and non-tactile probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manske, E.; Hausotte, T.; Mastylo, R.; Machleidt, T.; Franke, K.-H.; Jäger, G.

    2007-02-01

    With the nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machine (NPM-Machine) developed at the Technische Universität Ilmenau, subnanometre resolution and nanometre uncertainty in a measuring volume of 25 × 25 × 5 mm3 have been demonstrated in the last few years. This machine allows the most various measuring problems to be solved. In practice, however, there are too many different requirements for sensing surfaces or for detecting structures. So, this paper deals with the development and also the improvement of several optical and tactile probes for application in the NPM-Machine. A focus probe with a spot size of approximately 0.5 µm, a working distance of 1.5 mm and a resolution of less than 1 nm was developed and adopted in the NPM-Machine. In the next step, the working distance was improved to exploit the full vertical range of the NPM-Machine of 5 mm. To realize tactile sensing, an atomic force probe and tactile stylus probe were developed on the basis of the focus probe. These probing systems can acquire measuring data only by scanning the surface sequentially and point-by-point. To increase data acquisition, we realized a sensor based on a white-light interference microscope and parallel sampling of 1600 × 1200 data points. First results of fringe evaluation with laser interferometer reference are presented.

  7. The effects of intensive bimanual training with and without tactile training on tactile function in children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy: A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Hsing-Ching; Gordon, Andrew M.; Henrionnet, Aline; Hautfenne, Sylvie; Friel, Kathleen M.; Bleyenheuft, Yannick

    2016-01-01

    Children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (USCP) often have tactile impairments. Intensive bimanual training improves the motor abilities, but the effects on the sensory system have not been studied. Here we compare the effects of bimanual training with and without tactile training on tactile impairments. Twenty children with USCP (6–15.5 years; MACS: I–III) were randomized to receive either bimanual therapy (HABIT) or HABIT + tactile training (HABIT + T). All participants received 82 h of standardized HABIT. In addition 8 sessions of 1 h were provided to both groups. The HABIT + T group received tactile training (without vision) using materials of varied shapes and textures. The HABIT group received training with the same materials without tactile directed training (full vision). Primary outcomes included grating orientation task/GOT and stereognosis. Secondary outcomes included two-point discrimination/TPD, Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments/SWM. The GOT improved in both groups after training, while stereognosis of the more-affected hand tended to improve (but p = 0.063). No changes were found in the TPD and the SWM. There were no group × test interactions for any measure. We conclude tactile spatial resolution can improve after bimanual training. Either intensive bimanual training alone or incorporation of materials with a diversity of shapes/textures may drive these changes. PMID:26698408

  8. Altered motor activity, exploration and anxiety in heterozygous neuregulin 1 mutant mice: implications for understanding schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Karl, T; Duffy, L; Scimone, A; Harvey, R P; Schofield, P R

    2007-10-01

    Human genetic studies have shown that neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a potential susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Nrg1 influences various neurodevelopmental processes, which are potentially related to schizophrenia. The neurodevelopmental theory of schizophrenia suggests that interactions between genetic and environmental factors are responsible for biochemical alterations leading to schizophrenia. To investigate these interactions and to match experimental design with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, we applied a comprehensive behavioural phenotyping strategy for motor activity, exploration and anxiety in a heterozygous Nrg1 transmembrane domain mutant mouse model (Nrg1 HET) using different housing conditions and age groups. We observed a locomotion- and exploration-related hyperactive phenotype in Nrg1 HETs. Increased age had a locomotion- and exploration-inhibiting effect, which was significantly attenuated in mutant mice. Environmental enrichment (EE) had a stimulating influence on locomotion and exploration. The impact of EE was more pronounced in Nrg1 hypomorphs. Our study also showed a moderate task-specific anxiolytic-like phenotype for Nrg1 HETs, which was influenced by external factors. The behavioural phenotype detected in heterozygous Nrg1 mutant mice is not specific to schizophrenia per se, but the increased sensitivity of mutant mice to exogenous factors is consistent with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and the neurodevelopmental theory. Our findings reinforce the importance of carefully controlling experimental designs for external factors and of comprehensive, integrative phenotyping strategies. Thus, Nrg1 HETs may, in combination with other genetic and drug models, help to clarify pathophysiological mechanisms behind schizophrenia.

  9. Physical Activity: Exploring Views of Older Russian-Speaking Slavic Immigrants

    PubMed Central

    Purath, Janet; Van Son, Catherine; Corbett, Cynthia F.

    2011-01-01

    Many of the 1.3 million Russian-speaking immigrants in the US have chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. They engage in physical activity less often than other groups, and little is known about their views of physical activity. This qualitative study explored physical activity attitudes, beliefs, motivators, and barriers among older Russian-speaking immigrants. In four focus group interviews, 23 participants discussed physical activity. “Movement is life” was a theme throughout all interviews. Walking was the most frequently mentioned activity. Increased energy and decreased pain were described as health benefits. Motivators for physical activity were maintaining function, improved health, and the support of God and family. Barriers included poor health and environmental safety concerns. Participants suggested community walking groups and church-supported programs as useful methods to promote physical activity. Future research includes developing culturally appropriate interventions that utilize physical activity to prevent and manage chronic illness with ethnic minority older adults. PMID:22135733

  10. A qualitative study exploring women’s beliefs about physical activity after stillbirth

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Research provides strong evidence for improvements in depressive symptoms as a result of physical activity participation in many populations including pregnant and post-partum women. Little is known about how women who have experienced stillbirth (defined as fetal death at 20 or more weeks of gestation) feel about physical activity or use physical activity following this experience. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore women’s beliefs about physical activity following a stillbirth. Methods This was an exploratory qualitative research study. Participants were English-speaking women between the ages of 19 and 44 years who experienced a stillbirth in the past year from their recruitment date. Interviews were conducted over the phone or in-person based on participants’ preferences and location of residence and approximately 30–45 minutes in length. Results Twenty-four women participated in the study (M age = 33 ± 3.68 years; M time since stillbirth = 6.33 ± 3.06 months). Women’s beliefs about physical activity after stillbirth were coded into the following major themes: barriers to physical activity (emotional symptoms and lack of motivation, tired, lack of time, guilt, letting go of a pregnant body, and seeing other babies), benefits to physical activity (feeling better emotionally/mentally, helping women to cope or be therapeutic), importance of physical activity (working through grief, time for self), motivators for physical activity (body shape/weight, health, more children, be a role model, already an exerciser). Health care providers and their role in physical activity participation was also a major theme. Conclusions This is the first study to qualitatively explore beliefs about physical activity in women after a stillbirth. Women who have experienced stillbirth have unique beliefs about physical activity related to their experience with stillbirth. Findings from this study may help to improve the health

  11. Physical Activity in South Asians: An In-Depth Qualitative Study to Explore Motivations and Facilitators

    PubMed Central

    Jepson, Ruth; Harris, Fiona M.; Bowes, Alison; Robertson, Roma; Avan, Ghizala; Sheikh, Aziz

    2012-01-01

    Background People of South Asian backgrounds living in the UK have a five-fold increased risk of diabetes and a two-fold increased risk of heart disease when compared to the general population. Physical activity can reduce the risk of premature death from a range of conditions. The aim of the study was to explore the motivating and facilitating factors likely to increase physical activity for South Asian adults and their families, in order to develop successful interventions and services. Methodology/Principal Findings This was a qualitative study using focus groups and in-depth interviews. Participants were 59 purposively selected Bangladeshi-, Indian- and Pakistani-origin men and women with an additional 10 key informants. The setting was three urban areas of Scotland: Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. We undertook a theoretically informed thematic analysis of data. Study participants described engaging in a range of physical activities, particularly football and the gym for men, and walking and swimming for women. The main motivators for taking part in physical activity were external motivators – i.e. undertaking physical activity as a means to an end, which included the opportunities that physical activity provided for social activity and enjoyment. The goals of weight reduction and improving mental and physical health and were also mentioned. Role models were seen as important to inspire and motivate people to undertake activities that they may otherwise lack confidence in. Few people undertook physical activity for its own sake (intrinsic motivation). Conclusions/Significance Attempts at promoting physical activity in people of South Asian origin need to take account of the social context of people's lives and the external motivators that encourage them to engage in physical activity. Undertaking group based physical activity is important and can be facilitated through religious, community, friendship or family networks. Role models may also prove

  12. Rain Forest: The Latest Information and Hands-on Activities To Explore Animals, Plants, and Geography. Grades 2-5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernard, Robin

    This book contains information and activities to help make the study of rainforests an exciting exploration for teachers and students. Students explore the animals, plants, and geography of the rainforest by completing hands-on activities from various disciplines. This book contains five units: (1) "Living Layers"; (2) "Animals, Animals, Animals";…

  13. Smoking automaticity and tolerance moderate brain activation during explore-exploit behavior.

    PubMed

    Addicott, Merideth A; Pearson, John M; Froeliger, Brett; Platt, Michael L; McClernon, F Joseph

    2014-12-30

    The adaptive trade-off between exploration and exploitation is a key component in models of reinforcement learning. Over the past decade, these models have been applied to the study of reward-seeking behavior. Drugs of addiction induce reward-seeking behavior and modify its underlying neurophysiological processes. These neurophysiological changes may underlie a behavioral shift from a flexible, exploratory mode to a focused, exploitative mode, which precedes the development of inflexible, habitual drug use. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between explore/exploit behavior and drug addiction by examining the neural correlates of this behavior in cigarette smokers. Participants (n=22) with a range of smoking behaviors completed a smoking dependence motives questionnaire and played a 6-armed bandit task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Exploratory behavior produced greater activation in the bilateral superior parietal and bilateral frontal cortices than exploitative behavior. Exploitative behavior produced greater activation in the bilateral superior and middle temporal gyri than exploratory behavior. fMRI data and orthogonalized smoking dependence motive scores were entered into multiple linear regression analyses. After controlling for nicotine tolerance, smoking automaticity positively correlated with activation in the same bilateral parietal regions preferentially activated by exploratory choices. These preliminary results link smoking dependence motives to variation in the neural processes that mediate exploratory decision making.

  14. NASA safety program activities in support of the Space Exploration Initiatives Nuclear Propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The activities of the joint NASA/DOE/DOD Nuclear Propulsion Program Technical Panels have been used as the basis for the current development of safety policies and requirements for the Space Exploration Initiatives (SEI) Nuclear Propulsion Technology development program. The Safety Division of the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Quality has initiated efforts to develop policies for the safe use of nuclear propulsion in space through involvement in the joint agency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG), encouraged expansion of the initial policy development into proposed programmatic requirements, and suggested further expansion into the overall risk assessment and risk management process for the NASA Exploration Program. Similar efforts are underway within the Department of Energy to ensure the safe development and testing of nuclear propulsion systems on Earth. This paper describes the NASA safety policy related to requirements for the design of systems that may operate where Earth re-entry is a possibility. The expected plan of action is to support and oversee activities related to the technology development of nuclear propulsion in space, and support the overall safety and risk management program being developed for the NASA Exploration Program.

  15. Venus Mobile Explorer with RPS for Active Cooling: A Feasibility Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leifer, Stephanie D.; Green, Jacklyn R.; Balint, Tibor S.; Manvi, Ram

    2009-01-01

    We present our findings from a study to evaluate the feasibility of a radioisotope power system (RPS) combined with active cooling to enable a long-duration Venus surface mission. On-board power with active cooling technology featured prominently in both the National Research Council's Decadal Survey and in the 2006 NASA Solar System Exploration Roadmap as mission-enabling for the exploration of Venus. Power and cooling system options were reviewed and the most promising concepts modeled to develop an assessment tool for Venus mission planners considering a variety of future potential missions to Venus, including a Venus Mobile Explorer (either a balloon or rover concept), a long-lived Venus static lander, or a Venus Geophysical Network. The concepts modeled were based on the integration of General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules with different types of Stirling cycle heat engines for power and cooling. Unlike prior investigations which reported on single point design concepts, this assessment tool allows the user to generate either a point design or parametric curves of approximate power and cooling system mass, power level, and number of GPHS modules needed for a "black box" payload housed in a spherical pressure vessel.

  16. Overview of ESA life support activities in preparation of future exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasseur, Christophe; Paille, Christel

    2016-07-01

    Since 1987, the European Space Agency has been active in the field of Life Support development. When compare to its international colleagues, it is clear that ESA started activities in the field with a "delay of around 25 years. Due to this situation and to avoid duplication, ESA decided to focus more on long term manned missions and to consider more intensively regenerative technologies as well as the associated risks management ( e.g. physical, chemical and contaminants). Fortunately or not, during the same period, no clear plan of exploration and consequently not specific requirements materialized. This force ESA to keep a broader and generic approach of all technologies. Today with this important catalogue of technologies and know-how, ESA is contemplating the different scenario of manned exploration beyond LEO. In this presentation we review the key scenario of future exploration, and identify the key technologies who loo the more relevant. An more detailed status is presented on the key technologies and their development plan for the future.

  17. Co-benefits of designing communities for active living: an exploration of literature.

    PubMed

    Sallis, James F; Spoon, Chad; Cavill, Nick; Engelberg, Jessa K; Gebel, Klaus; Parker, Mike; Thornton, Christina M; Lou, Debbie; Wilson, Amanda L; Cutter, Carmen L; Ding, Ding

    2015-01-01

    To reverse the global epidemic of physical inactivity that is responsible for more than 5 million deaths per year, many groups recommend creating "activity-friendly environments." Such environments may have other benefits, beyond facilitating physical activity, but these potential co-benefits have not been well described. The purpose of the present paper is to explore a wide range of literature and conduct an initial summary of evidence on co-benefits of activity-friendly environments. An extensive but non-systematic review of scientific and "gray" literature was conducted. Five physical activity settings were defined: parks/open space/trails, urban design, transportation, schools, and workplaces/buildings. Several evidence-based activity-friendly features were identified for each setting. Six potential outcomes/co-benefits were searched: physical health, mental health, social benefits, safety/injury prevention, environmental sustainability, and economics. A total of 418 higher-quality findings were summarized. The overall summary indicated 22 of 30 setting by outcome combinations showed "strong" evidence of co-benefits. Each setting had strong evidence of at least three co-benefits, with only one occurrence of a net negative effect. All settings showed the potential to contribute to environmental sustainability and economic benefits. Specific environmental features with the strongest evidence of multiple co-benefits were park proximity, mixed land use, trees/greenery, accessibility and street connectivity, building design, and workplace physical activity policies/programs. The exploration revealed substantial evidence that designing community environments that make physical activity attractive and convenient is likely to produce additional important benefits. The extent of the evidence justifies systematic reviews and additional research to fill gaps. PMID:25886356

  18. Exploring Connections Between Earth Science and Biology - Interdisciplinary Science Activities for Schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vd Flier-Keller, E.; Carolsfeld, C.; Bullard, T.

    2009-05-01

    To increase teaching of Earth science in schools, and to reflect the interdisciplinary nature and interrelatedness of science disciplines in today's world, we are exploring opportunities for linking Earth science and Biology through engaging and innovative hands-on science activities for the classroom. Through the NSERC-funded Pacific CRYSTAL project based at the University of Victoria, scientists, science educators, and teachers at all levels in the school system are collaborating to research ways of enriching the preparation of students in math and science, and improving the quality of science education from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Our primary foci are building authentic, engaging science experiences for students, and fostering teacher leadership through teacher professional development and training. Interdisciplinary science activities represent an important way of making student science experiences real, engaging and relevant, and provide opportunities to highlight Earth science related topics within other disciplines, and to expand the Earth science taught in schools. The Earth science and Biology interdisciplinary project builds on results and experiences of existing Earth science education activities, and the Seaquaria project. We are developing curriculum-linked activities and resource materials, and hosting teacher workshops, around two initial areas; soils, and marine life and the fossil record. An example activity for the latter is the hands-on examination of organisms occupying the nearshore marine environment using a saltwater aquarium and touch tank or beach fieldtrip, and relating this to a suite of marine fossils to facilitate student thinking about representation of life in the fossil record e.g. which life forms are typically preserved, and how are they preserved? Literacy activities such as fossil obituaries encourage exploration of paleoenvironments and life habits of fossil organisms. Activities and resources are being tested with teachers

  19. Co-benefits of designing communities for active living: an exploration of literature.

    PubMed

    Sallis, James F; Spoon, Chad; Cavill, Nick; Engelberg, Jessa K; Gebel, Klaus; Parker, Mike; Thornton, Christina M; Lou, Debbie; Wilson, Amanda L; Cutter, Carmen L; Ding, Ding

    2015-02-28

    To reverse the global epidemic of physical inactivity that is responsible for more than 5 million deaths per year, many groups recommend creating "activity-friendly environments." Such environments may have other benefits, beyond facilitating physical activity, but these potential co-benefits have not been well described. The purpose of the present paper is to explore a wide range of literature and conduct an initial summary of evidence on co-benefits of activity-friendly environments. An extensive but non-systematic review of scientific and "gray" literature was conducted. Five physical activity settings were defined: parks/open space/trails, urban design, transportation, schools, and workplaces/buildings. Several evidence-based activity-friendly features were identified for each setting. Six potential outcomes/co-benefits were searched: physical health, mental health, social benefits, safety/injury prevention, environmental sustainability, and economics. A total of 418 higher-quality findings were summarized. The overall summary indicated 22 of 30 setting by outcome combinations showed "strong" evidence of co-benefits. Each setting had strong evidence of at least three co-benefits, with only one occurrence of a net negative effect. All settings showed the potential to contribute to environmental sustainability and economic benefits. Specific environmental features with the strongest evidence of multiple co-benefits were park proximity, mixed land use, trees/greenery, accessibility and street connectivity, building design, and workplace physical activity policies/programs. The exploration revealed substantial evidence that designing community environments that make physical activity attractive and convenient is likely to produce additional important benefits. The extent of the evidence justifies systematic reviews and additional research to fill gaps.

  20. EXPLORING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN STAR FORMATION AND ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS ACTIVITY IN THE LOCAL UNIVERSE

    SciTech Connect

    LaMassa, Stephanie M.; Heckman, T. M.; Ptak, A.; Schiminovich, D.; Bertincourt, B.; O'Dowd, M.

    2012-10-10

    We study a combined sample of 264 star-forming, 51 composite, and 73 active galaxies using optical spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectra from the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph. We examine optical and mid-IR spectroscopic diagnostics that probe the amount of star formation and relative energetic contributions from star formation and an active galactic nucleus (AGN). Overall we find good agreement between optical and mid-IR diagnostics. Misclassifications of galaxies based on the SDSS spectra are rare despite the presence of dust obscuration. The luminosity of the [Ne II] 12.8 {mu}m emission line is well correlated with the star formation rate measured from the SDSS spectra, and this holds for the star-forming, composite, and AGN-dominated systems. AGNs show a clear excess of [Ne III] 15.6 {mu}m emission relative to star-forming and composite systems. We find good qualitative agreement between various parameters that probe the relative contributions of the AGN and star formation, including the mid-IR spectral slope, the ratio of the [Ne V] 14.3 {mu}m to [Ne II] {mu}m 12.8 fluxes, the equivalent widths of the 7.7 {mu}m, 11.3 {mu}m, and 17 {mu}m polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) features, and the optical 'D' parameter which measures the distance at which a source lies from the locus of star-forming galaxies in the optical BPT emission-line diagnostic diagram. We also consider the behavior of the three individual PAH features by examining how their flux ratios depend upon the degree of AGN dominance. We find that the PAH 11.3 {mu}m feature is significantly suppressed in the most AGN-dominated systems.