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Sample records for active tactile exploration

  1. Neuronal activity in somatosensory cortex related to tactile exploration.

    PubMed

    Fortier-Poisson, Pascal; Smith, Allan M

    2016-01-01

    The very light contact forces (∼0.60 N) applied by the fingertips during tactile exploration reveal a clearly optimized sensorimotor strategy. To investigate the cortical mechanisms involved with this behavior, we recorded 230 neurons in the somatosensory cortex (S1), as two monkeys scanned different surfaces with the fingertips in search of a tactile target without visual feedback. During the exploration, the monkeys, like humans, carefully controlled the finger forces. High-friction surfaces offering greater tangential shear force resistance to the skin were associated with decreased normal contact forces. The activity of one group of neurons was modulated with either the normal or tangential force, with little or no influence from the orthogonal force component. A second group responded to kinetic friction or the ratio of tangential to normal forces rather than responding to a specific parameter, such as force magnitude or direction. A third group of S1 neurons appeared to respond to particular vectors of normal and tangential force on the skin. Although 45 neurons correlated with scanning speed, 32 were also modulated by finger forces, suggesting that forces on the finger should be considered as the primary parameter encoding the skin compliance and that finger speed is a secondary parameter that co-varies with finger forces. Neurons (102) were also tested with different textures, and the activity of 62 of these increased or decreased in relation to the surface friction.

  2. Neuronal activity in somatosensory cortex related to tactile exploration

    PubMed Central

    Fortier-Poisson, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    The very light contact forces (∼0.60 N) applied by the fingertips during tactile exploration reveal a clearly optimized sensorimotor strategy. To investigate the cortical mechanisms involved with this behavior, we recorded 230 neurons in the somatosensory cortex (S1), as two monkeys scanned different surfaces with the fingertips in search of a tactile target without visual feedback. During the exploration, the monkeys, like humans, carefully controlled the finger forces. High-friction surfaces offering greater tangential shear force resistance to the skin were associated with decreased normal contact forces. The activity of one group of neurons was modulated with either the normal or tangential force, with little or no influence from the orthogonal force component. A second group responded to kinetic friction or the ratio of tangential to normal forces rather than responding to a specific parameter, such as force magnitude or direction. A third group of S1 neurons appeared to respond to particular vectors of normal and tangential force on the skin. Although 45 neurons correlated with scanning speed, 32 were also modulated by finger forces, suggesting that forces on the finger should be considered as the primary parameter encoding the skin compliance and that finger speed is a secondary parameter that co-varies with finger forces. Neurons (102) were also tested with different textures, and the activity of 62 of these increased or decreased in relation to the surface friction. PMID:26467519

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Feeling small: exploring the tactile perception limits.

    PubMed

    Skedung, Lisa; Arvidsson, Martin; Chung, Jun Young; Stafford, Christopher M; Berglund, Birgitta; Rutland, Mark W

    2013-01-01

    The human finger is exquisitely sensitive in perceiving different materials, but the question remains as to what length scales are capable of being distinguished in active touch. We combine material science with psychophysics to manufacture and haptically explore a series of topographically patterned surfaces of controlled wavelength, but identical chemistry. Strain-induced surface wrinkling and subsequent templating produced 16 surfaces with wrinkle wavelengths ranging from 300 nm to 90 μm and amplitudes between 7 nm and 4.5 μm. Perceived similarities of these surfaces (and two blanks) were pairwise scaled by participants, and interdistances among all stimuli were determined by individual differences scaling (INDSCAL). The tactile space thus generated and its two perceptual dimensions were directly linked to surface physical properties - the finger friction coefficient and the wrinkle wavelength. Finally, the lowest amplitude of the wrinkles so distinguished was approximately 10 nm, demonstrating that human tactile discrimination extends to the nanoscale.

  9. Feeling Small: Exploring the Tactile Perception Limits

    PubMed Central

    Skedung, Lisa; Arvidsson, Martin; Chung, Jun Young; Stafford, Christopher M.; Berglund, Birgitta; Rutland, Mark W.

    2013-01-01

    The human finger is exquisitely sensitive in perceiving different materials, but the question remains as to what length scales are capable of being distinguished in active touch. We combine material science with psychophysics to manufacture and haptically explore a series of topographically patterned surfaces of controlled wavelength, but identical chemistry. Strain-induced surface wrinkling and subsequent templating produced 16 surfaces with wrinkle wavelengths ranging from 300 nm to 90 μm and amplitudes between 7 nm and 4.5 μm. Perceived similarities of these surfaces (and two blanks) were pairwise scaled by participants, and interdistances among all stimuli were determined by individual differences scaling (INDSCAL). The tactile space thus generated and its two perceptual dimensions were directly linked to surface physical properties – the finger friction coefficient and the wrinkle wavelength. Finally, the lowest amplitude of the wrinkles so distinguished was approximately 10 nm, demonstrating that human tactile discrimination extends to the nanoscale. PMID:24030568

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Motor activity (exploration) and formation of home bases in mice (C57BL/6) influenced by visual and tactile cues: modification of movement distribution, distance, location, and speed.

    PubMed

    Clark, Benjamin J; Hamilton, Derek A; Whishaw, Ian Q

    2006-04-15

    The motor activity of mice in tests of "exploration" is organized. Mice establish home bases, operationally defined as places where they spend long periods of time, near physical objects and nesting material from which they make excursions. This organization raises the question of the extent to which mouse motoric activity is modulated by innate predispositions versus environmental influences. Here the influence of contextual cues (visual and tactile) on the motor activity of C57BL/6 mice was examined: (1) on an open field that had no walls, a partial wall, or a complete wall, (2) in the presence of distinct visual cues, room cues, or in the absence of visual cues (infrared light), and (3) in the presence of configurations of visual and tactile cues. Mice were generally less active in the presence of salient cues and formed home bases near those cues. In addition, movement speed, path distribution, and the number and length of stops were modulated by contextual cues. With repeated tests, mice favored tactile cues over visual cues as their home base locations. Although responses to cues were robust over test days, conditioning to context was generally weak. That the exploratory behavior of mice is affected by experience and context provides insights into performance variability and may prove useful in investigating the genetic and neural influences on mouse behavior.

  13. The Exploration of a "Tactile Aesthetic"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubin, Judith A.

    1976-01-01

    Investigated was whether or not six blind children had a "tactile aesthetic" qualitatively different from that of three sighted and six partially sighted children (all between 10 and 16 years of age). (Author/PT)

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Maximizing the entropy of histogram bar heights to explore neural activity: a simulation study on auditory and tactile fibers.

    PubMed

    Güçlü, Burak

    2005-01-01

    Neurophysiologists often use histograms to explore patterns of activity in neural spike trains. The bin size selected to construct a histogram is crucial: too large bin widths result in coarse histograms, too small bin widths expand unimportant detail. Peri-stimulus time (PST) histograms of simulated nerve fibers were studied in the current article. This class of histograms gives information about neural activity in the temporal domain and is a density estimate for the spike rate. Scott's rule based on modem statistical theory suggests that the optimal bin size is inversely proportional to the cube root of sample size. However, this estimate requires a priori knowledge about the density function. Moreover, there are no good algorithms for adaptive-mesh histograms, which have variable bin sizes to minimize estimation errors. Therefore, an unconventional technique is proposed here to help experimenters in practice. This novel method maximizes the entropy of histogram-bar heights to find the unique bin size, which generates the highest disorder in a histogram (i.e., the most complex histogram), and is useful as a starting point for neural data mining. Although the proposed method is ad hoc from a density-estimation point of view, it is simple, efficient and more helpful in the experimental setting where no prior statistical information on neural activity is available. The results of simulations based on the entropy method are also discussed in relation to Ellaway's cumulative-sum technique, which can detect subtle changes in neural activity in certain conditions.

  17. Tactile apraxia: unimodal apractic disorder of tactile object exploration associated with parietal lobe lesions.

    PubMed

    Binkofski, F; Kunesch, E; Classen, J; Seitz, R J; Freund, H J

    2001-01-01

    Tactile apraxia is characterized by an isolated disturbance of hand movements for use of and interaction with an object (transitive movements) in the presence of preserved intransitive movements (movements without use of an object, for example repetitive movements or gestures). It is, however, still unclear whether motor and sensory abnormalities represent causal or associated features of tactile apraxia. To address this question, quantitative kinematic recordings of exploratory finger movements (transitive movements) and rapid alternating finger movements (intransitive movements) were studied in 20 healthy volunteers and 22 patients with focal lesions of the parietal, anterofrontal and motor cortex. The most severe deficits of manual object exploration were found in patients with parietal lesions, using the hand contralateral to the lesion. Patients with lesions of the anterior parietal lobe who exhibited prominent sensory deficits and astereognosia showed a decrease in frequency and regularity of exploratory finger movements and a marked increase in exploration space. Patients with posterior parietal lesions exhibiting severe astereognosia, apraxia and deficits in dexterity had a greater decrease in frequency and regularity of manipulative movements, but a less pronounced increase of exploration space than the patients with anterior parietal lesions. Although the patients with parietal lobe lesions could generate rapid alternating finger movements, the regularity of these movements was also impaired. In comparison, patients with frontal lobe lesions exhibited impaired contralesional manipulatory and rapid alternating finger movements but no sensory abnormalities or astereognosia. We conclude that tactile apraxia represents a deficit in the programming of exploratory finger movements mediated by the parietal lobe. The comparison with lesions of other regions participating in the cortical network for tactile exploration reveals that apraxia of exploratory movements

  18. 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.

  19. Participation of Parents in the Early Exploration of Tactile Graphics by Children Who Are Visually Impaired

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryles, Ruby; Bell, Edward

    2009-01-01

    Seventy-three children with visual impairments aged 2-10 and their parents participated in a project that examined the children's interest in and exploration of tactile graphics. The parents reported that the children's interest in and conceptual understanding of the project's tactile workbook were high and that the children explored the…

  20. 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

  1. Exploration of Tactile Contact in a Haptic Display: Effects of Contact Velocity and Transient Vibrations.

    PubMed

    Gleeson, B T; Provancher, W R

    2011-01-01

    Experiments were conducted using a novel tactile contact rendering device to explore important factors of the tactile contact event. The effects of contact velocity and event-based transient vibrations were explored. Our research was motivated by a need to better understand the perception of the tactile contact event and to develop a means of rendering stiff surfaces with a nonspecialized haptic device. A passive tactile display, suitable for mounting on a Phantom robot, was developed and is capable of rendering the tactile sensation of contact on a fingertip over a range of velocities commonly experienced during everyday manipulation and tactile exploration. Experiments were conducted with this device to explore how tactile contact dynamics affect the perceived stiffness of a virtual surface. It was found that contact velocity does not have a significant effect on perceived stiffness. These results can be explained by prior research that defines perceived hardness (akin to stiffness) in terms of rate-hardness. However, in agreement with prior literature with stylus-based studies, the addition of transient vibrations to the contact event can, in some cases, increase the perceived stiffness.

  2. Human Brain Activity Related to the Tactile Perception of Stickiness.

    PubMed

    Yeon, Jiwon; Kim, Junsuk; Ryu, Jaekyun; Park, Jang-Yeon; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2017-01-01

    While the perception of stickiness serves as one of the fundamental dimensions for tactile sensation, little has been elucidated about the stickiness sensation and its neural correlates. The present study investigated how the human brain responds to perceived tactile sticky stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). To evoke tactile perception of stickiness with multiple intensities, we generated silicone stimuli with varying catalyst ratios. Also, an acrylic sham stimulus was prepared to present a condition with no sticky sensation. From the two psychophysics experiments-the methods of constant stimuli and the magnitude estimation-we could classify the silicone stimuli into two groups according to whether a sticky perception was evoked: the Supra-threshold group that evoked sticky perception and the Infra-threshold group that did not. In the Supra-threshold vs. Sham contrast analysis of the fMRI data using the general linear model (GLM), the contralateral primary somatosensory area (S1) and ipsilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed significant activations in subjects, whereas no significant result was found in the Infra-threshold vs. Sham contrast. This result indicates that the perception of stickiness not only activates the somatosensory cortex, but also possibly induces higher cognitive processes. Also, the Supra- vs. Infra-threshold contrast analysis revealed significant activations in several subcortical regions, including the pallidum, putamen, caudate and thalamus, as well as in another region spanning the insula and temporal cortices. These brain regions, previously known to be related to tactile discrimination, may subserve the discrimination of different intensities of tactile stickiness. The present study unveils the human neural correlates of the tactile perception of stickiness and may contribute to broadening the understanding of neural mechanisms associated with tactile perception.

  3. Human Brain Activity Related to the Tactile Perception of Stickiness

    PubMed Central

    Yeon, Jiwon; Kim, Junsuk; Ryu, Jaekyun; Park, Jang-Yeon; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2017-01-01

    While the perception of stickiness serves as one of the fundamental dimensions for tactile sensation, little has been elucidated about the stickiness sensation and its neural correlates. The present study investigated how the human brain responds to perceived tactile sticky stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). To evoke tactile perception of stickiness with multiple intensities, we generated silicone stimuli with varying catalyst ratios. Also, an acrylic sham stimulus was prepared to present a condition with no sticky sensation. From the two psychophysics experiments–the methods of constant stimuli and the magnitude estimation—we could classify the silicone stimuli into two groups according to whether a sticky perception was evoked: the Supra-threshold group that evoked sticky perception and the Infra-threshold group that did not. In the Supra-threshold vs. Sham contrast analysis of the fMRI data using the general linear model (GLM), the contralateral primary somatosensory area (S1) and ipsilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed significant activations in subjects, whereas no significant result was found in the Infra-threshold vs. Sham contrast. This result indicates that the perception of stickiness not only activates the somatosensory cortex, but also possibly induces higher cognitive processes. Also, the Supra- vs. Infra-threshold contrast analysis revealed significant activations in several subcortical regions, including the pallidum, putamen, caudate and thalamus, as well as in another region spanning the insula and temporal cortices. These brain regions, previously known to be related to tactile discrimination, may subserve the discrimination of different intensities of tactile stickiness. The present study unveils the human neural correlates of the tactile perception of stickiness and may contribute to broadening the understanding of neural mechanisms associated with tactile perception. PMID:28163677

  4. 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.

  5. Tribotronic Transistor Array as an Active Tactile Sensing System.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhi Wei; Pang, Yaokun; Zhang, Limin; Lu, Cunxin; Chen, Jian; Zhou, Tao; Zhang, Chi; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2016-12-27

    Large-scale tactile sensor arrays are of great importance in flexible electronics, human-robot interaction, and medical monitoring. In this paper, a flexible 10 × 10 tribotronic transistor array (TTA) is developed as an active tactile sensing system by incorporating field-effect transistor units and triboelectric nanogenerators into a polyimide substrate. The drain-source current of each tribotronic transistor can be individually modulated by the corresponding external contact, which has induced a local electrostatic potential to act as the conventional gate voltage. By scaling down the pixel size from 5 × 5 to 0.5 × 0.5 mm(2), the sensitivities of single pixels are systematically investigated. The pixels of the TTA show excellent durability, independence, and synchronicity, which are suitable for applications in real-time tactile sensing, motion monitoring, and spatial mapping. The integrated tribotronics provides an unconventional route to realize an active tactile sensing system, with prospective applications in wearable electronics, human-machine interfaces, fingerprint identification, and so on.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Active tactile sampling by an insect in a step-climbing paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Krause, André F.; Dürr, Volker

    2012-01-01

    Many insects actively explore their near-range environment with their antennae. Stick insects (Carausius morosus) rhythmically move their antennae during walking and respond to antennal touch by repetitive tactile sampling of the object. Despite its relevance for spatial orientation, neither the spatial sampling patterns nor the kinematics of antennation behavior in insects are understood. Here we investigate unrestrained bilateral sampling movements during climbing of steps. The main objectives are: (1) How does the antennal contact pattern relate to particular object features? (2) How are the antennal joints coordinated during bilateral tactile sampling? We conducted motion capture experiments on freely climbing insects, using steps of different height. Tactile sampling was analyzed at the level of antennal joint angles. Moreover, we analyzed contact patterns on the surfaces of both the obstacle and the antenna itself. Before the first contact, both antennae move in a broad, mostly elliptical exploratory pattern. After touching the obstacle, the pattern switches to a narrower and faster movement, caused by higher cycle frequencies and lower cycle amplitudes in all joints. Contact events were divided into wall- and edge-contacts. Wall contacts occurred mostly with the distal third of the flagellum, which is flexible, whereas edge contacts often occurred proximally, where the flagellum is stiff. The movement of both antennae was found to be coordinated, exhibiting bilateral coupling of functionally analogous joints [e.g., left head-scape (HS) joint with right scape-pedicel (SP) joint] throughout tactile sampling. In comparison, bilateral coupling between homologous joints (e.g., both HS joints) was significantly weaker. Moreover, inter-joint coupling was significantly weaker during the contact episode than before. In summary, stick insects show contact-induced changes in frequency, amplitude and inter-joint coordination during tactile sampling of climbed obstacles

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Periodontal tactile input activates the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Higaki, Nobuaki; Goto, Takaharu; Ichikawa, Tetsuo

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a role in complex cognitive behavioural planning, decision-making, and social behaviours. However, the effects of sensory integration during motor tasks on PFC activation have not been studied to date. Therefore, we investigated the effect of peripheral sensory information and external information on PFC activation using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was increased around bilateral Brodmann areas 46 and 10 during visual and auditory information integration during an occlusal force (biting) task. After local anesthesia, CBF values were significantly decreased, but occlusal force was similar. In conclusion, the effects of peripheral sensory information from the periodontal ligament and external information have minimal impacts on occlusal force maintenance but are important for PFC activation. PMID:27833164

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Context-dependent changes in tactile perception during movement execution

    PubMed Central

    Juravle, Georgiana; McGlone, Francis; Spence, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Tactile perception is inhibited during movement execution, a phenomenon known as tactile suppression. Here, we investigated whether the type of movement determines whether or not this form of sensory suppression occurs. Participants performed simple reaching or exploratory movements. Tactile discrimination thresholds were calculated for vibratory stimuli delivered to participants' wrists while executing the movement, and while at rest (a tactile discrimination task, TD). We also measured discrimination performance in a same vs. different task for the explored materials during the execution of the different movements (a surface discrimination task, SD). The TD and SD tasks could either be performed singly or together, both under active movement and passive conditions. Consistent with previous results, tactile thresholds measured at rest were significantly lower than those measured during both active movement and passive touch (that is, tactile suppression was observed). Moreover, SD performance was significantly better under conditions of single-tasking, active movements, as well as exploratory movements, as compared to conditions of dual-tasking, passive movements, and reaching movements, respectively. Therefore, the present results demonstrate that when active hand movements are made with the purpose of gaining information about the surface properties of different materials an enhanced perceptual performance is observed. As such, it would appear that tactile suppression occurs for irrelevant tactual features during both reaching and exploratory movements, but not for those task-relevant features that result from action execution during tactile exploration. Taken together, then, these results support a context-dependent modulation of tactile suppression during movement execution. PMID:24367346

  20. Context-dependent changes in tactile perception during movement execution.

    PubMed

    Juravle, Georgiana; McGlone, Francis; Spence, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Tactile perception is inhibited during movement execution, a phenomenon known as tactile suppression. Here, we investigated whether the type of movement determines whether or not this form of sensory suppression occurs. Participants performed simple reaching or exploratory movements. Tactile discrimination thresholds were calculated for vibratory stimuli delivered to participants' wrists while executing the movement, and while at rest (a tactile discrimination task, TD). We also measured discrimination performance in a same vs. different task for the explored materials during the execution of the different movements (a surface discrimination task, SD). The TD and SD tasks could either be performed singly or together, both under active movement and passive conditions. Consistent with previous results, tactile thresholds measured at rest were significantly lower than those measured during both active movement and passive touch (that is, tactile suppression was observed). Moreover, SD performance was significantly better under conditions of single-tasking, active movements, as well as exploratory movements, as compared to conditions of dual-tasking, passive movements, and reaching movements, respectively. Therefore, the present results demonstrate that when active hand movements are made with the purpose of gaining information about the surface properties of different materials an enhanced perceptual performance is observed. As such, it would appear that tactile suppression occurs for irrelevant tactual features during both reaching and exploratory movements, but not for those task-relevant features that result from action execution during tactile exploration. Taken together, then, these results support a context-dependent modulation of tactile suppression during movement execution.

  1. 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.

  2. Brain activity for tactile allodynia: a longitudinal awake rat functional magnetic resonance imaging study tracking emergence of neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Chang, Pei-Ching; Centeno, Maria Virginia; Procissi, Daniel; Baria, Alex; Apkarian, A Vania

    2017-03-01

    Tactile allodynia, a condition in which innocuous mechanical stimuli are perceived as painful, is a common feature of chronic pain. However, how the brain reorganizes in relation to the emergence of tactile allodynia is still largely unknown. This may stem from the fact that experiments in humans are cross-sectional in nature, whereas animal brain imaging studies typically require anaesthesia rendering the brain incapable of consciously sensing or responding to pain. In this longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study in awake rats, we tracked brain activity with the development of tactile allodynia. Before injury, innocuous air-puff stimuli evoked a distributed sensory network of activations, including contralateral somatosensory cortices, thalamus, insula, and cingulate cortex. Moreover, the primary somatosensory cortex displayed a graded response tracking air-puff stimulus intensities. After neuropathic injury, and for stimuli in which the intensity exceeded the paw withdrawal threshold (evoking tactile allodynia), the blood oxygenation level-dependent response in the primary somatosensory cortex was equivalent to that evoked by the identical stimulus before injury. In contrast, nucleus accumbens and prefrontal brain areas displayed abnormal activity to normally innocuous stimuli when such stimuli induced tactile allodynia at 28 days after peripheral nerve injury, which had not been the case at 5 days after injury. Our data indicate that tactile allodynia-related nociceptive inputs are not observable in the primary somatosensory cortex BOLD response. Instead, our data suggest that, in time, tactile allodynia differentially engages neural circuits that regulate the affective and motivational components of pain.

  3. Stimulus-dependent EEG activity reflects internal updating of tactile working memory in humans.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2011-05-17

    Despite recent advances in uncovering the neural signature of tactile working memory processing in animals and humans, the representation of internally modified somatosensory working memory content has not been studied so far. Here, recording EEG in human participants (n = 25) performing a modified delayed match-to-sample task allowed us to disambiguate internally driven memory processing from encoding-related delay activity. After presentation of two distinct vibrotactile frequencies to different index fingers, a visual cue indicated which of the two previous stimuli had to be maintained in working memory throughout a retention interval for subsequent frequency discrimination against a probe stimulus. During cued stimulus maintenance, α activity (8-13 Hz) over early somatosensory cortices was lateralized according to the cued tactile stimulus, even though the location of the stimuli was task irrelevant. The task-relevant memory content, in contrast, was found to be represented in right prefrontal cortex. The key finding was that the visually presented instructions triggered systematic modulations of prefrontal β-band activity (20-25 Hz), which selectively reflected the to-be-maintained frequency of the cued tactile vibration. The results expand previous evidence for parametric representations of vibrotactile frequency in the prefrontal cortex and corroborate a central role of dynamic β-band synchronization during active processing of an analog stimulus quantity in human working memory. In particular, our findings suggest that such processing supports not only sustained maintenance but also purposeful modification and updating of the task-relevant working memory contents.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A Comparison of Active Sidestick and Conventional Inceptors for Helicopter Flight Envelope Tactile Cueing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalley, Matthew S.; Hindson, William; Thiers, George; Rutkowski, Michael (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    This paper will compare the results of two ground-based piloted simulation studies of helicopter flight envelope tactile cueing. The objective of these trials was to develop methods of assisting the pilot in respecting flight envelope limits in a high workload environment. Both trials looked at the same aggressive hover and forward-flight tasks, the difference being that in the first trial, large-displacement programmable force-feel inceptors were used while in the second programmable short active sidesticks were used.

  7. Effect of fingerprints orientation on skin vibrations during tactile exploration of textured surfaces.

    PubMed

    Prevost, Alexis; Scheibert, Julien; Debrégeas, Georges

    2009-09-01

    In humans, the tactile perception of fine textures is mediated by skin vibrations when scanning the surface with the fingertip. These vibrations are encoded by specific mechanoreceptors, Pacinian corpuscules (PCs), located about 2 mm below the skin surface. In a recent article, we performed experiments using a biomimetic sensor which suggest that fingerprints (epidermal ridges) may play an important role in shaping the subcutaneous stress vibrations in a way which facilitates their processing by the PC channel. Here we further test this hypothesis by directly recording the modulations of the fingerpad/substrate friction force induced by scanning an actual fingertip across a textured surface. When the fingerprints are oriented perpendicular to the scanning direction, the spectrum of these modulations shows a pronounced maximum around the frequency v/lambda, where v is the scanning velocity and lambda the fingerprints period. This simple biomechanical result confirms the relevance of our previous finding for human touch.

  8. Exploring teleimpedance and tactile feedback for intuitive control of the Pisa/IIT SoftHand.

    PubMed

    Ajoudani, Arash; Godfrey, Sasha B; Bianchi, Matteo; Catalano, Manuel G; Grioli, Giorgio; Tsagarakis, Nikos; Bicchi, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    This paper proposes a teleimpedance controller with tactile feedback for more intuitive control of the Pisa/IIT SoftHand. With the aim to realize a robust, efficient and low-cost hand prosthesis design, the SoftHand is developed based on the motor control principle of synergies, through which the immense complexity of the hand is simplified into distinct motor patterns. Due to the built-in flexibility of the hand joints, as the SoftHand grasps, it follows a synergistic path while allowing grasping of objects of various shapes using only a single motor. The DC motor of the hand incorporates a novel teleimpedance control in which the user's postural and stiffness synergy references are tracked in real-time. In addition, for intuitive control of the hand, two tactile interfaces are developed. The first interface (mechanotactile) exploits a disturbance observer which estimates the interaction forces in contact with the grasped object. Estimated interaction forces are then converted and applied to the upper arm of the user via a custom made pressure cuff. The second interface employs vibrotactile feedback based on surface irregularities and acceleration signals and is used to provide the user with information about the surface properties of the object as well as detection of object slippage while grasping. Grasp robustness and intuitiveness of hand control were evaluated in two sets of experiments. Results suggest that incorporating the aforementioned haptic feedback strategies, together with user-driven compliance of the hand, facilitate execution of safe and stable grasps, while suggesting that a low-cost, robust hand employing hardware-based synergies might be a good alternative to traditional myoelectric prostheses.

  9. Spatial patterns in tactile perception: is there a tactile field?

    PubMed

    Haggard, Patrick; Giovagnoli, Giulia

    2011-05-01

    Previous studies of tactile spatial perception focussed either on a single point of stimulation, on local patterns within a single skin region such as the fingertip, on tactile motion, or on active touch. It remains unclear whether we should speak of a tactile field, analogous to the visual field, and supporting spatial relations between stimulus locations. Here we investigate this question by studying perception of large-scale tactile spatial patterns on the hand, arm and back. Experiment 1 investigated the relation between perception of tactile patterns and the identification of subsets of those patterns. The results suggest that perception of tactile spatial patterns is based on representing the spatial relations between locations of individual stimuli. Experiment 2 investigated the spatial and temporal organising principles underlying these relations. Experiment 3 showed that tactile pattern perception makes reference to structural representations of the body, such as body parts separated by joints. Experiment 4 found that precision of pattern perception is poorer for tactile patterns that extend across the midline, compared to unilateral patterns. Overall, the results suggest that the human sense of touch involves a tactile field, analogous to the visual field. The tactile field supports computation of spatial relations between individual stimulus locations, and thus underlies tactile pattern perception.

  10. 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

  11. 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

    2004-04-08

    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.

  12. Altered C-tactile processing in human dynamic tactile allodynia.

    PubMed

    Liljencrantz, Jaquette; Björnsdotter, Malin; Morrison, India; Bergstrand, Simon; Ceko, Marta; Seminowicz, David A; Cole, Jonathan; Bushnell, M Catherine; Olausson, Håkan

    2013-02-01

    Human unmyelinated (C) tactile afferents signal the pleasantness of gentle skin stroking on hairy (nonglabrous) skin. After neuronal injury, that same type of touch can elicit unpleasant sensations: tactile allodynia. The prevailing pathophysiological explanation is a spinal cord sensitization, triggered by nerve injury, which enables Aβ afferents to access pain pathways. However, a recent mouse knockout study demonstrates that C-tactile afferents are necessary for allodynia to develop, suggesting a role for not only Aβ but also C-tactile afferent signaling. To examine the contribution of C-tactile afferents to the allodynic condition in humans, we applied the heat/capsaicin model of tactile allodynia in 43 healthy subjects and in 2 sensory neuronopathy patients lacking Aβ afferents. Healthy subjects reported tactile-evoked pain, whereas the patients did not. Instead, patients reported their C-touch percept (faint sensation of pleasant touch) to be significantly weaker in the allodynic zone compared to untreated skin. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in 18 healthy subjects and in 1 scanned patient indicated that stroking in the allodynic and control zones evoked different responses in the primary cortical receiving area for thin fiber signaling, the posterior insular cortex. In addition, reduced activation in the medial prefrontal cortices, key areas for C-tactile hedonic processing, was identified. These findings suggest that dynamic tactile allodynia is associated with reduced C-tactile mediated hedonic touch processing. Nevertheless, because the patients did not develop allodynic pain, this seems dependent on Aβ signaling, at least under these experimental conditions.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. The Effect of Additional Tactile Stimulation in a Perceptual-Motor Treatment Program for School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKibbin, Elsie H.

    1973-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to explore the value of a perceptual-motor program using predominantly gross motor activities for children with developmental apraxia and deficits in tactile perception. (Author)

  16. Functional connectivity and activity of white matter in somatosensory pathways under tactile stimulations.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xi; Yang, Zhipeng; Bailey, Stephen K; Zhou, Jiliu; Cutting, Laurie E; Gore, John C; Ding, Zhaohua

    2017-03-08

    Functional MRI has proven to be effective in detecting neural activity in brain cortices on the basis of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast, but has relatively poor sensitivity for detecting neural activity in white matter. To demonstrate that BOLD signals in white matter are detectable and contain information on neural activity, we stimulated the somatosensory system and examined distributions of BOLD signals in related white matter pathways. The temporal correlation profiles and frequency contents of BOLD signals were compared between stimulation and resting conditions, and between relevant white matter fibers and background regions, as well as between left and right side stimulations. Quantitative analyses show that, overall, MR signals from white matter fiber bundles in the somatosensory system exhibited significantly greater temporal correlations with the primary sensory cortex and greater signal power during tactile stimulations than in a resting state, and were stronger than corresponding measurements for background white matter both during stimulations and in a resting state. The temporal correlation and signal power under stimulation were found to be twice those observed from the same bundle in a resting state, and bore clear relations with the side of stimuli. These indicate that BOLD signals in white matter fibers encode neural activity related to their functional roles connecting cortical volumes, which are detectable with appropriate methods.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Electrostatic tactile display with thin film slider and its application to tactile telepresentation systems.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Akio; Nagasawa, Shuichi; Yamamoto, Hiroaki; Higuchi, Toshiro

    2006-01-01

    A new electrostatic tactile display is proposed to realize compact tactile display devices that can be incorporated with virtual reality systems. The tactile display of this study consists of a thin conductive film slider with stator electrodes that excite electrostatic forces. Users of the device experience tactile texture sensations by moving the slider with their fingers. The display operates by applying two-phase cyclic voltage patterns to the electrodes. The display is incorporated into a tactile telepresentation system to realize explorations of remote surface textures with real-time tactile feedback. In the system, a PVDF tactile sensor and a DSP controller automatically generate voltage patterns to present surface texture sensations through the tactile display. A sensor, in synchronization with finger motion on the tactile display, scans a texture sample and outputs information about the sample surface. The information is processed by a DSP and fed back to the tactile display in real time. The tactile telepresentation system was evaluated in texture discrimination tests and demonstrated a 79 percent correct answer ratio. A transparent electrostatic tactile display is also reported in which the tactile display is combined with an LCD to realize a visual-tactile integrated display system.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Triboelectric active sensor array for self-powered static and dynamic pressure detection and tactile imaging.

    PubMed

    Lin, Long; Xie, Yannan; Wang, Sihong; Wu, Wenzhuo; Niu, Simiao; Wen, Xiaonan; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2013-09-24

    We report an innovative, large-area, and self-powered pressure mapping approach based on the triboelectric effect, which converts the mechanical stimuli into electrical output signals. The working mechanism of the triboelectric active sensor (TEAS) was theoretically studied by both analytical method and numerical calculation to gain an intuitive understanding of the relationship between the applied pressure and the responsive signals. Relying on the unique pressure response characteristics of the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current, we realize both static and dynamic pressure sensing on a single device for the first time. A series of comprehensive investigations were carried out to characterize the performance of the TEAS, and high sensitivity (0.31 kPa(-1)), ultrafast response time (<5 ms), long-term stability (30,000 cycles), as well as low detection limit (2.1 Pa) were achieved. The pressure measurement range of the TEAS was adjustable, which means both gentle pressure detection and large-scale pressure sensing were enabled. Through integrating multiple TEAS units into a sensor array, the as-fabricated TEAS matrix was capable of monitoring and mapping the local pressure distribution applied on the device with distinguishable spatial profiles. This work presents a technique for tactile imaging and progress toward practical applications of nanogenerators, providing potential solutions for accomplishment of artificial skin, human-electronic interfacing, and self-powered systems.

  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. 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.

  5. The neural basis of tactile motion perception

    PubMed Central

    Pei, Yu-Cheng

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. Cortical activation by tactile stimulation to face and anterior neck areas: an fMRI study with three analytic methods.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chou-Ching K; Sun, Yung-Nien; Huang, Chung-I; Yu, Chin-Yin; Ju, Ming-Shaung

    2010-12-01

    The main purpose of this study was to investigate the sensory cortical activation of the anterior neck region and the relationship between the neck and face representation areas. Functional MRI by blood oxygenation level dependent measurements was performed while tactile stimulation was applied to the face or neck area. Nonpainful tactile stimuli were manually delivered by an experimenter at a frequency of ∼1 Hz. Block (epoch) design was adopted with a block duration of 30 s and a whole run duration of 6 min. For each location, two runs were performed. After the image data were preprocessed, both parameteric and nonparametric methods were performed to test the group results. The results showed that (1) unilateral face or neck stimulation could elicit bilateral cortical activation, (2) mainly the face representation and face-hand junction areas, but not the conventional neck representation area, were activated by face or neck stimulation, and (3) the activation areas were larger when right face or neck was stimulated. In conclusion, the sensory cortical representation area of the anterior neck region was mainly at the junction of hand and face representation area and the activated area was larger when the right face or neck was stimulated.

  7. 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.

  8. Tactile sensory system: encoding from the periphery to the cortex.

    PubMed

    Jones, Lynette A; Smith, Allan M

    2014-01-01

    Specialized mechanoreceptors in the skin respond to mechanical deformation and provide the primary input to the tactile sensory system. Although the morphology of these receptors has been documented, there is still considerable uncertainty as to the relation between cutaneous receptor morphology and the associated physiological responses to stimulation. Labelled-line models of somatosensory processes in which specific mechanoreceptors are associated with particular sensory qualities fail to account for the evidence showing that all types of tactile afferent units respond to a varying extent to most types of natural stimuli. Neurophysiological and psychophysical experiments have provided the framework for determining the relation between peripheral afferent or cortical activity and tactile perception. Neural codes derived from these afferent signals are evaluated in terms of their capacity to predict human perceptual performance. One particular challenge in developing models of the tactile sensory system is the dual use of sensory signals from the skin. In addition to their perceptual function they serve as inputs to the sensorimotor control system involved in manipulation. Perceptions generated through active touch differ from those resulting from passive stimulation of the skin because they are the product of self-generated exploratory processes. Recent research in this area has highlighted the importance of shear forces in these exploratory movements and has shown that fingertip skin is particularly sensitive to shear generated during both object manipulation and tactile exploration.

  9. Observing the Use of Tactile Schedules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aasen, Gro; Naerland, Terje

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the use of tactile schedules in a heterogeneous sample of children with congenital blindness and varying degrees of additional disabilities. Basic conditions for the use of tactile schedules are proposed and discussed. Child behaviour indicative of some particular functions that can be attained with the use of tactile…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Texture perception through direct and indirect touch: An analysis of perceptual space for tactile textures in two modes of exploration

    PubMed Central

    Yoshioka, T.; Bensamaïa, S. J.; Craig, J. C.; Hsiao, S. S.

    2007-01-01

    Considerable information about the texture of objects can be perceived remotely through a probe. It is not clear, however, how texture perception with a probe compares with texture perception with the bare finger. Here we investigate the perception of a variety of textured surfaces encountered daily (e.g., corduroy, paper, and rubber) using the two scanning modes—direct touch through the finger and indirect touch through a probe held in the hand—in two tasks. In the first task, subjects rated the overall pair-wise dissimilarity of the textures. In the second task, subjects rated each texture along three continua, namely, perceived roughness, hardness, and stickiness of the surfaces, shown previously as the primary dimensions of texture perception in direct touch. From the dissimilarity judgment experiment, we found that the texture percept is similar though not identical in the two scanning modes. From the adjective rating experiments, we found that while roughness ratings are similar, hardness and stickiness ratings tend to differ between scanning conditions. These differences between the two modes of scanning are apparent in perceptual space for tactile textures based on multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis. Finally, we demonstrate that three physical quantities, vibratory power, compliance, and friction carry roughness, hardness, and stickiness information, predicting perceived dissimilarity of texture pairs with indirect touch. Given that different types of texture information are processed by separate groups of neurons across direct and indirect touch, we propose that the neural mechanisms underlying texture perception differ between scanning modes. PMID:17558923

  14. An Exploration of the Interaction Between Touch Avoidance and the Pleasant Touch (C-Tactile Afferent) System.

    PubMed

    Hielscher, Emily; Mahar, Doug

    2016-08-09

    C-tactile (CT) afferent fibers are optimally stimulated by slow gentle stroking, and an inverted U-shaped relationship exists between stroking velocity and pleasantness ratings of this type of touch. This study investigated whether an additional and potentially important variable, touch avoidance, interacts with this relationship. While a typical U-shaped velocity-pleasantness relationship was expected, those high in touch avoidance were expected to rate CT-targeted touch (1-10 cm/s) as less pleasant than those low in touch avoidance. Thirty-five participants rated the pleasantness of a brush stroked across their forearm at five velocities (0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30 cm/s) administered by a custom-built touch stimulator ("the touch device"). Participants also completed two self-report measures of touch avoidance. There was an inverted U-shaped relationship between velocity and pleasantness ratings, and high touch avoidance resulted in a downward shift of this curve. The downward shift was across all velocities, including those that do not maximally engage CT afferents. It appears that touch avoidance reduces the pleasantness of all kinds of touch in a similar way, and it is unlikely to be specifically related to CT afferent functioning. Other potential mechanisms leading to touch avoidance are discussed.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Brain process for perception of the "out of the body" tactile illusion for virtual object interaction.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    "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).

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Decline of tactile acuity in aging: a study of body site, blood flow, and lifetime habits of smoking and physical activity.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Joseph C; Alvarez-Reeves, Marty; Dipietro, Loretta; Mack, Gary W; Green, Barry G

    2003-01-01

    Tactile acuity of 60 older subjects (> or = 65 years) and 19 younger subjects (18-28 years) was assessed by two-point gap thresholds at the upper and lower surfaces of the forefinger, at the upper and lower surfaces of the feet, and at the volar surface of the forearm. The older subjects were assigned to one of four groups of 15 subjects each, depending on reported lifetime habits of physical activity and smoking: (1) active smokers, (2) active nonsmokers, (3) inactive smokers, and (4) inactive nonsmokers. Peripheral blood flow was assessed at the forefinger, foot, and forearm by means of laser-Doppler imaging and skin temperature recordings, under resting conditions and during and after a 5-min exposure to mild cooling (28 degrees C). Consistent with previous studies, tactile acuity thresholds in the foot and finger averaged about 80% higher in the older subjects than in the younger subjects, but only about 22% higher in the forearm. Although the upper surface of the fingertip was more sensitive than the lower surface in both younger and older subjects, the age-related decline in tactile acuity was nearly identical on both sides of the finger and foot. The latter finding refutes the hypothesis that the larger effect of aging in the extremities results from greater physical wear and tear on the contact surfaces of the hands and feet. Self-reported lifetime histories of physical activity and smoking were not significantly associated with measures of cutaneous blood flow or tactile thresholds. Possible reasons for this lack of association are discussed, including the inherent limitations of testing only healthy older subjects, and the concept of "successful aging".

  3. A Prototype Tactile Sensor Array.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-09-15

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

  4. Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Eve R; Gracheva, Elena O; Bagriantsev, Slav N

    2016-05-01

    Evolution has endowed vertebrates with the remarkable tactile ability to explore the world through the perception of physical force. Yet the sense of touch remains one of the least well understood senses at the cellular and molecular level. Vertebrates specializing in tactile perception can highlight general principles of mechanotransduction. Here, we review cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie the sense of touch in typical and acutely mechanosensitive vertebrates.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Anthropomorphic tactile sensors for tactile feedback systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuenemann, Matthias

    1997-12-01

    The reproduction of the human tactile sense is highly desirable for successful telemanipulation of irregularly shaped objects. Advanced tactile feedback systems could significantly simplify manipulation tasks in the macro domain (e.g. telerobotics) as well as in the micro domain (e.g. minimal-invasive surgery). In order to realize tactile feedback systems, there is an increasing interest in sophisticated tactile sensing systems capable of detecting and processing mechanical and non-mechanical contact parameters, like normal and shear contact forces, temperature, and, for the purpose of the self protection of the system, reproducing a sensation similar to mechanical and thermal caused pain in humans. Because of the necessity of the tactile sensor system to interact with human operators within the framework of a tactile feedback system, an anthropomorphic approach was chosen. Based on investigations, research, and mechanical modeling in the field of tactile reception mechanisms, conclusions regarding working principle, structure, number, arrangement, optimal placement and desired parameters as well as regarding the strategies of signal and information processing are drawn for the purpose of a general design of a tactile sensing system. The realization of single sensor elements by microstructuring and microfabrication is investigated. The applicability of different transduction principles is discussed with the result that, having in mind the intended tasks, the state of the art in microsystems technology, and the requirements of assembly and packaging, capacitive and piezoresistive sensors are most promising for mechanical contact sensing. Design and technology of a simple capacitive/piezoresistive 3D contact force sensor element and of a more complex capacitive contact force sensing element are presented, their feasibility is demonstrated and their integration into a sensor system is discussed.

  8. Tactile suppression of displacement.

    PubMed

    Ziat, Mounia; Hayward, Vincent; Chapman, C Elaine; Ernst, Marc O; Lenay, Charles

    2010-10-01

    In vision, the discovery of the phenomenon of saccadic suppression of displacement has made important contributions to the understanding of the stable world problem. Here, we report a similar phenomenon in the tactile modality. When scanning a single Braille dot with two fingers of the same hand, participants were asked to decide whether the dot was stationary or whether it was displaced from one location to another. The stimulus was produced by refreshable Braille devices that have dots that can be swiftly raised and recessed. In some conditions, the dot was stationary. In others, a displacement was created by monitoring the participant's finger position and by switching the dot activation when it was not touched by either finger. The dot displacement was of either 2.5 mm or 5 mm. We found that in certain cases, displaced dots were felt to be stationary. If the displacement was orthogonal to the finger movements, tactile suppression occurred effectively when it was of 2.5 mm, but when the displacement was of 5 mm, the participants easily detected it. If the displacement was medial-lateral, the suppression effect occurred as well, but less often when the apparent movement of the dot opposed the movement of the finger. In such cases, the stimulus appeared sooner than when the brain could predict it from finger movement, supporting a predictive rather than a postdictive differential processing hypothesis.

  9. Controlling the activation of the Bv8/prokineticin system reduces neuroinflammation and abolishes thermal and tactile hyperalgesia in neuropathic animals

    PubMed Central

    Maftei, D; Marconi, V; Florenzano, F; Giancotti, L A; Castelli, M; Moretti, S; Borsani, E; Rodella, L F; Balboni, G; Luongo, L; Maione, S; Sacerdote, P; Negri, L; Lattanzi, R

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Chemokines are involved in neuroinflammation and contribute to chronic pain processing. The new chemokine prokineticin 2 (PROK2) and its receptors (PKR1 and PKR2) have a role in inflammatory pain and immunomodulation. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of PROK2 and its receptors in neuropathic pain. Experimental Approach Effects of single, intrathecal, perineural and s.c. injections of the PKR antagonist PC1, or of 1 week s.c. treatment, on thermal hyperalgesia and tactile allodynia was evaluated in mice with chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve (CCI). Expression and localization of PROK2 and of its receptors at peripheral and central level was evaluated 10 days after CCI, following treatment for 1 week with saline or PC1. IL-1β and IL-10 levels, along with glia activation, were evaluated. Key Results Subcutaneous, intrathecal and perineural PC1 acutely abolished the CCI-induced hyperalgesia and allodynia. At 10 days after CCI, PROK2 and its receptor PKR2 were up-regulated in nociceptors, in Schwann cells and in activated astrocytes of the spinal cord. Therapeutic treatment with PC1 (s.c., 1 week) alleviated established thermal hyperalgesia and allodynia, reduced the injury-induced overexpression of PROK2, significantly blunted nerve injury-induced microgliosis and astrocyte activation in the spinal cord and restored the physiological levels of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in periphery and in spinal cord. Conclusion and Implications The prokineticin system contributes to pain modulation via neuron–glia interaction. Sustained inhibition of the prokineticin system, at peripheral or central levels, blocked both pain symptoms and some events underlying disease progression. PMID:24902717

  10. Chronic recordings reveal tactile stimuli can suppress spontaneous activity of neurons in somatosensory cortex of awake and anesthetized primates.

    PubMed

    Qi, Hui-Xin; Reed, Jamie L; Franca, Joao G; Jain, Neeraj; Kajikawa, Yoshinao; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-04-01

    In somatosensory cortex, tactile stimulation within the neuronal receptive field (RF) typically evokes a transient excitatory response with or without postexcitatory inhibition. Here, we describe neuronal responses in which stimulation on the hand is followed by suppression of the ongoing discharge. With the use of 16-channel microelectrode arrays implanted in the hand representation of primary somatosensory cortex of New World monkeys and prosimian galagos, we recorded neuronal responses from single units and neuron clusters. In 66% of our sample, neuron activity tended to display suppression of firing when regions of skin outside of the excitatory RF were stimulated. In a small proportion of neurons, single-site indentations suppressed firing without initial increases in response to any of the tested sites on the hand. Latencies of suppressive responses to skin indentation (usually 12-34 ms) were similar to excitatory response latencies. The duration of inhibition varied across neurons. Although most observations were from anesthetized animals, we also found similar neuron response properties in one awake galago. Notably, suppression of ongoing neuronal activity did not require conditioning stimuli or multi-site stimulation. The suppressive effects were generally seen following single-site skin indentations outside of the neuron's minimal RF and typically on different digits and palm pads, which have not often been studied in this context. Overall, the characteristics of widespread suppressive or inhibitory response properties with and without initial facilitative or excitatory responses add to the growing evidence that neurons in primary somatosensory cortex provide essential processing for integrating sensory stimulation from across the hand.

  11. 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…

  12. Dynamic changes in brain activations and functional connectivity during affectively different tactile stimuli.

    PubMed

    Hua, Qing-Ping; Zeng, Xiang-Zhu; Liu, Jian-Yu; Wang, Jin-Yan; Guo, Jian-You; Luo, Fei

    2008-01-01

    In the present study, we compared brain activations produced by pleasant, neutral and unpleasant touch, to the anterior lateral surface of lower leg of human subjects. It was found that several brain regions, including the contralateral primary somatosensory area (SI), bilateral secondary somatosensory area (SII), as well as contralateral middle and posterior insula cortex were commonly activated under the three touch conditions. In addition, pleasant and unpleasant touch conditions shared a few brain regions including the contralateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and bilateral premotor cortex (PMC). Unpleasant touch specifically activated a set of pain-related brain regions such as contralateral supplementary motor area (SMA) and dorsal parts of bilateral anterior cingulated cortex, etc. Brain regions specifically activated by pleasant touch comprised bilateral lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), intraparietal cortex and left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Using a novel functional connectivity model based on graph theory, we showed that a series of brain regions related to affectively different touch had significant functional connectivity during the resting state. Furthermore, it was found that such a network can be modulated between affectively different touch conditions.

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Tactile enhancement of auditory and visual speech perception in untrained perceivers

    PubMed Central

    Gick, Bryan; Jóhannsdóttir, Kristín M.; Gibraiel, Diana; Mühlbauer, Jeff

    2008-01-01

    A single pool of untrained subjects was tested for interactions across two bimodal perception conditions: audio-tactile, in which subjects heard and felt speech, and visual-tactile, in which subjects saw and felt speech. Identifications of English obstruent consonants were compared in bimodal and no-tactile baseline conditions. Results indicate that tactile information enhances speech perception by about 10 percent, regardless of which other mode (auditory or visual) is active. However, within-subject analysis indicates that individual subjects who benefit more from tactile information in one cross-modal condition tend to benefit less from tactile information in the other. PMID:18396924

  18. Tactile enhancement of auditory and visual speech perception in untrained perceivers.

    PubMed

    Gick, Bryan; Jóhannsdóttir, Kristín M; Gibraiel, Diana; Mühlbauer, Jeff

    2008-04-01

    A single pool of untrained subjects was tested for interactions across two bimodal perception conditions: audio-tactile, in which subjects heard and felt speech, and visual-tactile, in which subjects saw and felt speech. Identifications of English obstruent consonants were compared in bimodal and no-tactile baseline conditions. Results indicate that tactile information enhances speech perception by about 10 percent, regardless of which other mode (auditory or visual) is active. However, within-subject analysis indicates that individual subjects who benefit more from tactile information in one cross-modal condition tend to benefit less from tactile information in the other.

  19. 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

    2015-04-25

    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.

  20. Tactile remapping beyond space.

    PubMed

    Azañón, Elena; Camacho, Karla; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2010-05-01

    Reacting to a touch on the skin often requires the remapping of the initial somatotopicaly-based representation of the stimulus into an external frame of reference that incorporates information about current body posture. A growing number of studies support the view that tactile encoding in external coordinates occurs automatically. However, it remains unclear whether or not spatial task demands are required to trigger this remapping process, casting some doubt on the automaticity hypothesis. We designed three experiments in which space was progressively removed, and tactile remapping across different body postures was gauged through the modulation of visual performance. We used speeded two-alternative forced-choice colour judgements (i.e., a nonspatial selection feature) about visual targets presented laterally following a spatially noninformative (congruent or incongruent) tactile cue on one hand. In experiment 1, using footpedal responses, visual performance was modulated according to the external location of the tactile cue, regardless of hand posture (either crossed or uncrossed). In experiment 2, using verbal responses, external cueing was also observed (albeit in an attenuated fashion) despite the removal of space from response set. In experiment 3 we removed spatial uncertainty about cue and target locations by presenting tactile cues and visual targets from fixed positions, yet spatial congruency still exerted some modulation on visual performance, again independent of hand posture. These results demonstrate that engaging in spatial tasks is not a prerequisite for triggering tactile remapping, and are thus in agreement with previous accounts suggesting that touch is automatically remapped.

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

    PubMed

    Khamis, Heba; Birznieks, Ingvars; Redmond, Stephen J

    2015-07-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Programmable tactile pattern presentations operational under MRI to investigate neural mechanisms of tactile shape discrimination.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jiajia; Wu, Jinglong; He, Jiping

    2011-09-30

    We have developed a novel tactile presentation system for assessing and training cognitive function on tactile senses. The device is operational in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment and capable of investigating the underlying neural mechanisms of tactile pattern discrimination. The primary components of the system include a finger movement control unit (FCU), a disk for multiple tactile pattern delivery (DPD), and a force-sensing unit (FSU). An ultrasonic motor rotates the DPD to deliver different tactile patterns for cognitive sensitivity test. We evaluated the operational reliability and the performance of the system in a MRI environment. The results showed that the system performance was not affected by the magnetic field, nor did the system operation interfere with the magnetic field either. The results from the two functional MRI experiments also indicated that the brain activation can be reliably detected with the present system. Furthermore, a tactile pattern discrimination experiment was conducted using the system to investigate cognitive characteristics of shape discrimination under active and passive touch conditions. We found that the mean accuracy of discrimination under active touch was significantly higher than that under passive touch. The high accuracy and magnetic field compatibility of the device suggest that the device provides a powerful means of investigating the neural mechanisms of perception and cognitive function for touch discrimination.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. Human skin based triboelectric nanogenerators for harvesting biomechanical energy and as self-powered active tactile sensor system.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya; Zhang, Hulin; Lin, Zong-Hong; Zhou, Yu Sheng; Jing, Qingshen; Su, Yuanjie; Yang, Jin; Chen, Jun; Hu, Chenguo; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2013-10-22

    We report human skin based triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) that can either harvest biomechanical energy or be utilized as a self-powered tactile sensor system for touch pad technology. We constructed a TENG utilizing the contact/separation between an area of human skin and a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) film with a surface of micropyramid structures, which was attached to an ITO electrode that was grounded across a loading resistor. The fabricated TENG delivers an open-circuit voltage up to -1000 V, a short-circuit current density of 8 mA/m(2), and a power density of 500 mW/m(2) on a load of 100 MΩ, which can be used to directly drive tens of green light-emitting diodes. The working mechanism of the TENG is based on the charge transfer between the ITO electrode and ground via modulating the separation distance between the tribo-charged skin patch and PDMS film. Furthermore, the TENG has been used in designing an independently addressed matrix for tracking the location and pressure of human touch. The fabricated matrix has demonstrated its self-powered and high-resolution tactile sensing capabilities by recording the output voltage signals as a mapping figure, where the detection sensitivity of the pressure is about 0.29 ± 0.02 V/kPa and each pixel can have a size of 3 mm × 3 mm. The TENGs may have potential applications in human-machine interfacing, micro/nano-electromechanical systems, and touch pad technology.

  8. Testing Tactile Masking between the Forearms.

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Sarah; Harris, Laurence R

    2016-02-10

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

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

    PubMed

    Yem, Vibol; Kajimoto, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. The Development of Tactile Perception.

    PubMed

    Bremner, A J; Spence, C

    2017-01-01

    Touch is the first of our senses to develop, providing us with the sensory scaffold on which we come to perceive our own bodies and our sense of self. Touch also provides us with direct access to the external world of physical objects, via haptic exploration. Furthermore, a recent area of interest in tactile research across studies of developing children and adults is its social function, mediating interpersonal bonding. Although there are a range of demonstrations of early competence with touch, particularly in the domain of haptics, the review presented here indicates that many of the tactile perceptual skills that we take for granted as adults (e.g., perceiving touches in the external world as well as on the body) take some time to develop in the first months of postnatal life, likely as a result of an extended process of connection with other sense modalities which provide new kinds of information from birth (e.g., vision and audition). Here, we argue that because touch is of such fundamental importance across a wide range of social and cognitive domains, it should be placed much more centrally in the study of early perceptual development than it currently is.

  12. 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!

  13. 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…

  14. Decoding Accuracy in Supplementary Motor Cortex Correlates with Perceptual Sensitivity to Tactile Roughness

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Junsuk; Chung, Yoon Gi; Park, Jang-Yeon; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Wallraven, Christian; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual sensitivity to tactile roughness varies across individuals for the same degree of roughness. A number of neurophysiological studies have investigated the neural substrates of tactile roughness perception, but the neural processing underlying the strong individual differences in perceptual roughness sensitivity remains unknown. In this study, we explored the human brain activation patterns associated with the behavioral discriminability of surface texture roughness using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). First, a whole-brain searchlight multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) was used to find brain regions from which we could decode roughness information. The searchlight MVPA revealed four brain regions showing significant decoding results: the supplementary motor area (SMA), contralateral postcentral gyrus (S1), and superior portion of the bilateral temporal pole (STP). Next, we evaluated the behavioral roughness discrimination sensitivity of each individual using the just-noticeable difference (JND) and correlated this with the decoding accuracy in each of the four regions. We found that only the SMA showed a significant correlation between neuronal decoding accuracy and JND across individuals; Participants with a smaller JND (i.e., better discrimination ability) exhibited higher decoding accuracy from their voxel response patterns in the SMA. Our findings suggest that multivariate voxel response patterns presented in the SMA represent individual perceptual sensitivity to tactile roughness and people with greater perceptual sensitivity to tactile roughness are likely to have more distinct neural representations of different roughness levels in their SMA. PMID:26067832

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  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. Tactile Instrument for Aviation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-07-30

    of cat sensory development (from Turner and Bateson , 1988).............................14 Figure 12: Helmet mounted tactile display (from Morag, 1987...Matthews and Gregory , 1999; Braithwaite, Groh, and Alvarez, 1997). The cost of spatial disorientation mishaps also includes mission failure, the...3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Conception Gestation Birth Figure 11: Ontology of cat sensory development (from Turner and Bateson , 1988). 3

  2. 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.

  3. Neural Coding of Tactile Decisions in the Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pleger, Burkhard; Ruff, Christian C.; Blankenburg, Felix; Bestmann, Sven; Wiech, Katja; Stephan, Klaas E.; Capilla, Almudena; Friston, Karl J.; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2009-01-01

    The neural processes underlying tactile decisions in the human brain remain elusive. We addressed this question in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a somatosensory discrimination task, requiring participants to compare the frequency of two successive tactile stimuli. Tactile stimuli per se engaged somatosensory, parietal, and frontal cortical regions. Using a statistical model that accounted for the relative difference in frequencies (i.e., Weber fraction) and discrimination accuracy (i.e., correct or incorrect), we show that trial-by-trial relative frequency difference is represented linearly by activity changes in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and bilateral anterior insular cortices. However, a circumscribed region within the left DLPFC showed a different response pattern expressed as activity changes that were monotonically related to relative stimulation difference only for correct but not for incorrect trials. Our findings suggest that activity in the left DLPFC encodes stimulus representations that underlie veridical tactile decisions in humans. PMID:17135421

  4. Effective tactile noise facilitates visual perception.

    PubMed

    Lugo, J E; Doti, R; Faubert, J

    2012-01-01

    The fulcrum principle establishes that a subthreshold excitatory signal (entering in one sense) that is synchronous with a facilitation signal (entering in a different sense) can be increased (up to a resonant-like level) and then decreased by the energy and frequency content of the facilitating signal. As a result, the sensation of the signal changes according to the excitatory signal strength. In this context, the sensitivity transitions represent the change from subthreshold activity to a firing activity in multisensory neurons. Initially the energy of their activity (supplied by the weak signals) is not enough to be detected but when the facilitating signal enters the brain, it generates a general activation among multisensory neurons, modifying their original activity. In our opinion, the result is an integrated activation that promotes sensitivity transitions and the signals are then perceived. In other words, the activity created by the interaction of the excitatory signal (e.g., visual) and the facilitating signal (tactile noise) at some specific energy, produces the capability for a central detection of an otherwise weak signal. In this work we investigate the effect of an effective tactile noise on visual perception. Specifically we show that tactile noise is capable of decreasing luminance modulated thresholds.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. Bodily illusions disrupt tactile sensations.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Hi-Speed Tactile Sensing for Array-type Tactile Sensor and Object Manipulation based on Tactile Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukui, Wataru; Kobayashi, Futoshi; Kojima, Fumio; Nakamoto, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Tadashi; Imamura, Nobuaki; Shirasawa, Hidenori

    Recently, a robotic hand with tactile sensors is developed all over the world. We also have developed a universal robot hand with tactile sensors and other sensors. Tactile sensors are very important for manipulating objects dexterously. However, array-type tactile sensor has many I/O, thus require much processing time. In this paper, we propose a hi-speed tactile sensing based on the genetic algorithm in order to measure the tactile information rapidly. The validity of the proposed method shows through some experiments. Moreover, a multi-object manipulation according to the tactile information is proposed.

  13. The Slip Hypothesis: Tactile Perception and its Neuronal Bases.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Cornelius

    2016-07-01

    The slip hypothesis of epicritic tactile perception interprets actively moving sensor and touched objects as a frictional system, known to lead to jerky relative movements called 'slips'. These slips depend on object geometry, forces, material properties, and environmental factors, and, thus, have the power to incorporate coding of the perceptual target, as well as perceptual strategies (sensor movement). Tactile information as transferred by slips will be encoded discontinuously in space and time, because slips sometimes engage only parts of the touching surfaces and appear as discrete and rare events in time. This discontinuity may have forced tactile systems of vibrissae and fingertips to evolve special ways to convert touch signals to a tactile percept.

  14. CROSS-MODAL PLASTICITY OF TACTILE PERCEPTION IN BLINDNESS

    PubMed Central

    Sathian, K.; Stilla, Randall

    2011-01-01

    This review focusses on cross-modal plasticity resulting from visual deprivation. This is viewed against the background of task-specific visual cortical recruitment that is routine during tactile tasks in the sighted and that may depend in part on visual imagery. Superior tactile perceptual performance in the blind may be practice-related, although there are unresolved questions regarding the effects of Braille-reading experience and the age of onset of blindness. While visual cortical areas are clearly more involved in tactile microspatial processing in the blind than in the sighted, it still remains unclear how to reconcile these tactile processes with the growing literature implicating visual cortical activity in a wide range of cognitive tasks in the blind, including those involving language, or with studies of short-term, reversible visual deprivation in the normally sighted that reveal plastic changes even over periods of hours or days. PMID:20404414

  15. 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

  16. Active Costorage of Cryogenic Propellants for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canavan, Edgar R.; Boyle, Rob; Mustafi, Shuvo

    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.

  17. Exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilburn, D.R.

    1997-01-01

    This summary of international nonfuel mineral exploration activities for 1996 uses 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 minerals industry direction are drawn from these data.

  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. Exploring Primary Care Activities in ACT Teams

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background 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. Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which ACT teams address the physical health of the population they serve. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:24337472

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Categorical perception of tactile distance.

    PubMed

    Knight, Frances Le Cornu; Longo, Matthew R; Bremner, Andrew J

    2014-05-01

    The tactile surface forms a continuous sheet covering the body. And yet, the perceived distance between two touches varies across stimulation sites. Perceived tactile distance is larger when stimuli cross over the wrist, compared to when both fall on either the hand or the forearm. This effect could reflect a categorical distortion of tactile space across body-part boundaries (in which stimuli crossing the wrist boundary are perceptually elongated) or may simply reflect a localised increased in acuity surrounding anatomical landmarks (in which stimuli near the wrist are perceptually elongated). We tested these two interpretations across two experiments, by comparing a well-documented bias to perceive mediolateral tactile distances across the forearm/hand as larger than proximodistal ones along the forearm/hand at three different sites (hand, wrist, and forearm). According to the 'categorical' interpretation, tactile distances should be elongated selectively in the proximodistal axis thus reducing the anisotropy. According to the 'localised acuity' interpretation, distances will be perceptually elongated in the vicinity of the wrist regardless of orientation, leading to increased overall size without affecting anisotropy. Consistent with the categorical account, we found a reduction in the magnitude of anisotropy at the wrist, with no evidence of a corresponding localised increase in precision. These findings demonstrate that we reference touch to a representation of the body that is categorically segmented into discrete parts, which consequently influences the perception of tactile distance.

  3. Contralateral tactile masking between forearms.

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Sarah; Harris, Laurence R

    2014-03-01

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

  4. Synthetic and bio-artificial tactile sensing: a review.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-24

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilburn, D.R.

    1998-01-01

    This summary of international nonfuel mineral exploration activities for 1997 draws upon available data from literature, industry and US Geological Sulvey (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.

  7. Exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilburn, D.R.

    2000-01-01

    This summary of international nonfuel mineral exploration activities for 1999 draws upon available data from literature, industry and US Geological Survey (USGS) specialists. The report documents data on exploration budgets by region and commodity and identifies significant mineral discoveries and exploration target areas. It also discusses government programs affecting the mineral exploration industry. And it presents inferences and observations on mineral industry direction based on these data and discussions.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 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. PMID:16649001

  11. [Alternative tactile system: C-fibers coding the affective aspect].

    PubMed

    Hua, Qing-Ping; Luo, Fei

    2007-10-01

    It has been accepted that human tactile sensation is mediated exclusively by large myelinated (Abeta) fibres. Nevertheless, recent studies indicated a dual mechanoceptive innervation of the skin in various mammals. Besides the known A fibers, the skin is also innervated by slow-conducting, low-threshold, small unmyelinated (C) afferents. These unmyelinated fibers respond vigorously to innocuous skin deformation, but poorly to rapid skin movement. They project to outer lamina II of spinal cord, and form synapse with the secondary sensory neurons. The latter then project to insular cortex via spinothalamic tracts. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies showed that a slowly moving tactile stimulus along hairy skin produced a strong activation of the insular cortex. Pleasant touch has also been demonstrated to activate orbitofrontal cortex adjacent to areas responding to pleasant taste and smell. Overall, the response characteristics and activated brain regions suggest that they are related with the limbic system and affective aspect rather than tactile discriminative function.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ai, Lei; Ro, Tony

    2014-03-01

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

  15. Availability of vision and tactile gating: vision enhances tactile sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Colino, Francisco L; Lee, Ji-Hang; Binsted, Gordon

    2017-01-01

    A multitude of events bombard our sensory systems at every moment of our lives. Thus, it is important for the sensory and motor cortices to gate unimportant events. Tactile suppression is a well-known phenomenon defined as a reduced ability to detect tactile events on the skin before and during movement. Previous experiments (Buckingham et al. in Exp Brain Res 201(3):411-419, 2010; Colino et al. in Physiol Rep 2(3):e00267, 2014) found detection rates decrease just prior to and during finger abduction and decrease according to the proximity of the moving effector. However, what effect does vision have on tactile gating? There is ample evidence (see Serino and Haggard in Neurosci Biobehav Rev 34:224-236, 2010) observing increased tactile acuity when participants see their limbs. The present study examined how tactile detection changes in response to visual condition (vision/no vision). Ten human participants used their right hand to reach and grasp a cylinder. Tactors were attached to the index finger and the forearm of both the right and left arm and vibrated at various epochs relative to a "go" tone. Results replicate previous findings from our laboratory (Colino et al. in Physiol Rep 2(3):e00267, 2014). Also, tactile acuity decreased when participants did not have vision. These results indicate that the vision affects the somatosensation via inputs from parietal areas (Konen and Haggard in Cereb Cortex 24(2):501-507, 2014) but does so in a reach-to-grasp context.

  16. Neuronal mechanism for acute mechanosensitivity in tactile-foraging waterfowl

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Eve R.; Mastrotto, Marco; Laursen, Willem J.; Schulz, Vincent P.; Goodman, Jena B.; Funk, Owen H.; Gallagher, Patrick G.; Gracheva, Elena O.; Bagriantsev, Sviatoslav N.

    2014-01-01

    Relying almost exclusively on their acute sense of touch, tactile-foraging birds can feed in murky water, but the cellular mechanism is unknown. Mechanical stimuli activate specialized cutaneous end organs in the bill, innervated by trigeminal afferents. We report that trigeminal ganglia (TG) of domestic and wild tactile-foraging ducks exhibit numerical expansion of large-diameter mechanoreceptive neurons expressing the mechano-gated ion channel Piezo2. These features are not found in visually foraging birds. Moreover, in the duck, the expansion of mechanoreceptors occurs at the expense of thermosensors. Direct mechanical stimulation of duck TG neurons evokes high-amplitude depolarizing current with a low threshold of activation, high signal amplification gain, and slow kinetics of inactivation. Together, these factors contribute to efficient conversion of light mechanical stimuli into neuronal excitation. Our results reveal an evolutionary strategy to hone tactile perception in vertebrates at the level of primary afferents. PMID:25246547

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. A review exploring biological activities of hydrazones

    PubMed Central

    Verma, Garima; Marella, Akranth; Shaquiquzzaman, Mohammad; Akhtar, Mymoona; Ali, Mohammad Rahmat; Alam, Mohammad Mumtaz

    2014-01-01

    The development of novel compounds, hydrazones has shown that they possess a wide variety of biological activities viz. antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiplatelet, antimalarial, anticancer, antifungal, antitubercular, antiviral, cardio protective etc., Hydrazones/azomethines/imines possess-NHN = CH- and constitute an important class of compounds for new drug development. A number of researchers have synthesized and evaluated the biological activities of hydrazones. This review aims at highlighting the diverse biological activities of hydrazones. PMID:24741273

  20. Tactile efficiency of insect antennae with two hinge joints.

    PubMed

    Krause, Andre F; Dürr, Volker

    2004-09-01

    Antennae are the main organs of the arthropod tactile sense. In contrast to other senses that are capable of retrieving spatial information, e.g. vision, spatial sampling of tactile information requires active movement of the sense organ. For a quantitative analysis of basic principles of active tactile sensing, we use a generic model of arbitrary antennae with two hinge joints (revolute joints). This kind of antenna is typical for Orthoptera and Phasmatodea, i.e. insect orders that contain model species for the study of antennal movements, including cricket, locust and stick insect. First, we analyse the significance of morphological properties on workspace and sampling acuity. It is shown how joint axis orientation determines areas out of reach while affecting acuity in the areas within reach. Second, we assume a parametric set of movement strategies, based on empirical data on the stick insect Carausius morosus, and investigate the role of each strategy parameter on tactile sampling performance. A stochastic environment is used to measure sampling density, and a viscous friction model is assumed to introduce energy consumption and, thus, a measure of tactile efficiency. Up to a saturation level, sampling density is proportional to the range or frequency of joint angle modulation. The effect of phase shift is strong if joint angle modulation frequencies are equal, but diminishes for other frequency ratios. Speed of forward progression influences the optimal choice of movement strategy. Finally, for an analysis of environmental effects on tactile performance, we show how efficiency depends on predominant edge direction. For example, with slanted and non-orthogonal joint axis orientations, as present in the stick insect, the optimal sampling strategy is less sensitive to a change from horizontal to vertical edge predominance than with orthogonal and non-slanted joint axes, as present in a cricket.

  1. Perceptual dimensions for a dynamic tactile display

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappas, Thrasyvoulos N.; Tartter, Vivien C.; Seward, Andrew G.; Genzer, Boris; Gourgey, Karen; Kretzschmar, Ilona

    2009-02-01

    We propose a new approach for converting graphical and pictorial information into tactile patterns that can be displayed in a static or dynamic tactile device. The key components of the proposed approach are (1) an algorithm that segments a scene into perceptually uniform segments; (2) a procedure for generating perceptually distinct tactile patterns; and (3) a mapping of the visual textures of the segments into tactile textures that convey similar concepts. We used existing digital halftoning and other techniques to generate a wide variety of tactile textures. We then conducted formal and informal subjective tests with sighted (but visually blocked) and visually-impaired subjects to determine the ability of human tactile perception to perceive differences among them. In addition to generating perceptually distinguishable tactile patterns, our goal is to identify significant dimensions of tactile texture perception, which will make it possible to map different visual attributes into independent tactile attributes. Our experimental results indicate that it is poosible to generate a number of perceptually distinguishable tactile patterns, and that different dimensions of tactile texture perception can indeed be identified.

  2. Neuroplasticity associated with tactile language communication in a deaf-blind subject.

    PubMed

    Obretenova, Souzana; Halko, Mark A; Plow, Ela B; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Merabet, Lotfi B

    2010-01-01

    A long-standing debate in cognitive neuroscience pertains to the innate nature of language development and the underlying factors that determine this faculty. We explored the neural correlates associated with language processing in a unique individual who is early blind, congenitally deaf, and possesses a high level of language function. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we compared the neural networks associated with the tactile reading of words presented in Braille, Print on Palm (POP), and a haptic form of American Sign Language (haptic ASL or hASL). With all three modes of tactile communication, indentifying words was associated with robust activation within occipital cortical regions as well as posterior superior temporal and inferior frontal language areas (lateralized within the left hemisphere). In a normally sighted and hearing interpreter, identifying words through hASL was associated with left-lateralized activation of inferior frontal language areas however robust occipital cortex activation was not observed. Diffusion tensor imaging -based tractography revealed differences consistent with enhanced occipital-temporal connectivity in the deaf-blind subject. Our results demonstrate that in the case of early onset of both visual and auditory deprivation, tactile-based communication is associated with an extensive cortical network implicating occipital as well as posterior superior temporal and frontal associated language areas. The cortical areas activated in this deaf-blind subject are consistent with characteristic cortical regions previously implicated with language. Finally, the resilience of language function within the context of early and combined visual and auditory deprivation may be related to enhanced connectivity between relevant cortical areas.

  3. Spatial remapping of tactile events

    PubMed Central

    Azañón, Elena

    2008-01-01

    During the apparently mindless act of localizing a tactile sensation, our brain must realign its initial spatial representation (somatotopicaly arranged) according to current body posture (arising from proprioception, vision and even audition).1–3 We have recently illustrated4 the temporal course of this recoding of tactile space from somatotopic to external coordinates using a crossmodal cueing psychophysical paradigm5,6 where behavioral reactions to visual targets are evaluated as a function of the location of irrelevant tactile cues. We found that the tactile events are initially represented in terms of a fleeting, non-conscious but nevertheless behaviorally consequential somatotopic format, which is quickly replaced by the representations referred to external spatial locations that prevail in our everyday experience. In this addendum, we test the intuition that frequent changes in body posture will make it harder to update the spatial remapping system and thus, produce stronger psychophysical correlates of the initial somatotopically-based spatial representations. Contrary to this expectation, however, we found no evidence for a modulation when preventing adaptation to a body posture. PMID:19704788

  4. Hierarchical versus parallel processing in tactile object recognition: a behavioural-neuroanatomical study of aperceptive tactile agnosia.

    PubMed

    Bohlhalter, S; Fretz, C; Weder, B

    2002-11-01

    The organization of the normal perceptual processing subserving tactile object recognition is poorly understood. While perceptual deficits associated with cases of tactile agnosia may pinpoint sites of critical interference with normal tactile information processing, the precise character of such deficits remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to explore the behavioural and neuroanatomical correlates of perceptual disturbances in two cases of unilateral aperceptive tactile agnosia. Perception of microgeometrical and macrogeometrical features was tested using an alternative forced choice paradigm. While both patients were impaired in the assessment of microgeometrical properties of objects (i.e. detecting subtle differences in grating profiles), one patient showed an additional deficit in the perception of macrogeometrical properties of objects (i.e. detecting differences in length of cuboids). The pattern of perceptual deficits for both patients suggested a severely compromised (if not totally lost) ability to recognize everyday objects. Perceptual performance improved when the patients had complementary tactile information (i.e. for intramodal comparison), despite a persistent inability to explicitly name the objects. That is, the patients were able to recognize objects, but only implicitly. Improved perceptual performance was also observed when complementary visual information was available (i.e. transmodal information transfer). In this case, the perceptual improvement was accompanied by a corresponding improvement in explicit object recognition. High resolution MRIs identified lesions in the postcentral gyrus in both patients, and additionally in the secondary somatosensory area (SII) and the posterior parietal cortex in the more severely affected patient. The results demonstrate that the underlying failure in tactile agnosia is mainly impaired perception of microgeometrical properties of objects due to a lesion of primary sensory cortex. The related

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Effects of Numerosity Range on Tactile and Visual Enumeration.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Zahira Z; Henik, Avishai

    2016-01-01

    Our study explores tactile enumeration using both hands and investigates the effects of numerosity range's (NR) on general enumeration. In Experiment 1, using custom-made vibro-tactile apparatus, we replicated results of Cohen, Naparstek, and Henik (2014, Acta Psychologica, 150C, 26-34) and again found a moderate increase in RT up to four stimuli and then a decrease for five stimuli. In Experiment 2, we used a within participants design and compared NR 1 to 5 and 1 to 10 in tactile and visual enumeration. The results showed that enumeration for NR 5 to 1 was faster than for NR 1 to 10, especially for numerosities four and five. Within NR 1 to 10, in the visual modality the subitizing range was 4, the counting range was from 5 to 9, and there was an end effect of 10 dots. In the tactile modality, when excluding one-hand arrangements, the subitizing range was 2, the counting range was from 3 to 5, there was an acceleration of counting from 5 and on, and there was an end effect for 10 stimuli that was stronger than for 10 visual stimuli. We suggest that NR influences enumeration and that number-hand association (i.e. resulting from finger counting) influences enumeration, resulting in faster counting.

  8. Tactile Feedback of Object Slip Facilitates Virtual Object Manipulation.

    PubMed

    Walker, Julie M; Blank, Amy A; Shewokis, Patricia A; OMalley, Marcia K

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in myoelectric prosthetic technology have enabled more complex movements and interactions with objects, but the lack of natural haptic feedback makes object manipulation difficult to perform. Our research effort aims to develop haptic feedback systems for improving user performance in object manipulation. Specifically, in this work, we explore the effectiveness of vibratory tactile feedback of slip information for grasping objects without slipping. A user interacts with a virtual environment to complete a virtual grasp and hold task using a Sensable Phantom. Force feedback simulates contact with objects, and vibratory tactile feedback alerts the user when a virtual object is slipping from the grasp. Using this task, we found that tactile feedback significantly improved a user's ability to detect and respond to slip and to recover the slipping object when visual feedback was not available. This advantage of tactile feedback is especially important in conjunction with force feedback, which tends to reduce a subject's grasping forces and therefore encourage more slips. Our results demonstrate the potential of slip feedback to improve a prosthesis user's ability to interact with objects with less visual attention, aiding in performance of everyday manipulation tasks.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Exploring Group Activity Therapy with Ethnically Diverse Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paone, Tina R.; Malott, Krista M.; Maldonado, Jose M.

    2008-01-01

    Group activity therapy has been promoted as an effective means of providing growth opportunities for adolescents through the use of structured, developmentally appropriate activities in a group setting. This article qualitatively explores outcomes of 12 sessions of group activity therapy with ethnically diverse adolescents in a school setting. The…

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. [Temporal and spatial representations of tactile sensation].

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Shinya

    2014-04-01

    How does the brain encode "when" and "where" events that have occurred during tactile sensory processing? The simplest protocol to address this question would be asking participants to judge the temporal order of tactile stimuli delivered to both hands while varying their spatial relationship. In this review, I will focus on the illusion that the subjective temporal order of two tactile stimuli (one delivered to each hand) is reversed when the arms are crossed. By introducing recent findings related to this illusion, I will discuss how the temporal and spatial representations of tactile sensation interact with each other, and propose neural mechanisms potentially underlying this interaction.

  20. Genetically identified spinal interneurons integrating tactile afferents for motor control

    PubMed Central

    Panek, Izabela; Farah, Carl

    2015-01-01

    Our movements are shaped by our perception of the world as communicated by our senses. Perception of sensory information has been largely attributed to cortical activity. However, a prior level of sensory processing occurs in the spinal cord. Indeed, sensory inputs directly project to many spinal circuits, some of which communicate with motor circuits within the spinal cord. Therefore, the processing of sensory information for the purpose of ensuring proper movements is distributed between spinal and supraspinal circuits. The mechanisms underlying the integration of sensory information for motor control at the level of the spinal cord have yet to be fully described. Recent research has led to the characterization of spinal neuron populations that share common molecular identities. Identification of molecular markers that define specific populations of spinal neurons is a prerequisite to the application of genetic techniques devised to both delineate the function of these spinal neurons and their connectivity. This strategy has been used in the study of spinal neurons that receive tactile inputs from sensory neurons innervating the skin. As a result, the circuits that include these spinal neurons have been revealed to play important roles in specific aspects of motor function. We describe these genetically identified spinal neurons that integrate tactile information and the contribution of these studies to our understanding of how tactile information shapes motor output. Furthermore, we describe future opportunities that these circuits present for shedding light on the neural mechanisms of tactile processing. PMID:26445867

  1. Integration of force reflection with tactile sensing for minimally invasive robotics-assisted tumor localization.

    PubMed

    Talasaz, A; Patel, R V

    2013-01-01

    Tactile sensing and force reflection have been the subject of considerable research for tumor localization in soft-tissue palpation. The work presented in this paper investigates the relevance of force feedback (presented visually as well as directly) during tactile sensing (presented visually only) for tumor localization using an experimental setup close to one that could be applied for real robotics-assisted minimally invasive surgery. The setup is a teleoperated (master-slave) system facilitated with a state-of-the-art minimally invasive probe with a rigidly mounted tactile sensor at the tip and an externally mounted force sensor at the base of the probe. The objective is to capture the tactile information and measure the interaction forces between the probe and tissue during palpation and to explore how they can be integrated to improve the performance of tumor localization. To quantitatively explore the effect of force feedback on tactile sensing tumor localization, several experiments were conducted by human subjects to locate artificial tumors embedded in the ex vivo bovine livers. The results show that using tactile sensing in a force-controlled environment can realize, on average, 57 percent decrease in the maximum force and 55 percent decrease in the average force applied to tissue while increasing the tumor detection accuracy by up to 50 percent compared to the case of using tactile feedback alone. The results also show that while visual presentation of force feedback gives straightforward quantitative measures, improved performance of tactile sensing tumor localization is achieved at the expense of longer times for the user. Also, the quickness and intuitive data mapping of direct force feedback makes it more appealing to experienced users.

  2. [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

  3. Tactile roughness discrimination threshold is unrelated to tactile spatial acuity.

    PubMed

    Libouton, Xavier; Barbier, Olivier; Plaghki, Leon; Thonnard, Jean-Louis

    2010-04-02

    The present study examined the relationship between the tactile roughness discrimination threshold (TRDT) and the tactile spatial resolution threshold (TSRT) at the index fingertip in humans. A new device was built for measuring TRDT, allowing pair-wise presentations of two sets of six different sandpaper grits. The smoothest grits ranged from 18 to 40 microm and the roughest grits ranged from 50 to 195 microm particle size. The reference sandpaper had a 46 microm particle size. A two-alternative forced choice paradigm and a double interlaced adaptive staircase procedure yielding a 75% just noticeable difference (75%jnd) was used according to Zwislocki and Relkin. Contact force and scanning velocity were measured at the fingertip with a built-in sensor. The TSRT was assessed with an extended set of grating domes. Fifty-three male and female subjects, spanning a wide age range participated in this study. The JND75% or TRDT was lower for the smoothest sandpapers (15+/-8.5 microm) compared to the roughest sandpapers (44+/-32.5 microm). TRDT performance was unrelated to age or gender. Additionally, grit size had no effect on the mean forces (normal and tangential) exerted at the fingertip or the mean scan velocities. In contrast, there was a significant degradation of TSRT performance with age. Lastly, there was no significant correlation between TRDT and TRST performance. Results of this study support the theory that the neural mechanisms underlying the perception of tactile roughness discrimination for fine textures differ from those involved in spatial resolution acuity often associated with the SA1 afferents.

  4. Student Activism: An Exploration of Pre-Service Teacher Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Tol, Jason

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated university student activism from both a theoretical and applied perspective. The aims were to explore some of the elements that might enable or constrain student activism and to facilitate the students' opportunity to act on an issue of their choice. The three elements of self-efficacy, group work, and time were reviewed in…

  5. 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…

  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. Tactile precision in right-handed archery experts with visual disabilities: a pseudoneglect effect?

    PubMed

    Coudereau, J P; Gueguen, N; Pratte, M; Sampaio, E

    2006-03-01

    Space perception was investigated in two groups of participants with severe visual deficiencies performing a tactile bisection task: the participants in the first group (Archers) regularly practised a high-precision sport, whereas those in the second group (Non-Archers) had never practised this activity. Experiments were carried out to determine whether practising this sport might affect the pseudoneglect (resulting in a deviation to the left of the perceived midpoint with respect to the actual physical midpoint) occurring in sighted persons (Bowers & Heilman, 1980) as well as in completely blind children (Sampaio, Gouarir, & Mvondo Mvondo, 1995). No particular deviation was observed in the group of Non-Archers, whereas pseudoneglect was present in the Archers' group. A significant hand effect (left/right), and a significant effect of starting point of tactile exploration were observed across groups. This confirms the existence of a relationship between hemisphere-hands and hemisphere-hemispace mechanisms. The results obtained here show that practising archery affects pseudoneglect.

  9. Tactile representation of the head and shoulders assessed by fMRI in the nonhuman primate

    PubMed Central

    Wardak, Claire; Guipponi, Olivier; Pinède, Serge

    2015-01-01

    In nonhuman primates, tactile representation at the cortical level has mostly been studied using single-cell recordings targeted to specific cortical areas. In this study, we explored the representation of tactile information delivered to the face or the shoulders at the whole brain level, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the nonhuman primate. We used air puffs delivered to the center of the face, the periphery of the face, or the shoulders. These stimulations elicited activations in numerous cortical areas, encompassing the primary and secondary somatosensory areas, prefrontal and premotor areas, and parietal, temporal, and cingulate areas as well as low-level visual cortex. Importantly, a specific parieto-temporo-prefrontal network responded to the three stimulations but presented a marked preference for air puffs directed to the center of the face. This network corresponds to areas that are also involved in near-space representation, as well as in the multisensory integration of information at the interface between this near space and the skin of the face, and is probably involved in the construction of a peripersonal space representation around the head. PMID:26467517

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

    PubMed Central

    Hirsch, Gabriella; Cattaneo, Zaira; Vecchi, Tomaso; Merabet, Lotfi B.

    2014-01-01

    Symmetry is an organizational principle that is ubiquitous throughout the visual world. However, this property can also be detected through non-visual modalities such as touch. The role of prior visual experience on detecting tactile patterns containing symmetry remains unclear. We compared the behavioral performance of early blind and sighted (blindfolded) controls on a tactile symmetry detection task. The tactile patterns used were similar in design and complexity as in previous visual perceptual studies. The neural correlates associated with this behavioral task were identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In line with growing evidence demonstrating enhanced tactile processing abilities in the blind, we found that early blind individuals showed significantly superior performance in detecting tactile symmetric patterns compared to sighted controls. Furthermore, comparing patterns of activation between these two groups identified common areas of activation (e.g. superior parietal cortex) but key differences also emerged. In particular, tactile symmetry detection in the early blind was also associated with activation that included peri-calcarine cortex, lateral occipital (LO), and middle temporal cortex, as well as inferior temporal and fusiform cortex. These results contribute to the growing evidence supporting superior behavioral abilities in the blind, and the neural correlates associated with crossmodal neuroplasticity following visual deprivation. PMID:25243993

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Symmetry is an organizational principle that is ubiquitous throughout the visual world. However, this property can also be detected through non-visual modalities such as touch. The role of prior visual experience on detecting tactile patterns containing symmetry remains unclear. We compared the behavioral performance of early blind and sighted (blindfolded) controls on a tactile symmetry detection task. The tactile patterns used were similar in design and complexity as in previous visual perceptual studies. The neural correlates associated with this behavioral task were identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In line with growing evidence demonstrating enhanced tactile processing abilities in the blind, we found that early blind individuals showed significantly superior performance in detecting tactile symmetric patterns compared to sighted controls. Furthermore, comparing patterns of activation between these two groups identified common areas of activation (e.g. superior parietal cortex) but key differences also emerged. In particular, tactile symmetry detection in the early blind was also associated with activation that included peri-calcarine cortex, lateral occipital (LO), and middle temporal (MT) cortex, as well as inferior temporal and fusiform cortex. These results contribute to the growing evidence supporting superior behavioral abilities in the blind, and the neural correlates associated with crossmodal neuroplasticity following visual deprivation.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-09-23

    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.

  14. Retinotopically specific reorganization of visual cortex for tactile pattern recognition

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Sing-Hang; Fang, Fang; He, Sheng; Legge, Gordon E.

    2009-01-01

    Although previous studies have shown that Braille reading and other tactile-discrimination tasks activate the visual cortex of blind and sighted people [1–5], it is not known whether this kind of cross-modal reorganization is influenced by retinotopic organization. We have addressed this question by studying S, a visually impaired adult with the rare ability to read print visually and Braille by touch. S had normal visual development until age six years, and thereafter severe acuity reduction due to corneal opacification, but no evidence of visual-field loss. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed that, in S’s early visual areas, tactile information processing activated what would be the foveal representation for normally-sighted individuals, and visual information processing activated what would be the peripheral representation. Control experiments showed that this activation pattern was not due to visual imagery. S’s high-level visual areas which correspond to shape- and object-selective areas in normally-sighted individuals were activated by both visual and tactile stimuli. The retinotopically specific reorganization in early visual areas suggests an efficient redistribution of neural resources in the visual cortex. PMID:19361999

  15. The Influence of Tactile Cognitive Maps on Auditory Space Perception in Sighted Persons.

    PubMed

    Tonelli, Alessia; Gori, Monica; Brayda, Luca

    2016-01-01

    We have recently shown that vision is important to improve spatial auditory cognition. In this study, we investigate whether touch is as effective as vision to create a cognitive map of a soundscape. In particular, we tested whether the creation of a mental representation of a room, obtained through tactile exploration of a 3D model, can influence the perception of a complex auditory task in sighted people. We tested two groups of blindfolded sighted people - one experimental and one control group - in an auditory space bisection task. In the first group, the bisection task was performed three times: specifically, the participants explored with their hands the 3D tactile model of the room and were led along the perimeter of the room between the first and the second execution of the space bisection. Then, they were allowed to remove the blindfold for a few minutes and look at the room between the second and third execution of the space bisection. Instead, the control group repeated for two consecutive times the space bisection task without performing any environmental exploration in between. Considering the first execution as a baseline, we found an improvement in the precision after the tactile exploration of the 3D model. Interestingly, no additional gain was obtained when room observation followed the tactile exploration, suggesting that no additional gain was obtained by vision cues after spatial tactile cues were internalized. No improvement was found between the first and the second execution of the space bisection without environmental exploration in the control group, suggesting that the improvement was not due to task learning. Our results show that tactile information modulates the precision of an ongoing space auditory task as well as visual information. This suggests that cognitive maps elicited by touch may participate in cross-modal calibration and supra-modal representations of space that increase implicit knowledge about sound propagation.

  16. The Influence of Tactile Cognitive Maps on Auditory Space Perception in Sighted Persons

    PubMed Central

    Tonelli, Alessia; Gori, Monica; Brayda, Luca

    2016-01-01

    We have recently shown that vision is important to improve spatial auditory cognition. In this study, we investigate whether touch is as effective as vision to create a cognitive map of a soundscape. In particular, we tested whether the creation of a mental representation of a room, obtained through tactile exploration of a 3D model, can influence the perception of a complex auditory task in sighted people. We tested two groups of blindfolded sighted people – one experimental and one control group – in an auditory space bisection task. In the first group, the bisection task was performed three times: specifically, the participants explored with their hands the 3D tactile model of the room and were led along the perimeter of the room between the first and the second execution of the space bisection. Then, they were allowed to remove the blindfold for a few minutes and look at the room between the second and third execution of the space bisection. Instead, the control group repeated for two consecutive times the space bisection task without performing any environmental exploration in between. Considering the first execution as a baseline, we found an improvement in the precision after the tactile exploration of the 3D model. Interestingly, no additional gain was obtained when room observation followed the tactile exploration, suggesting that no additional gain was obtained by vision cues after spatial tactile cues were internalized. No improvement was found between the first and the second execution of the space bisection without environmental exploration in the control group, suggesting that the improvement was not due to task learning. Our results show that tactile information modulates the precision of an ongoing space auditory task as well as visual information. This suggests that cognitive maps elicited by touch may participate in cross-modal calibration and supra-modal representations of space that increase implicit knowledge about sound propagation. PMID

  17. Effects of fusion between tactile and proprioceptive inputs on tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Warren, Jay P; Santello, Marco; Helms Tillery, Stephen I

    2011-03-25

    Tactile perception is typically considered the result of cortical interpretation of afferent signals from a network of mechanical sensors underneath the skin. Yet, tactile illusion studies suggest that tactile perception can be elicited without afferent signals from mechanoceptors. Therefore, the extent that tactile perception arises from isomorphic mapping of tactile afferents onto the somatosensory cortex remains controversial. We tested whether isomorphic mapping of tactile afferent fibers onto the cortex leads directly to tactile perception by examining whether it is independent from proprioceptive input by evaluating the impact of different hand postures on the perception of a tactile illusion across fingertips. Using the Cutaneous Rabbit Effect, a well studied illusion evoking the perception that a stimulus occurs at a location where none has been delivered, we found that hand posture has a significant effect on the perception of the illusion across the fingertips. This finding emphasizes that tactile perception arises from integration of perceived mechanical and proprioceptive input and not purely from tactile interaction with the external environment.

  18. Effects of Fusion between Tactile and Proprioceptive Inputs on Tactile Perception

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Jay P.; Santello, Marco; Helms Tillery, Stephen I.

    2011-01-01

    Tactile perception is typically considered the result of cortical interpretation of afferent signals from a network of mechanical sensors underneath the skin. Yet, tactile illusion studies suggest that tactile perception can be elicited without afferent signals from mechanoceptors. Therefore, the extent that tactile perception arises from isomorphic mapping of tactile afferents onto the somatosensory cortex remains controversial. We tested whether isomorphic mapping of tactile afferent fibers onto the cortex leads directly to tactile perception by examining whether it is independent from proprioceptive input by evaluating the impact of different hand postures on the perception of a tactile illusion across fingertips. Using the Cutaneous Rabbit Effect, a well studied illusion evoking the perception that a stimulus occurs at a location where none has been delivered, we found that hand posture has a significant effect on the perception of the illusion across the fingertips. This finding emphasizes that tactile perception arises from integration of perceived mechanical and proprioceptive input and not purely from tactile interaction with the external environment. PMID:21464943

  19. 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

  20. The AMPTE CCE Spacecraft. [Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer Charge Composition Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dassoulas, J.; Peterson, M. R.; Margolies, D. L.

    1985-01-01

    The flight segment of the Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers (AMPTE) Program consisted of three separate spacecraft which were launched 'piggyback' into orbit aboard a Delta 3924 launch vehicle, from Cape Canaveral, FL, on August 16, 1984. The three spacecaft are the Charge Composition Explorer (CCE), built for NASA by the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University (APL/JHU); the Ion Release Module (IRM), built in the Federal Republic of Germany; and the United Kingdom Subsatellite (UKS), built in the United Kingdom. This paper describes the CCE Spacecraft design, development, and early performance in orbit.

  1. Temporomandibular disorder modifies cortical response to tactile stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Nebel, Mary Beth; Folger, Stephen; Tommerdahl, Mark; Hollins, Mark; McGlone, Francis; Essick, Gregory

    2010-01-01

    Individuals with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) suffer from persistent facial pain and exhibit abnormal sensitivity to tactile stimulation. To better understand the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying TMD, we investigated cortical correlates of this abnormal sensitivity to touch. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we recorded cortical responses evoked by low frequency vibration of the index finger in subjects with TMD and in healthy controls (HC). Distinct subregions of contralateral SI, SII, and insular cortex responded maximally for each group. Although the stimulus was inaudible, primary auditory cortex was activated in TMDs. TMDs also showed greater activation bilaterally in anterior cingulate cortex and contralaterally in the amygdala. Differences between TMDs and HCs in responses evoked by innocuous vibrotactile stimulation within SI, SII, and the insula paralleled previously reported differences in responses evoked by noxious and innocuous stimulation, respectively, in healthy individuals. This unexpected result may reflect a disruption of the normal balance between central resources dedicated to processing innocuous and noxious input, manifesting itself as increased readiness of the pain matrix for activation by even innocuous input. Activation of the amygdala in our TMD group could reflect the establishment of aversive associations with tactile stimulation due to the persistence of pain. Perspective This article presents evidence that central processing of innocuous tactile stimulation is abnormal in TMD. Understanding the complexity of sensory disruption in chronic pain could lead to improved methods for assessing cerebral cortical function in these patients. PMID:20462805

  2. Investigating visual-tactile interactions over time and space in adults with autism.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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 with ASC for the first time in two experiments using low-level stimuli. Both participants with ASC and matched neurotypical controls only produced crossmodal interactions to near simultaneous stimuli, suggesting that temporal modulation is unaffected in the adult population. We also provide preliminary evidence that visual-tactile interactions may occur over greater spatial distances in participants with ASC, which merits further exploration.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. Auditory adaptation improves tactile frequency perception.

    PubMed

    Crommett, Lexi E; Pérez-Bellido, Alexis; Yau, Jeffrey M

    2017-01-11

    Our ability to process temporal frequency information by touch underlies our capacity to perceive and discriminate surface textures. Auditory signals, which also provide extensive temporal frequency information, can systematically alter the perception of vibrations on the hand. How auditory signals shape tactile processing is unclear: perceptual interactions between contemporaneous sounds and vibrations are consistent with multiple neural mechanisms. Here we used a crossmodal adaptation paradigm, which separated auditory and tactile stimulation in time, to test the hypothesis that tactile frequency perception depends on neural circuits that also process auditory frequency. We reasoned that auditory adaptation effects would transfer to touch only if signals from both senses converge on common representations. We found that auditory adaptation can improve tactile frequency discrimination thresholds. This occurred only when adaptor and test frequencies overlapped. In contrast, auditory adaptation did not influence tactile intensity judgments. Thus, auditory adaptation enhances touch in a frequency- and feature-specific manner. A simple network model in which tactile frequency information is decoded from sensory neurons that are susceptible to auditory adaptation recapitulates these behavioral results. Our results imply that the neural circuits supporting tactile frequency perception also process auditory signals. This finding is consistent with the notion of supramodal operators performing canonical operations, like temporal frequency processing, regardless of input modality.

  7. 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.

  8. Tactile sensing array based on conductive rubber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Lan; Liu, Ying; Li, Qing

    2006-11-01

    As a very important part in the robot sensory system, tactile sensing, like hearing and vision, is a particular means by which the robot acquires information from outside environment. In this paper, the theory model of intelligent robot tactile sensing costume is demonstrated, and further, according to the piezo-resistive property of conductive rubber the sensing costume made of tactile array is proposed. In the system, a practical system is designed for signal processing, data gathering and displaying. Results got from experiments are satisfactory.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Fingertip communication: A tactile communication device for a glove

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzales, Gilbert R.; Gust, Gary R.; Hughes, Kenneth E.

    2000-01-01

    Tactile communication is possible using a phenomenon known as a tactile illusion (TI). Illusion of movement on the skin is produced through fixed vibrating points (actuators) using parameters including vibration on- and off-time, number of vibrations, and intervibrating point time delays. Multiple actuators (solenoids) can produce the TI of movement between actuators that are sequentially activated to produce the illusion of motion on the skin. This illusion of movement can be made to form alphanumerics perceived on the fingertip that will allow for an alternate method of communication to auditory or visual receptive communications. A thimble is designed using piezoelectric bimorphs (piezo) or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) to produce alphanumerics in the glove of a flight or space suit and on control surfaces, for immediate feedback communications. Solenoid devices have been made and tested and background research has been completed to aid in the design and production of piezo and MEMS fingertip devices. .

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

    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.

  14. Tactile stimulation can suppress visual perception

    PubMed Central

    Ide, Masakazu; Hidaka, Souta

    2013-01-01

    An input (e.g., airplane takeoff sound) to a sensory modality can suppress the percept of another input (e.g., talking voices of neighbors) of the same modality. This perceptual suppression effect is evidence that neural responses to different inputs closely interact with each other in the brain. While recent studies suggest that close interactions also occur across sensory modalities, crossmodal perceptual suppression effect has not yet been reported. Here, we demonstrate that tactile stimulation can suppress the percept of visual stimuli: Visual orientation discrimination performance was degraded when a tactile vibration was applied to the observer's index finger of hands. We also demonstrated that this tactile suppression effect on visual perception occurred primarily when the tactile and visual information were spatially and temporally consistent. The current findings would indicate that neural signals could closely and directly interact with each other, sufficient to induce the perceptual suppression effect, even across sensory modalities. PMID:24336391

  15. Tactile stimulation can suppress visual perception.

    PubMed

    Ide, Masakazu; Hidaka, Souta

    2013-12-13

    An input (e.g., airplane takeoff sound) to a sensory modality can suppress the percept of another input (e.g., talking voices of neighbors) of the same modality. This perceptual suppression effect is evidence that neural responses to different inputs closely interact with each other in the brain. While recent studies suggest that close interactions also occur across sensory modalities, crossmodal perceptual suppression effect has not yet been reported. Here, we demonstrate that tactile stimulation can suppress the percept of visual stimuli: Visual orientation discrimination performance was degraded when a tactile vibration was applied to the observer's index finger of hands. We also demonstrated that this tactile suppression effect on visual perception occurred primarily when the tactile and visual information were spatially and temporally consistent. The current findings would indicate that neural signals could closely and directly interact with each other, sufficient to induce the perceptual suppression effect, even across sensory modalities.

  16. Psychophysical dimensions of tactile perception of textures.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Shogo; Nagano, Hikaru; Yamada, Yoji

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews studies on the tactile dimensionality of physical properties of materials in order to determine a common structure for these dimensions. Based on the commonality found in a number of studies and known mechanisms for the perception of physical properties of textures, we conclude that tactile textures are composed of three prominent psychophysical dimensions that are perceived as roughness/smoothness, hardness/softness, and coldness/warmness. The roughness dimension may be divided into two dimensions: macro and fine roughness. Furthermore, it is reasonable to consider that a friction dimension that is related to the perception of moistness/dryness and stickiness/slipperiness exists. Thus, the five potential dimensions of tactile perception are macro and fine roughness, warmness/coldness, hardness/softness, and friction (moistness/dryness, stickiness/slipperiness). We also summarize methods such as psychological experiments and mathematical approaches for structuring tactile dimensions and their limitations.

  17. Tactile Perception and Reading: Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bradtmueller, Weldon; Harodon, Holly

    1976-01-01

    Examines the concept that all perceptual development seems to involve the tactile or sense of feel and attempts to comprehend this relationship. Its implications for teaching reading and for developing instructional techniques are also considered. (Author/RK)

  18. Tactile perception recruits functionally related visual areas in the late-blind.

    PubMed

    Goyal, Manu S; Hansen, Peter J; Blakemore, Colin B

    2006-09-18

    When blind people touch Braille characters, blood flow increases in visual areas, leading to speculation that visual circuitry assists tactile discrimination in the blind. We tested this hypothesis in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study designed to reveal activation appropriate to the nature of tactile stimulation. In late-blind individuals, hMT/V5 and fusiform face area activated during visual imagery of moving patterns or faces. When they touched a doll's face, right fusiform face area was again activated. Equally, hMT/V5 was activated when objects moved over the skin. We saw no difference in hMT/V5 or fusiform face area activity during motion or face perception in the congenitally blind. We conclude that specialized visual areas, once established through visual experience, assist equivalent tactile identification tasks years after the onset of blindness.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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:23716252

  1. 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.

  2. Power Subsystem for Extravehicular Activities for Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manzo, Michelle

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center has the responsibility to develop the next generation space suit power subsystem to support the Vision for Space Exploration. Various technology challenges exist in achieving extended duration missions as envisioned for future lunar and Mars mission scenarios. This paper presents an overview of ongoing development efforts undertaken at the Glenn Research Center in support of power subsystem development for future extravehicular activity systems.

  3. 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.

  4. Piezoresistive Tactile Sensor Discriminating Multidirectional Forces

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. Tactile imaging of palpable breast cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srikanchana, Rujirutana; Wang, Yue J.; Freedman, Matthew T.; Nguyen, Charles C.

    2002-05-01

    This paper presents the development of a prototype Tactile Mapping Device (TMD) system comprised mainly of a tactile sensor array probe (TSAP), a 3-D camera, and a force/torque sensor, which can provide the means to produce tactile maps of the breast lumps during a breast palpation. Focusing on the key tactile topology features for breast palpation such as spatial location, size/shape of the detected lesion, and the force levels used to demonstrate the palpable abnormalities, these maps can record the results of clinical breast examination with a set of pressure distribution profiles and force sensor measurements due to detected lesion. By combining the knowledge of vision based, neural networks and tactile sensing technology; the TMD is integrated for the investigation of soft tissue interaction with tactile/force sensor, where the hard inclusion (breast cancer) can be characterized through neural network learning capability, instead of using simplified complex biomechanics model with many heuristic assumptions. These maps will serve as an objective documentation of palpable lesions for future comparative examinations. Preliminary results of simulated experiments and limited pre-clinical evaluations of the TMD prototype have tested this hypothesis and provided solid promising data showing the feasibility of the TMD in real clinical applications.

  6. 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.

  7. Exploring socioecological correlates of active living in retirement village residents.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Andrea; Wood, Lisa; Giles-Corti, Billie

    2014-01-01

    This study explored individual, social, and built environmental attributes in and outside of the retirement village setting and associations with various active living outcomes including objectively measured physical activity, specific walking behaviors, and social participation. Residents in Perth, Australia (N = 323), were surveyed on environmental perceptions of the village and surrounding neighborhood, self-reported physical activity, and demographic characteristics and wore accelerometers. Managers (N = 32) were surveyed on village characteristics, and objective neighborhood measures were generated in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Results indicated that built- and social-environmental attributes within and outside of retirement villages were associated with active living among residents; however, salient attributes varied depending on the specific outcome considered. Findings suggest that locating villages close to destinations is important for walking and that locating them close to previous and familiar neighborhoods is important for social participation. Further understanding and consideration into retirement village designs that promote both walking and social participation are needed.

  8. 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

  9. Use of tactile cues by Notiosorex crawfordi (Insectivora) in response to topographical features in the environment.

    PubMed

    Punzo, F; Parker, M

    2006-05-01

    The present studies were conducted on the ability of males of the gray shrew, Notiosorex crawfordi to use tactile cues to detect and respond to changes in topographical features of their environment. The animals were videotaped, digitized, and analyzed through video recordings. All subjects showed habituation (decrease in distance traveled) to arena conditions, followed by dishabituation when positions of the blocks were changed. Intact (INT) and sham controls (SHC) shrews traveled significantly greater distances and showed higher exploration velocities as compared to animals with shaved vibrissae (SHV). Results provide empirical evidence that N. crawfordi can effectively use tactile cues to detect and respond to changes in its environment.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Scalable, MEMS-enabled, vibrational tactile actuators for high resolution tactile displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Xin; Zaitsev, Yuri; Velásquez-García, Luis Fernando; Teller, Seth J.; Livermore, Carol

    2014-12-01

    The design, fabrication, and characterization of a new type of tactile display for people with blindness or low vision is reported. Each tactile element comprises a piezoelectric extensional actuator that vibrates in plane, with a microfabricated scissor mechanism to convert the in-plane actuations into robust, higher-amplitude, out-of-plane (vertical) vibrations that are sensed with the finger pads. When the tactile elements are formed into a 2D array, information can be conveyed to the user by varying the pattern of vibrations in space and time. Analytical models and finite element analysis were used to design individual tactile elements, which were implemented with PZT actuators and both SU-8 and 3D-printed scissor amplifiers. The measured displacements of these 3 mm × 10 mm, MEMS-enabled tactile elements exceed 10 µm, in agreement with models, with measured forces exceeding 45 mN. The performance of the MEMS-enabled tactile elements is compared with the performance of larger, fully-macroscale tactile elements to demonstrate the scale dependence of the devices. The creation of a 28-element prototype is also reported, and the qualitative user experience with the individual tactile elements and displays is described.

  13. 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.

  14. Touching motion: rTMS on the human middle temporal complex interferes with tactile speed perception.

    PubMed

    Basso, Demis; Pavan, Andrea; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Fagioli, Sabrina; Vecchi, Tomaso; Miniussi, Carlo; Pietrini, Pietro

    2012-10-01

    Brain functional and psychophysical studies have clearly demonstrated that visual motion perception relies on the activity of the middle temporal complex (hMT+). However, recent studies have shown that hMT+ seems to be also activated during tactile motion perception, suggesting that this visual extrastriate area is involved in the processing and integration of motion, irrespective of the sensorial modality. In the present study, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to assess whether hMT+ plays a causal role in tactile motion processing. Blindfolded participants detected changes in the speed of a grid of tactile moving points with their finger (i.e. tactile modality). The experiment included three different conditions: a control condition with no TMS and two TMS conditions, i.e. hMT+-rTMS and posterior parietal cortex (PPC)-rTMS. Accuracies were significantly impaired during hMT+-rTMS but not in the other two conditions (No-rTMS or PPC-rTMS), moreover, thresholds for detecting speed changes were significantly higher in the hMT+-rTMS with respect to the control TMS conditions. These findings provide stronger evidence that the activity of the hMT+ area is involved in tactile speed processing, which may be consistent with the hypothesis of a supramodal role for that cortical region in motion processing.

  15. 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

  16. Visual area V5/hMT+ contributes to perception of tactile motion direction: a TMS study.

    PubMed

    Amemiya, Tomohiro; Beck, Brianna; Walsh, Vincent; Gomi, Hiroaki; Haggard, Patrick

    2017-01-20

    Human imaging studies have reported activations associated with tactile motion perception in visual motion area V5/hMT+, primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC; Brodmann areas 7/40). However, such studies cannot establish whether these areas are causally involved in tactile motion perception. We delivered double-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while moving a single tactile point across the fingertip, and used signal detection theory to quantify perceptual sensitivity to motion direction. TMS over both SI and V5/hMT+, but not the PPC site, significantly reduced tactile direction discrimination. Our results show that V5/hMT+ plays a causal role in tactile direction processing, and strengthen the case for V5/hMT+ serving multimodal motion perception. Further, our findings are consistent with a serial model of cortical tactile processing, in which higher-order perceptual processing depends upon information received from SI. By contrast, our results do not provide clear evidence that the PPC site we targeted (Brodmann areas 7/40) contributes to tactile direction perception.

  17. Visual area V5/hMT+ contributes to perception of tactile motion direction: a TMS study

    PubMed Central

    Amemiya, Tomohiro; Beck, Brianna; Walsh, Vincent; Gomi, Hiroaki; Haggard, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    Human imaging studies have reported activations associated with tactile motion perception in visual motion area V5/hMT+, primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC; Brodmann areas 7/40). However, such studies cannot establish whether these areas are causally involved in tactile motion perception. We delivered double-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while moving a single tactile point across the fingertip, and used signal detection theory to quantify perceptual sensitivity to motion direction. TMS over both SI and V5/hMT+, but not the PPC site, significantly reduced tactile direction discrimination. Our results show that V5/hMT+ plays a causal role in tactile direction processing, and strengthen the case for V5/hMT+ serving multimodal motion perception. Further, our findings are consistent with a serial model of cortical tactile processing, in which higher-order perceptual processing depends upon information received from SI. By contrast, our results do not provide clear evidence that the PPC site we targeted (Brodmann areas 7/40) contributes to tactile direction perception. PMID:28106123

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Millisecond precision spike timing shapes tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Mackevicius, Emily L; Best, Matthew D; Saal, Hannes P; Bensmaia, Sliman J

    2012-10-31

    In primates, the sense of touch has traditionally been considered to be a spatial modality, drawing an analogy to the visual system. In this view, stimuli are encoded in spatial patterns of activity over the sheet of receptors embedded in the skin. We propose that the spatial processing mode is complemented by a temporal one. Indeed, the transduction and processing of complex, high-frequency skin vibrations have been shown to play an important role in tactile texture perception, and the frequency composition of vibrations shapes the evoked percept. Mechanoreceptive afferents innervating the glabrous skin exhibit temporal patterning in their responses, but the importance and behavioral relevance of spike timing, particularly for naturalistic stimuli, remains to be elucidated. Based on neurophysiological recordings from Rhesus macaques, we show that spike timing conveys information about the frequency composition of skin vibrations, both for individual afferents and for afferent populations, and that the temporal fidelity varies across afferent class. Furthermore, the perception of skin vibrations, measured in human subjects, is better predicted when spike timing is taken into account, and the resolution that predicts perception best matches the optimal resolution of the respective afferent classes. In light of these results, the peripheral representation of complex skin vibrations draws a powerful analogy with the auditory and vibrissal systems.

  2. Millisecond Precision Spike Timing Shapes Tactile Perception

    PubMed Central

    Mackevicius, Emily L.; Best, Matthew D.; Saal, Hannes P.

    2012-01-01

    In primates, the sense of touch has traditionally been considered to be a spatial modality, drawing an analogy to the visual system. In this view, stimuli are encoded in spatial patterns of activity over the sheet of receptors embedded in the skin. We propose that the spatial processing mode is complemented by a temporal one. Indeed, the transduction and processing of complex, high-frequency skin vibrations have been shown to play an important role in tactile texture perception, and the frequency composition of vibrations shapes the evoked percept. Mechanoreceptive afferents innervating the glabrous skin exhibit temporal patterning in their responses, but the importance and behavioral relevance of spike timing, particularly for naturalistic stimuli, remains to be elucidated. Based on neurophysiological recordings from Rhesus macaques, we show that spike timing conveys information about the frequency composition of skin vibrations, both for individual afferents and for afferent populations, and that the temporal fidelity varies across afferent class. Furthermore, the perception of skin vibrations, measured in human subjects, is better predicted when spike timing is taken into account, and the resolution that predicts perception best matches the optimal resolution of the respective afferent classes. In light of these results, the peripheral representation of complex skin vibrations draws a powerful analogy with the auditory and vibrissal systems. PMID:23115169

  3. Perception of tactile graphics: embossings versus cutouts.

    PubMed

    Kalia, Amy; Hopkins, Rose; Jin, David; Yazzolino, Lindsay; Verma, Svena; Merabet, Lotfi; Phillips, Flip; Sinha, Pawan

    2014-01-01

    Graphical information, such as illustrations, graphs, and diagrams, are an essential complement to text for conveying knowledge about the world. Although graphics can be communicated well via the visual modality, conveying this information via touch has proven to be challenging. The lack of easily comprehensible tactile graphics poses a problem for the blind. In this paper, we advance a hypothesis for the limited effectiveness of tactile graphics. The hypothesis contends that conventional graphics that rely upon embossings on two-dimensional surfaces do not allow the deployment of tactile exploratory procedures that are crucial for assessing global shape. Besides potentially accounting for some of the shortcomings of current approaches, this hypothesis also serves a prescriptive purpose by suggesting a different strategy for conveying graphical information via touch, one based on cutouts. We describe experiments demonstrating the greater effectiveness of this approach for conveying shape and identity information. These results hold the potential for creating more comprehensible tactile drawings for the visually impaired while also providing insights into shape estimation processes in the tactile modality.

  4. 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.

  5. Path integration in tactile perception of shapes.

    PubMed

    Moscatelli, Alessandro; Naceri, Abdeldjallil; Ernst, Marc O

    2014-11-01

    Whenever we move the hand across a surface, tactile signals provide information about the relative velocity between the skin and the surface. If the system were able to integrate the tactile velocity information over time, cutaneous touch may provide an estimate of the relative displacement between the hand and the surface. Here, we asked whether humans are able to form a reliable representation of the motion path from tactile cues only, integrating motion information over time. In order to address this issue, we conducted three experiments using tactile motion and asked participants (1) to estimate the length of a simulated triangle, (2) to reproduce the shape of a simulated triangular path, and (3) to estimate the angle between two-line segments. Participants were able to accurately indicate the length of the path, whereas the perceived direction was affected by a direction bias (inward bias). The response pattern was thus qualitatively similar to the ones reported in classical path integration studies involving locomotion. However, we explain the directional biases as the result of a tactile motion aftereffect.

  6. 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.

  7. Freezing effect in tactile perception: sound facilitates tactile identification by enhancing intensity but not duration.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Ya-Yeh; Yeh, Su-Ling

    2013-08-01

    Identification of a visual target can be enhanced by a simultaneously presented high tone embedded in a sequence of low tones. This is called "freezing effect" because it is as if the target display was frozen in time by the tone. Until now, however, it has not been known whether this sound facilitation effect exists for a target with modalities other than vision, such as tactility, and if so, what its underlying mechanism is. We demonstrate, for the first time, an audio-tactile freezing effect (Experiment 1). We use a method of constant stimuli in conjunction with a 2-AFC task to determine the point of subjective equality (PSE) of the duration (Experiment 2A) or intensity (Experiment 2B) of the tactile target. Results do not support the view that a high tone expands the duration of the tactile target, but rather that the tone enhances participants' subjective tactile intensity. When the tactile intensity of the target was increased to match the shift of PSE as in Experiment 2B, this increased intensity indeed improved identification, further suggesting that intensity enhancement is the mechanism (Experiment 3). The perceived tactile intensity enhancement by a sound indicates genuine multisensory integration.

  8. Random Access: The DotsPlus Tactile Font Set.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gardner, John

    1998-01-01

    Describes "DotsPlus," a tactile font set that allows computers to print documents in any language which uses the Roman alphabet in tactile form. DotsPlus overcomes such Braille problems as code translation, Braille numbers, exotic symbols, and symbols out of context. A new printing technology (TIGER--Tactile Graphics Embosser) produces DotsPlus…

  9. Biologically inspired multi-layered synthetic skin for tactile feedback in prosthetic limbs.

    PubMed

    Osborn, Luke; Nguyen, Harrison; Betthauser, Joseph; Kaliki, Rahul; Thakor, Nitish

    2016-08-01

    The human body offers a template for many state-of-the-art prosthetic devices and sensors. In this work, we present a novel, sensorized synthetic skin that mimics the natural multi-layered nature of mechanoreceptors found in healthy glabrous skin to provide tactile information. The multi-layered sensor is made up of flexible piezoresistive textiles that act as force sensitive resistors (FSRs) to convey tactile information, which are embedded within a silicone rubber to resemble the compliant nature of human skin. The top layer of the synthetic skin is capable of detecting small loads less than 5 N whereas the bottom sensing layer responds reliably to loads over 7 N. Finite element analysis (FEA) of a simplified human fingertip and the synthetic skin was performed. Results suggest similarities in behavior during loading. A natural tactile event is simulated by loading the synthetic skin on a prosthetic limb. Results show the sensors' ability to detect applied loads as well as the ability to simulate neural spiking activity based on the derivative and temporal differences of the sensor response. During the tactile loading, the top sensing layer responded 0.24 s faster than the bottom sensing layer. A synthetic biologically-inspired skin such as this will be useful for enhancing the functionality of prosthetic limbs through tactile feedback.

  10. Development of integrated tactile display devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Hyouk Ryeol; Kim, Ducksang; Chuc, Nguyen Huu; Vuong, Nguyen Huu Lam; Koo, Jachoon; Nam, Jae-Do; Lee, Youngkwan

    2009-03-01

    As a major human sensory function, the implementation of the tactile sensation for the human-machine interface has been one of the core research interests for long time. In this research, tactile display devices based on dielectric elastomer are introduced among the works recently done by ourselves. Using dielectric elastomer for the construction of the tactile interface, it can provide stimulation on the human skin without any additional electromechanical transmission. Softness and flexibility of the device structure, ease of fabrication, possibility for miniaturization, and cost effectiveness are the representative benefits of the presented devices. Especially, the device application is open to a wide variety of purposes since the flexible structure offers excellent adaptability to any contour of the human body as well as the other objects. In this paper, the design of the interfaces is briefly explained and several examples of implementation are introduced.

  11. Visual to tactile conversion of vector graphics.

    PubMed

    Krufka, Stephen E; Barner, Kenneth E; Aysal, Tuncer Can

    2007-06-01

    Methods to automatically convert graphics into raised-line images have been recently investigated. In this paper, concepts from previous research are extended to the vector graphics case, producing tactile pictures in which important features are emphasized. The proposed algorithm extracts object boundaries and employs a classification process, based on a graphic's hierarchical structure, to determine critical outlines. A single parameter is introduced into the classification process, enabling users to tailor graphics to their own preferences. The resulting outlines are printed using a Braille printer to produce tactile output. Critical outlines are embossed with raised dots of highest height while other lines and details are embossed with a lower height. Psychophysical experiments including discrimination, identification, and comprehension are utilized to evaluate and compare the proposed algorithm. Results indicate that the proposed method outperforms other methods in all three considered tasks. The results also show that emphasizing important features significantly increases comprehension of tactile graphics, validating the proposed method's effectiveness in conveying visual information.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Instrumental tactile diagnostics in robot-assisted surgery

    PubMed Central

    Solodova, Rozalia F; Galatenko, Vladimir V; Nakashidze, Eldar R; Andreytsev, Igor L; Galatenko, Alexey V; Senchik, Dmitriy K; Staroverov, Vladimir M; Podolskii, Vladimir E; Sokolov, Mikhail E; Sadovnichy, Victor A

    2016-01-01

    Background Robotic surgery has gained wide acceptance due to minimizing trauma in patients. However, the lack of tactile feedback is an essential limiting factor for the further expansion. In robotic surgery, feedback related to touch is currently kinesthetic, and it is mainly aimed at the minimization of force applied to tissues and organs. Design and implementation of diagnostic tactile feedback is still an open problem. We hypothesized that a sufficient tactile feedback in robot-assisted surgery can be provided by utilization of Medical Tactile Endosurgical Complex (MTEC), which is a novel specialized tool that is already commercially available in the Russian Federation. MTEC allows registration of tactile images by a mechanoreceptor, real-time visualization of these images, and reproduction of images via a tactile display. Materials and methods Nine elective surgeries were performed with da Vinci™ robotic system. An assistant performed tactile examination through an additional port under the guidance of a surgeon during revision of tissues. The operating surgeon sensed registered tactile data using a tactile display, and the assistant inspected the visualization of tactile data. First, surgeries where lesion boundaries were visually detectable were performed. The goal was to promote cooperation between the surgeon and the assistant and to train them in perception of the tactile feedback. Then, instrumental tactile diagnostics was utilized in case of visually undetectable boundaries. Results In robot-assisted surgeries where lesion boundaries were not visually detectable, instrumental tactile diagnostics performed using MTEC provided valid identification and localization of lesions. The results of instrumental tactile diagnostics were concordant with the results of intraoperative ultrasound examination. However, in certain cases, for example, thoracoscopy, ultrasound examination is inapplicable, while MTEC-based tactile diagnostics can be efficiently utilized

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A tactile sensor made of graphene-cellulose nanocomposite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafy, Abdullahil; Sadasivuni, Kishor Kumar; Mun, Seongcheonl; Kim, Jaehwan

    2015-04-01

    Development of tactile sensing technology has promoted intelligent human-machine interaction and recently has evolved out as one of the most promising area of electronics. Tactile sensing is a milestone in this field as it can extend the detection mode of tactile sensor through air. In this paper, we fabricated a tactile sensor using cellulose nanocrystal modified with graphene by isocyanate grafting. The new material is transparent, ecofriendly and integrated the capability of tactile sensing with fast response, high stability and high reversibility. Various materials from conducting metals to a human hand were checked for tactile sensing capability. It is found that the fabricated sensor could detect a human hand at a distance up to 6 mm away from the sensor. Combining the results, the discrete, flexible dual-mode tactile sensor fulfilled the technical and operational objectives of this work .

  2. 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.

  3. Parents’ perceptions of preschool activities: exploring outdoor play

    PubMed Central

    Jayasuriya, Avanthi; Williams, Marcia; Edwards, Todd; Tandon, Pooja

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings Outdoor play is important for children’s health and development, yet many preschool-aged children in childcare settings do not receive the recommended 60 minutes/day of outdoor play. Childcare providers have previously described parent-related barriers to increasing outdoor playtime, including parents not providing appropriate clothing for their children and parents’ preference for academics over active play. This study explored parent perceptions and knowledge of outdoor playtime in childcare environments. On average, parents reported wanting their child to spend significantly more time playing outside during a full day of childcare than the recommended minimum. However, over one-half of parents reported that they did not know how much time their child actually spent playing outside and 43% reported that they did not know their childcare center’s outdoor play policies. Practice or Policy Childcare providers may over-perceive parent-related barriers to outdoor play. Parents generally support outdoor play for their preschooler during center-based childcare but are not well informed about outdoor playtime and policies. Encouraging communication between parents and early childhood educators about these topics could lead to more universal support and strategies for promoting outdoor and active play opportunities for children which are important for their health and development.

  4. The fabric of thought: priming tactile properties during reading influences direct tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Brunyé, 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) that were either related or unrelated to fabrics and varied in implied texture (smooth, medium, rough). After reading each sentence, participants then performed an unrelated rating task during which they felt and rated the texture of a presented fabric. Results demonstrated that the texture properties implied in sentences influence direct tactile perception. Specifically, after reading about a smooth or rough texture, subsequent fabric ratings became notably smoother or rougher, respectively. However, we also show that there was some specificity to these effects: Fabric-related sentences elicited more specific and interactive effects on subsequent ratings. Together, we demonstrate that under certain circumstances, language comprehension can prime tactile representations and affect direct tactile perception. Results are discussed with regard to the nature and scope of multimodal mental simulation during reading.

  5. Human tactile perception as a standard for artificial tactile sensing--a review.

    PubMed

    Dargahi, J; Najarian, S

    2004-06-01

    In this paper, we examine the most important features of human skin tactile properties with special emphasis on the characteristics which are vital in the design of artificial systems. Contrary to the visual and auditory senses, the touch signal is not a well-defined quantity. As a result, the researchers of this field are still dealing with the basics of collecting the most relevant data. Following this, mimicking the sense of touch by producing artificial tactile skin is a challenging process. Although the sense of touch is widely distributed all over the human body, the tactile perception in the human hand is of great importance in terms of surgical and medical robotics applications. In this study, the role of various mechanoreceptors in the human hand, such as, RA, SA I, SA II, and PC units are discussed in relation to the stimuli like force, position, softness, and surface texture. Taking human hand as a suitable tactile model, the necessary engineering features of an artificial tactile sensor, such as, spatial and temporal resolutions, force sensitivity, and linearity, are being reviewed. In this work, we also report on the current and possible future applications of tactile sensors in various surgical procedures.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. An oral tactile interface for blind navigation.

    PubMed

    Tang, Hui; Beebe, David J

    2006-03-01

    An oral tactile interface was designed and evaluated to provide directional cues through the tactile channel, which may be utilized by a blind traveler to obtain directional guidance in outdoor navigation. The device was implemented as a mouthpiece with a microfabricated electrotactile display on top for tactile presentation onto the roof of the mouth and a tongue touch keypad at the bottom for simultaneous operation by the tongue. An experimental system allowed a user to communicate with a computer tactilely by using the oral interface. Directional cues were presented to the user as line or arrow patterns with four moving directions (leftward, rightward, forward, and backward). Electrotactile presentation on the roof of the mouth was evaluated in experiments of threshold measurement and identification of directional cues. Experimental results from six human subjects showed that the roof of the mouth required stimulation intensities around 15 V for threshold sensation, and around 25-30 V for comfortable and well-perceived stimulation. Furthermore, identification of leftward or rightward movements was highly accurate while performance on forward or backward moving patterns was mixed and varied considerably among subjects.

  9. Seeing the body distorts tactile size perception.

    PubMed

    Longo, Matthew R; Sadibolova, Renata

    2013-03-01

    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 touch, and if so how. This study investigated how non-informative vision of the body modulates tactile size perception. We used the mirror box illusion to induce the illusion that participants were directly seeing their stimulated left hand, though they actually saw their reflected right hand. We manipulated whether participants: (a) had the illusion of directly seeing their stimulated left hand, (b) had the illusion of seeing a non-body object at the same location, or (c) looked directly at their non-stimulated right-hand. Participants made verbal estimates of the perceived distance between two tactile stimuli presented simultaneously to the dorsum of the left hand, either 20, 30, or 40mm apart. Vision of the body significantly reduced the perceived size of touch, compared to vision of the object or of the contralateral hand. In contrast, no apparent changes of perceived hand size were found. These results show that seeing the body distorts tactile size perception.

  10. Aero-tactile integration in speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Gick, Bryan; Derrick, Donald

    2013-01-01

    Visual information from a speaker’s face can enhance1 or interfere with2 accurate auditory perception. This integration of information across auditory and visual streams has been observed in functional imaging studies3,4, and has typically been attributed to the frequency and robustness with which perceivers jointly encounter event-specific information from these two modalities5. Adding the tactile modality has long been considered a crucial next step in understanding multisensory integration. However, previous studies have found an influence of tactile input on speech perception only under limited circumstances, either where perceivers were aware of the task6,7 or where they had received training to establish a cross-modal mapping8–10. Here we show that perceivers integrate naturalistic tactile information during auditory speech perception without previous training. Drawing on the observation that some speech sounds produce tiny bursts of aspiration (such as English ‘p’)11, we applied slight, inaudible air puffs on participants’ skin at one of two locations: the right hand or the neck. Syllables heard simultaneously with cutaneous air puffs were more likely to be heard as aspirated (for example, causing participants to mishear ‘b’ as ‘p’). These results demonstrate that perceivers integrate event-relevant tactile information in auditory perception in much the same way as they do visual information. PMID:19940925

  11. Compact Tactile Sensors for Robot Fingers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. Novel tactile feedback to reduce overt stuttering.

    PubMed

    Waddell, Dwight E; Goggans, Paul M; Snyder, Gregory J

    2012-08-22

    Stuttering is generally considered to be a speech disorder that affects ∼1% of the global population. Various forms of speech feedback have been shown to reduce overt stuttered speaking, and in particular, second speech signal through speech feedback has drastically reduced utterances of stuttered speech in adults with persistent stuttering. This study reports data for increased overt fluency of speech in an adult stuttering population, whereby the vocalization of the speaker is captured by a microphone or an accelerometer, signal processed, and returned as mechanical tactile speech feedback to the speaker's skin. A repeated measures analysis of variance was used to show that both the microphone and the accelerometer speaking conditions were significantly more fluent than a control (no feedback) condition, with the microphone-driven tactile feedback reducing instances of stuttering by 71% and the accelerometer-driven tactile feedback reducing instances of stuttering by 80%. It is apparent that self-generated tactile feedback can be used to enhance fluency significantly in those who stutter.

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Highly Flexible Graphene Oxide Nanosuspension Liquid-Based Microfluidic Tactile Sensor.

    PubMed

    Kenry; Yeo, Joo Chuan; Yu, Jiahao; Shang, Menglin; Loh, Kian Ping; Lim, Chwee Teck

    2016-03-23

    A novel graphene oxide (GO) nanosuspension liquid-based microfluidic tactile sensor is developed. It comprises a UV ozone-bonded Ecoflex-polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic assembly filled with GO nanosuspension, which serves as the working fluid of the tactile sensor. This device is highly flexible and able to withstand numerous modes of deformation as well as distinguish various user-applied mechanical forces it is subjected to, including pressing, stretching, and bending. This tactile sensor is also highly deformable and wearable, and capable of recognizing and differentiating distinct hand muscle-induced motions, such as finger flexing and fist clenching. Moreover, subtle differences in the handgrip strength derived from the first clenching gesture can be identified based on the electrical response of our device. This work highlights the potential application of the GO nanosuspension liquid-based flexible microfluidic tactile sensing platform as a wearable diagnostic and prognostic device for real-time health monitoring. Also importantly, this work can further facilitate the exploration and potential realization of a functional liquid-state device technology with superior mechanical flexibility and conformability.

  20. Somatosensory event-related potentials and association with tactile behavioral responsiveness patterns in children with ASD

    PubMed Central

    Cascio, Carissa J.; Gu, Chang; Schauder, Kimberly B.; Key, Alexandra P.; Yoder, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to explore neural response to touch in children with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Patterns of reduced (hypo-responsiveness) and enhanced (hyper-responsiveness) behavioral reaction to sensory input are prevalent in ASD, but their neural mechanisms are poorly understood. We measured event-related potentials (ERP) to a puff of air on the fingertip and collected parent report of tactile hypo- and hyper-responsiveness in children with ASD (n=21, mean(SD) age: 11.25(3.09), 2 female), and an age-matched typically developing (TD) comparison group (n=28, mean(SD) age:10.1(3.08, 2 female). A global measure of ERP response strength approximately 220–270 msec post-stimulus was associated with tactile hypo-responsiveness in ASD, while tactile hyper-responsiveness was associated with earlier neural response (approximately 120–220 msec post-stimulus) in both groups. These neural responses also related to autism severity. These results suggest that, in ASD, tactile hypo- and hyper-responsiveness may reflect different waypoints in the neural processing stream of sensory input. The timing of the relationship for hyper-responsiveness is consistent with somatosensory association cortical response, while that for hypo-responsiveness is more consistent with later processes that may involve allocation of attention or emotional valence to the stimulus. PMID:26016951

  1. Functional capacities of tactile afferent fibres in neonatal kittens

    PubMed Central

    Ferrington, D. G.; Rowe, Mark J.

    1980-01-01

    in the two classes of adult units it covered the range 5-800 Hz; (iv) capacity for coding information about vibration frequency. Impulse activity of neonatal fibres was less tightly phase-locked to the vibratory stimulus and showed a poorer reflection of the periodic nature of the vibratory stimulus than impulse patterns of adult units. 6. The results reveal that tactile receptors and afferent fibres in the neonate are functionally immature. Their restricted coding capacities suggest that peripheral tactile sensory mechanisms impose limits on the ability of the new-born animal to derive information about its tactile environment. PMID:7205668

  2. 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

  3. 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.)…

  4. Neural correlates of tactile temporal-order judgment in humans: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Toshimitsu; Kansaku, Kenji; Wada, Makoto; Shibuya, Satoshi; Kitazawa, Shigeru

    2013-08-01

    Little is known about the neuronal mechanisms underlying the temporal ordering of tactile signals. We examined the brain regions involved in judgments of the temporal order of successive taps delivered to both hands. Participants received identical stimuli while engaging in 2 different tasks: Judging the temporal order and judging the numerosity of points of tactile stimulation. Comparisons of the functional magnetic resonance imaging data obtained during the 2 tasks revealed regions that were more strongly activated with the judgments of the temporal order than with the judgments of numerosity under both arms-uncrossed and -crossed conditions: The bilateral premotor cortices, the bilateral middle frontal gyri, the bilateral inferior parietal cortices and supramarginal gyri, and the bilateral posterior part of the superior and middle temporal gyri. Stronger activation was found in some of these areas that implicated for remapping tactile stimuli to spatial coordinates after the participants crossed their arms. The activation in the perisylvian areas overlapped with the human visual-motion-sensitive areas in the posterior part. Based on these results, we propose that the temporal order of tactile signals is determined by combining spatial representations of stimuli in the parietal and prefrontal cortices with representations of "motion" or "changes" in the multisensory perisylvian cortex.

  5. Preliminary study to establish a relationship between tactile sensation and surface roughness.

    PubMed

    Ando, M; Eckert, G J; Zero, D T

    2010-01-01

    This study evaluated the ability of tactile sensations to distinguish roughness. Five examiners experienced in visual examination participated. Tactile sensation was assessed by 3 standard references, the average roughnesses 0.49, 0.92 and 1.54 mum. The examiners evaluated the roughness using 2 different ends of sharp explorers (TU 17 SE and 23 SE), each with 2 different handles (Standard Handle and No. 6 Handle-Satin Steel), and 1 WHO probe using a 5-point response score. The examiners performed 3 evaluations to establish repeatability. Using the 23 SE explorer with the steel handle was the best option to distinguish between 3 roughnesses (p < 0.05). The intraexaminer intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were between 0.90 and 0.98, but the interexaminer ICC were only between 0 and 0.04, indicating that, although trained examiners could repeat their own scores, they were not consistent with each other in grading roughness.

  6. Visual and tactile guidance of dexterous manipulation tasks: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Talati, Ardesheer; Valero-Cuevas, Francisco J; Hirsch, Joy

    2005-08-01

    Models of motor guidance that dynamically adjust to the availability and quality of sensory information are based on the observation that dexterous tasks are routinely performed using various combinations of visual and tactile inputs. However, a dynamic neural system that acquires and processes relevant visual and tactile information remains relatively uncharacterized in humans. In this study, whole-brain functional magnetic resonance images were acquired during a dexterous manipulation task, compression of the end caps of a slender spring prone to buckling, to investigate the neural systems associated with motor guidance under four visual and tactile guidance conditions: (1) eyes closed (no visual input), smooth end caps, (2) eyes dosed, rough end caps, (3) eyes open and watching hand, smooth end caps, and (4) eyes open and watching hand, rough end caps. Performance of the dexterous task remained constant in all conditions. Variations in the two levels of visual input resulted in modulation of activity in the middle and inferior occipital gyrii and inferior parietal lobule, and variation in the two levels of tactile input during the task resulted in modulation of activity in the precentral (primary motor) gyrus. Although significantly active in all conditions, cingulate gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, postcentral gyrus, and cerebellum activities were not modulated by levels of either visual or somatosensory input, and no interaction effects were observed. Together, these data indicate that a fine-tuned motor task guided by varying visual and tactile information engages a distributed and integrated neural complex consisting of control and executive functions and regions that process dynamic sensory information related to guidance functions.

  7. NEURAL CHANGES WITH TACTILE LEARNING REFLECT DECISION-LEVEL REWEIGHTING OF PERCEPTUAL READOUT

    PubMed Central

    Sathian, K.; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Stilla, Randall

    2013-01-01

    Despite considerable work, the neural basis of perceptual learning remains uncertain. For visual learning, although some studies suggested that changes in early sensory representations are responsible, other studies point to decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout. These competing possibilities have not been examined in other sensory systems, investigating which could help resolve the issue. Here we report a study of human tactile microspatial learning in which participants achieved >six-fold decline in acuity threshold after multiple training sessions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was carried out during performance of the tactile microspatial task and a control, tactile temporal task. Effective connectivity between relevant brain regions was estimated using multivariate, autoregressive models of hidden neuronal variables obtained by deconvolution of the hemodynamic response. Training-specific increases in task-selective activation assessed using the task-by-session interaction, and associated changes in effective connectivity, primarily involved subcortical and anterior neocortical regions implicated in motor and/or decision processes, rather than somatosensory cortical regions. A control group of participants tested twice, without intervening training, exhibited neither threshold improvement nor increases in task-selective activation. Our observations argue that neuroplasticity mediating perceptual learning occurs at the stage of perceptual readout by decision networks. This is consonant with the growing shift away from strictly modular conceptualization of the brain towards the idea that complex network interactions underlie even simple tasks. The convergence of our findings on tactile learning with recent studies of visual learning reconciles earlier discrepancies in the literature on perceptual learning. PMID:23516304

  8. Neural changes with tactile learning reflect decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout.

    PubMed

    Sathian, K; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Stilla, Randall

    2013-03-20

    Despite considerable work, the neural basis of perceptual learning remains uncertain. For visual learning, although some studies suggested that changes in early sensory representations are responsible, other studies point to decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout. These competing possibilities have not been examined in other sensory systems, investigating which could help resolve the issue. Here we report a study of human tactile microspatial learning in which participants achieved >six-fold decline in acuity threshold after multiple training sessions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed during performance of the tactile microspatial task and a control, tactile temporal task. Effective connectivity between relevant brain regions was estimated using multivariate, autoregressive models of hidden neuronal variables obtained by deconvolution of the hemodynamic response. Training-specific increases in task-selective activation assessed using the task × session interaction and associated changes in effective connectivity primarily involved subcortical and anterior neocortical regions implicated in motor and/or decision processes, rather than somatosensory cortical regions. A control group of participants tested twice, without intervening training, exhibited neither threshold improvement nor increases in task-selective activation. Our observations argue that neuroplasticity mediating perceptual learning occurs at the stage of perceptual readout by decision networks. This is consonant with the growing shift away from strictly modular conceptualization of the brain toward the idea that complex network interactions underlie even simple tasks. The convergence of our findings on tactile learning with recent studies of visual learning reconciles earlier discrepancies in the literature on perceptual learning.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Remote tactile sensing glove-based system.

    PubMed

    Culjat, Martin O; Son, Ji; Fan, Richard E; Wottawa, Christopher; Bisley, James W; Grundfest, Warren S; Dutson, Erik P

    2010-01-01

    A complete glove-based master-slave tactile feedback system was developed to provide users with a remote sense of touch. The system features a force-sensing master glove with piezoresistive force sensors mounted at each finger tip, and a pressure-transmitting slave glove with silicone-based pneumatically controlled balloon actuators, mounted at each finger tip on another hand. A control system translates forces detected on the master glove, either worn by a user or mounted on a robotic hand, to discrete pressure levels at the fingers of another user. System tests demonstrated that users could accurately identify the correct finger and detect three simultaneous finger stimuli with 99.3% and 90.2% accuracy, respectively, when the subjects were located in separate rooms. The glove-based tactile feedback system may have application to virtual reality, rehabilitation, remote surgery, medical simulation, robotic assembly, and military robotics.

  13. Computational intelligence techniques for tactile sensing systems.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-19

    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.

  14. Remote Tactile Displays for Future Soldiers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-05-01

    earcons for sound where musical parameters (e.g., frequency, timbre , rhythm, intensity, register) are varied to create concise, easily understood...Van Erp and Spapé (2003) essentially used this type of approach to create 59 tactile “melodies” by transforming pieces of music from the auditory...Instruments for Musical Expression, Dublin, Ireland, 1-6, 2002. Hart, F. G.; Staveland, L. E. Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): Results of

  15. Tactile learning in rodents: Neurobiology and neuropharmacology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  16. Tactile Sensing Reflexes for Advanced Prosthetic Hands

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-01

    The planned scope of research for this reporting period were to: 1) develop and evaluate improved tactile sensors to be used in future clinical...construction of novel robust sensor designs and testing of these designs, 2) development of a controller development board to test the programming and...Quad Chart 37 1. INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this research is to equip a myoelectric prosthetic hand with contact detecting sensors and a

  17. 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.

  18. The effects of training on tactile enumeration.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Zahira Z; Aisenberg, Daniela; Henik, Avishai

    2016-12-26

    Subitizing is a fast and accurate process of enumerating small quantities. Whether subitizing carried out in the tactile modality is under debate. We previously found a moderately increasing RT slope from one to four stimuli and a large decrease in RT for five stimuli when using one hand. Yet, a high error rate was observed, making it difficult to determine if the RT pattern found was indeed subitizing. To increase accuracy, we carried out training of the tactile enumeration task using one hand for 6 days. We compared performance in the trained and additional non-trained tasks between two groups-the 6-day training group (6DT) and the non-trained controls (C)-after three periods (1 week, 1 and 6 months after the training of the 6DT group ended). Results showed an increase in accuracy rates for both groups but a decrease in RT for the 6DT group only for the trained task. This RT improvement was present even after 6 months. Importantly, the RT slope of one-hand enumeration did not change after training, showing a moderately increased slope up to four stimuli and a decrease for five stimuli. Our study shows the training long-term effect on tactile enumeration and emphasizes the embodiment of finger counting on enumeration. Two possible enumeration processes are discussed-accelerated counting and subitizing-both based on spatial cues and pattern recognition of familiarized finger-counting patterns.

  19. Influence of Visual Motion on Tactile Motion Perception

    PubMed Central

    Bensmaïa, S. J.; Killebrew, J. H.; Craig, J. C.

    2007-01-01

    Subjects were presented with pairs of tactile drifting sinusoids and made speed discrimination judgments. On some trials, a visual drifting sinusoid, which subjects were instructed to ignore, was presented simultaneously with one of the two tactile stimuli. When the visual and tactile gratings drifted in the same direction (i.e., from left to right), the visual distractors were found to increase the perceived speed of the tactile gratings. The effect of the visual distractors was proportional to their temporal frequency but not to their perceived speed. When the visual and tactile gratings drifted in opposite directions, the distracting effect of the visual distractors was either substantially reduced or, in some cases, reversed (i.e., the distractors slowed the perceived speed of the tactile gratings). This result suggests that the observed visual-tactile interaction is dependent on motion and not simply on the oscillations inherent in drifting sinusoids. Finally, we find that disrupting the temporal synchrony between the visual and tactile stimuli eliminates the distracting effect of the visual stimulus. We interpret this latter finding as evidence that the observed visual-tactile interaction operates at the sensory level and does not simply reflect a response bias. PMID:16723415

  20. Real-time edge tracking using a tactile sensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berger, Alan D.; Volpe, Richard; Khosla, Pradeep K.

    1989-01-01

    Object recognition through the use of input from multiple sensors is an important aspect of an autonomous manipulation system. In tactile object recognition, it is necessary to determine the location and orientation of object edges and surfaces. A controller is proposed that utilizes a tactile sensor in the feedback loop of a manipulator to track along edges. In the control system, the data from the tactile sensor is first processed to find edges. The parameters of these edges are then used to generate a control signal to a hybrid controller. Theory is presented for tactile edge detection and an edge tracking controller. In addition, experimental verification of the edge tracking controller is presented.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Peripheral NMDA Receptors Mediate Antidromic Nerve Stimulation-Induced Tactile Hypersensitivity in the Rat.

    PubMed

    Jang, Jun Ho; Nam, Taick Sang; Jun, Jaebeom; Jung, Se Jung; Kim, Dong-Wook; Leem, Joong Woo

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the role of peripheral NMDA receptors (NMDARs) in antidromic nerve stimulation-induced tactile hypersensitivity outside the skin area innervated by stimulated nerve. Tetanic electrical stimulation (ES) of the decentralized L5 spinal nerve, which induced enlargement of plasma extravasation, resulted in tactile hypersensitivity in the L4 plantar dermatome of the hind-paw. When intraplantar (i.pl.) injection was administered into the L4 dermatome before ES, NMDAR and group-I metabotropic Glu receptor (mGluR) antagonists and group-II mGluR agonist but not AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist prevented ES-induced hypersensitivity. I.pl. injection of PKA or PKC inhibitors also prevented ES-induced hypersensitivity. When the same injections were administered after establishment of ES-induced hypersensitivity, hypersensitivity was partially reduced by NMDAR antagonist only. In naïve animals, i.pl. Glu injection into the L4 dermatome induced tactile hypersensitivity, which was blocked by NMDAR antagonist and PKA and PKC inhibitors. These results suggest that the peripheral release of Glu, induced by antidromic nerve stimulation, leads to the expansion of tactile hypersensitive skin probably via nociceptor sensitization spread due to the diffusion of Glu into the skin near the release site. In addition, intracellular PKA- and PKC-dependent mechanisms mediated mainly by NMDAR activation are involved in Glu-induced nociceptor sensitization and subsequent hypersensitivity.

  5. Tactile spatial acuity varies with site and axis in the human upper limb.

    PubMed

    Cody, Frederick W J; Garside, Rebecca A D; Lloyd, Donna; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2008-03-12

    Historically, beginning with Weber's [E.H. Weber, On the sensitivity of the tactile senses, in: H.E. Ross, D.J. Murray (Eds. and Trans.), E.H. Weber on the Tactile Senses, Erlbaum (UK) Taylor & Francis, Hove, 1996 (Original work published in 1834), pp. 21-136] classical studies, regional variations in the accuracy of localisation of tactile stimuli applied to a limb have been recognised. However, important questions remain concerning both the map of localisation resolution and its neuroscientific basis since methodological confounds have militated against an unambiguous, unified interpretation of the diverse findings. To test the hypotheses that localisation precision on the upper limb varies with site (hand, wrist, forearm) and limb axis (transverse, longitudinal), regional differences in locognosic acuity were quantified in psychophysical experiments. Participants identified the perceived direction (e.g. medial or lateral) relative to a central reference locus of brief tactile test stimuli applied to a cruciform array of loci. Acuity was greater in the transverse than longitudinal axis. This effect probably arises from the asymmetry of receptive fields of upper limb first-order sensory units and their higher-order projection neurons. Additionally, acuity was greater on the dorsal surface at the wrist than either the hand or forearm sites, in the longitudinal axis, supporting an enhancement of resolution at joints (anchor points). This effect may contribute to improved proprioceptive guidance of active wrist movements.

  6. 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

  7. Correlation of vision loss with tactile-evoked V1 responses in retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    ... Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities in the Gulf of Mexico; Correction... in the Federal Register (78 FR 27427) entitled ``Outer Continental Shelf Geological and...

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Active Visual SLAM with Exploration for Autonomous Underwater Navigation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    Proceedings of the IEEE/MTS OCEANS Conference and Exhibition, pp. 1–8, Seattle, WA. Carroll, K., S. McClaran, E . Nelson, D. Barnett, D. Friesen , and G. William...group doing the hull inspection project. I thank Dr. Michael Kaess, Hordur Johannsson, Dr. Brendan Englot, Professor Franz Hover, and Professor John...2011). (d) Autonomous dam inspection (Ridao et al., 2010). ( e ) Autonomous hull inspection (Hover et al., 2012). (a) Arctic exploration (b) Mariana Trench

  15. Prenatal tactile stimulation attenuates drug-induced behavioral sensitization, modifies behavior, and alters brain architecture.

    PubMed

    Muhammad, Arif; Kolb, Bryan

    2011-07-11

    Based on the findings of postnatal tactile stimulation (TS), a favorable experience in rats, the present study examined the influence of prenatal TS on juvenile behavior, adult amphetamine (AMPH) sensitization, and structural alteration in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the striatum. Female rats received TS through a baby hair brush throughout pregnancy, and the pups born were tested for open field locomotion, elevated plus maze (EPM), novel object recognition (NOR), and play fighting behaviors. Development and persistence of drug-induced behavioral sensitization in adults were tested by repeated AMPH administration and a challenge, respectively. Structural plasticity in the brain was assessed from the prefrontal cortical thickness and striatum size from serial coronal sections. The results indicate that TS females showed enhanced exploration in the open field. TS decreased the frequency of playful attacks whereas the response to face or evade an attack was not affected. Anxiety-like behavior and cognitive performance were not influenced by TS. AMPH administration resulted in gradual increase in locomotor activity (i.e., behavioral sensitization) that persisted at least for 2 weeks. However, both male and female TS rats exhibited attenuated AMPH sensitization compared to sex-matched controls. Furthermore, the drug-associated alteration in the prefrontal cortical thickness and striatum size observed in controls were prevented by TS experience. In summary, TS during prenatal development modified juvenile behavior, attenuated drug-induced behavioral sensitization in adulthood, and reorganized brain regions implicated in drug addiction.

  16. Can Visually Impaired Children Use Tactile Maps to Estimate Directions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ungar, S.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Eighty-eight children (either totally blind or with residual vision) estimated directions between landmarks in a large scale layout of objects. Children experienced the layout either directly by walking around it or indirectly by examining a tactile map. Use of tactile maps considerably facilitated the performance of the blind children. (Author/DB)

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Visual illusion of tool use recalibrates tactile perception.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-11

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.…

  6. Exploring Careers in Science and Engineering. Second Edition. [Student Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Research Triangle Inst., Research Triangle Park, NC.

    This program (which consists of 12 activities) is aimed at increasing the career relevance of science education for all students in grades 4 through 9, while at the same time particularly encouraging female and minority students to consider careers in science and engineering. Major areas addressed in the activities are: (1) students' images of…

  7. Composite thermal micro-actuator array for tactile displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enikov, Eniko T.; Lazarov, Kalin V.

    2003-07-01

    Tactile perception of complex symbols through tactile stimulation is an exciting application of a phenomenon known as tactile illusion (TI). Sensation of motion on the skin can be produced by a limited number of discrete mechanical actuators applying light pressure over the skin. This phenomenon can thus be used as a neurophysiological testing tool to determine central and peripheral nervous system injury as well as providing an additional human-machine communication channel. This paper describes the development of a 4 x 5 actuator array of individual vibrating pixels for fingertip tactile communication. The array is approximately one square centimeter and utilizes novel micro-clutch MEMS technology. The individual pixels are turned ON and OFF by pairs of microscopic composite thermal actuators, while the main vibration is generated by a vibrating piezo-electric plate. The physiological parameters required for inducing tactile illusion are described. The fabrication sequence for the thermal micro-actuators along with actuation results are also presented.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Touch, compliance, and awareness of tactile contact.

    PubMed

    Joule, Robert-Vincent; Guéguen, Nicolas

    2007-04-01

    Many experimental studies have shown that touch increases compliance with a request; however, the difference between the effect of touch on compliance between participants who notice and those who do not notice such contact remains in question. An experiment was conducted in which a female confederate asked 368 female smokers to give her a cigarette. In the Touch condition, when making her request, the confederate slightly touched the participant on her forearm. Analysis showed the touch was associated with significantly higher compliance to the request, and a difference was evident in the Touch condition between subjects who had noticed the tactile contact and those who had not.

  11. 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…

  12. The Role of Capsaicin-induced Acute Inactivation of C-fibers on Tactile Learning in Rat

    PubMed Central

    Rahmani, Mohammadreza; Rajabi, Soodeh; Allahtavakoli, Mohammad; Roohbakhsh, Ali; Sheibani, Vahid; Shamsizadeh, Ali

    2013-01-01

    Objective(s): In our previous study, we reported that capsaicin-induced unmyelinated C-fiber depletion can modulate excitatory and integrative circuits in the somatosensory cortex following experience-dependent plasticity. In this study, we investigated the involvement of the capsaicin-induced acute inactivation of c-fibers on tactile learning in rat. Materials and Methods: The delayed novel object recognition test was used to assess tactile learning. This procedure consisted of two phases. The first of these (T1) was a training phase during which the animals explored two similar objects. T2, the test phase, occurred 24 hr later, during which the animals explored one novel and one familiar object. In order to induce acute inactivation of the C-fiber pathway, 25–30 μl of a 10% capsaicin was injected subcutaneously into the rat’s upper lip, 6 h prior to T1. Tactile learning was quantified using a discrimination ratio. Results: In T2, the discrimination ratio in capsaicin-treated animals (37.3±3.8%) was lower than that observed in vehicle-treated animals (54.4±5.1%, P<0.05). Conclusion: These findings indicate that the selective inactivation of a peripheral nociceptor subpopulation affects tactile learning. PMID:24298379

  13. Encoding of Tactile Stimuli by Mechanoreceptors and Interneurons of the Medicinal Leech

    PubMed Central

    Kretzberg, Jutta; Pirschel, Friederice; Fathiazar, Elham; Hilgen, Gerrit

    2016-01-01

    For many animals processing of tactile information is a crucial task in behavioral contexts like exploration, foraging, and stimulus avoidance. The leech, having infrequent access to food, developed an energy efficient reaction to tactile stimuli, avoiding unnecessary muscle movements: The local bend behavior moves only a small part of the body wall away from an object touching the skin, while the rest of the animal remains stationary. Amazingly, the precision of this localized behavioral response is similar to the spatial discrimination threshold of the human fingertip, although the leech skin is innervated by an order of magnitude fewer mechanoreceptors and each midbody ganglion contains only 400 individually identified neurons in total. Prior studies suggested that this behavior is controlled by a three-layered feed-forward network, consisting of four mechanoreceptors (P cells), approximately 20 interneurons and 10 individually characterized motor neurons, all of which encode tactile stimulus location by overlapping, symmetrical tuning curves. Additionally, encoding of mechanical force was attributed to three types of mechanoreceptors reacting to distinct intensity ranges: T cells for touch, P cells for pressure, and N cells for strong, noxious skin stimulation. In this study, we provide evidences that tactile stimulus encoding in the leech is more complex than previously thought. Combined electrophysiological, anatomical, and voltage sensitive dye approaches indicate that P and T cells both play a major role in tactile information processing resulting in local bending. Our results indicate that tactile encoding neither relies on distinct force intensity ranges of different cell types, nor location encoding is restricted to spike count tuning. Instead, we propose that P and T cells form a mixed type population, which simultaneously employs temporal response features and spike counts for multiplexed encoding of touch location and force intensity. This hypothesis

  14. Explorative data analysis for changes in neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Kuroki, Scinob; Hagura, Nobuhiro; Nishida, Shin’ya; Haggard, Patrick; Watanabe, Junji

    2016-01-01

    An Asian spice, Szechuan pepper (sanshool), is well known for the tingling sensation it induces on the mouth and on the lips. Electrophysiological studies have revealed that its active ingredient can induce firing of mechanoreceptor fibres that typically respond to mechanical vibration. Moreover, a human behavioral study has reported that the perceived frequency of sanshool-induced tingling matches with the preferred frequency range of the tactile rapidly adapting (RA) channel, suggesting the contribution of sanshool-induced RA channel firing to its unique perceptual experience. However, since the RA channel may not be the only channel activated by sanshool, there could be a possibility that the sanshool tingling percept may be caused in whole or in part by other sensory channels. Here, by using a perceptual interference paradigm, we show that the sanshool-induced RA input indeed contributes to the human tactile processing. The absolute detection thresholds for vibrotactile input were measured with and without sanshool application on the fingertip. Sanshool significantly impaired detection of vibrations at 30 Hz (RA channel dominant frequency), but did not impair detection of higher frequency vibrations at 240 Hz (Pacinian-corpuscle (PC) channel dominant frequency) or lower frequency vibrations at 1 Hz (slowly adapting 1 (SA1) channel dominant frequency). These results show that the sanshool induces a peripheral RA channel activation that is relevant for tactile perception. This anomalous activation of RA channels may contribute to the unique tingling experience of sanshool. PMID:27935970

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Tactile stimulation of the oropharynx elicits sympathoexcitation in conscious humans

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Matthew D.; Mast, Jessica L.; Cui, Jian; Heffernan, Matthew J.; McQuillan, Patrick M.

    2013-01-01

    Tactile stimulation of the oropharynx (TSO) elicits the gag reflex and increases heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) in anesthetized patients. However, the interaction between upper-airway defense reflexes and the sympathetic nervous system has not been investigated in conscious humans. In Experiment 1, beat-by-beat measurements of HR, MAP, muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), and renal vascular resistance (RVR) were measured during TSO and tactile stimulation of the hard palate (Sham) in the supine posture. In Experiment 2, TSO was performed before (pre) and after (post) inhalation of 4% lidocaine via nebulizer. Rate pressure product (RPP) was determined. Compared with Sham, TSO elicited the gag reflex and increased RPP [absolute change (Δ)36 ± 6 vs. 17 ± 5%], MSNA (Δ122 ± 39 vs. 19 ± 19%), and RVR (Δ55 ± 11 vs. 4 ± 4%). This effect occurred within one to two cardiac cycles of TSO. The ΔMAP (12 ± 3 vs. 6 ± 1 mmHg) and the ΔHR (10 ± 3 vs. 3 ± 3 beats/min) were also greater following TSO compared with Sham. Lidocaine inhalation blocked the gag reflex and attenuated increases in MAP (Δpre: 16 ± 2; Δpost: 5 ± 2 mmHg) and HR (Δpre: 12 ± 3; Δpost: 2 ± 2 beats/min) in response to TSO. When mechanically stimulated, afferents in the oropharynx not only serve to protect the airway but also cause reflex increases in MSNA, RVR, MAP, and HR. An augmented sympathoexcitatory response during intubation and laryngoscopy may contribute to perioperative cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. PMID:23599399

  9. Dynamic tactile diagram simplification on refreshable displays.

    PubMed

    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, cumbersome, and costly process. Refreshable haptic displays, which interact with computers, promise to make this access quicker, easier, and cheaper. One important aspect in converting visual to tactile diagrams is to simplify the diagram as otherwise it can be too difficult to interpret with touch. Enabling this to be under user control in an interactive environment, such as with refreshable displays, could allow users to avoid being overwhelmed by the diagrams at any instant in time while still retaining access to all information in "storage". Through this article the authors investigate whether two types of diagram simplification--boundary simplification and contextual simplification--showed potential utility in an interactive environment. Boundary simplification was found to be significantly helpful in answering general questions about borders on a geographic map, and contextual simplification was helpful in answering relational questions, as compared to using the original map unchanged.

  10. Metacognition of attention during tactile discrimination.

    PubMed

    Whitmarsh, Stephen; Oostenveld, Robert; Almeida, Rita; Lundqvist, Daniel

    2017-02-15

    The ability to monitor the success of cognitive processing is referred to as metacognition. Studies of metacognition typically probe post-decision judgments of confidence, showing that we can report on the success of wide range of cognitive processes. Much less is known about our ability to monitor and report on the degree of top-down attention, an ability of paramount importance in tasks requiring sustained attention. However, it has been repeatedly shown that the degree and locus of top-down attention modulates alpha (8-14Hz) power in sensory cortices. In this study we investigated whether self-reported ratings of attention are reflected by sensory alpha power, independent from confidence and task difficulty. Subjects performed a stair-cased tactile discrimination task requiring sustained somatosensory attention. Each discrimination response was followed by a rating of their attention at the moment of stimulation, or their confidence in the discrimination response. MEG was used to estimate trial-by-trial alpha power preceding stimulation. Staircasing of task-difficulty successfully equalized performance between conditions. Both attention and confidence ratings reflected subsequent discrimination performance. Task difficulty specifically influenced confidence ratings. As expected, specifically attention ratings, but not confidence ratings, correlated negatively with contralateral somatosensory alpha power preceding tactile stimuli. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the degree of attention can be subjectively experienced and reported accurately, independent from task difficulty and knowledge about task performance.

  11. Design of an Artificial Neural Network Based Tactile Sensor for the UTAH/MIT Dexterous Hand

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-09-01

    tendon tension resulting from contact) as part of a force feedback control effort, but direct tactile sensing for the hand has yet to...100 Hz. Some robotic applications require a bandwidth of up to I kHz. The bandwidth determines the overall frequency response of a control loop. This...resolving dynamic and static contact location, force, and slip throughout the continuum of the sensor’s active region. The sensor operates by means of

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Exploring Electro-active Functionality of Transparent Oxide Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosono, Hideo

    2013-09-01

    Ceramics, one of the earliest materials used by humans, have been used since the Stone Age and are also one of the core materials supporting modern society. In this article, I will review the features of transparent oxides, the main components of ceramics, and the progress of research on their electro-active functionalities from the viewpoint of material design. Specifically, the emergence of the functionality of the cement component 12CaO.7Al2O3, the application of transparent oxide semiconductors to thin-film transistors for flat panel displays, and the design of wide-gap p-type semiconductors are introduced along with the progress in their research. In addition, oxide semiconductors are comprehensively discussed on the basis of the band lineup.

  19. The Effects of Fine Motor Movement and Tactile Stimulation on the Math Problem Solving of Students with Attention Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kercood, Suneeta; Grskovic, Janice A.; Lee, David L.; Emmert, Stacey

    2007-01-01

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of fine motor physical activity with tactile stimulation during two conditions of math problem solving, visual and auditory. Eight 4th and 5th grade students with attention problems participated. Using an alternating treatments design, students solved as many math story problems as they could, presented on…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Reliability of tactile tools for pain assessment in blind athletes.

    PubMed

    Leite, Ana Claudia de Souza; Pagliuca, Lorita M Freitag; Almeida, Paulo Cesar P; Dallaire, Clemence C

    2008-06-01

    Health professionals have numerous visual and reporting scales at their disposal to assess pain. In recent years new tactile tools have been created (Pain Texture Scale and Tactile Pain Scale). This study validates these scales compared with the Numerical Rating Scale in 36 blind athletes who were assessed before and after competitions in the World Paralympics Games organized by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) in Quebec, Canada. The reliability of these scales was analyzed through the intraclass correlation coefficient. Results showed good reliability for the Tactile Pain Scale and satisfactory reliability for the Pain Texture Scale.

  3. Acquisition of a 250-word vocabulary through a tactile vocoder.

    PubMed

    Brooks, P L; Frost, B J; Mason, J L; Chung, K

    1985-04-01

    In a previous experiment [P. L. Scilley, "Evaluation of a vibrotactile auditory prosthetic device for the profoundly deaf," unpublished Masters thesis, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada (1980)] two normal subjects learned to identify 70 and 150 words, respectively, using the Queen's Tactile Vocoder. In the present experiment, the most advanced subject continued word learning until a tactile vocabulary of 250 words was acquired. At this point randomized tests were given to obtain an indication of final performance level. From these data conditional probabilities of correct response for each stimulus word and significant confusions were obtained, which provides insight into the advantages and present limitations of the tactile vocoder.

  4. Differential Effects of Painful and Non-Painful Stimulation on Tactile Processing in Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Subjects with Masochistic Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Pollok, Bettina; Krause, Vanessa; Legrain, Valery; Ploner, Markus; Freynhagen, Rainer; Melchior, Ilka; Schnitzler, Alfons

    2010-01-01

    Background In healthy subjects repeated tactile stimulation in a conditioning test stimulation paradigm yields attenuation of primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortical activation, whereas a preceding painful stimulus results in facilitation. Methodology/Principal Findings Since previous data suggest that cognitive processes might affect somatosensory processing in S1, the present study aims at investigating to what extent cortical reactivity is altered by the subjective estimation of pain. To this end, the effect of painful and tactile stimulation on processing of subsequently applied tactile stimuli was investigated in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and in subjects with masochistic behaviour (MB) by means of a 122-channel whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) system. Ten patients fulfilling the criteria for the diagnosis of FMS, 10 subjects with MB and 20 control subjects matched with respect to age, gender and handedness participated in the present study. Tactile or brief painful cutaneous laser stimuli were applied as conditioning stimulus (CS) followed by a tactile test stimulus (TS) 500 ms later. While in FMS patients significant attenuation following conditioning tactile stimulation was evident, no facilitation following painful stimulation was found. By contrast, in subjects with MB no attenuation but significant facilitation occurred. Attenuation as well as facilitation applied to cortical responses occurring at about 70 ms but not to early S1 or S2 responses. Additionally, in FMS patients the amount of attenuation was inversely correlated with catastrophizing tendency. Conclusion The present results imply altered cortical reactivity of the primary somatosensory cortex in FMS patients and MB possibly reflecting differences of individual pain experience. PMID:21203391

  5. 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

  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. Exploring Anopheles gut bacteria for Plasmodium blocking activity

    PubMed Central

    Bahia, Ana C; Dong, Yuemei; Blumberg, Benjamin J; Mlambo, Godfree; Tripathi, Abhai; BenMarzouk-Hidalgo, Omar J; Chandra, Ramesh; Dimopoulos, George

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Malaria parasite transmission requires the successful development of Plasmodium gametocytes into flagellated microgametes upon mosquito blood ingestion, and the subsequent fertilization of microgametes and macrogametes for the development of motile zygotes, called ookinetes, which invade and transverse the Anopheles vector mosquito midgut at around 18-36 h after blood ingestion. Within the mosquito midgut, the malaria parasite has to withstand the mosquito's innate immune response and the detrimental effect of its commensal bacterial flora. We have assessed the midgut colonization capacity of 5 gut bacterial isolates from field-derived, and 2 from laboratory colony, mosquitoes and their effect on Plasmodium development in vivo and in vitro, along with their impact on mosquito survival. Some bacterial isolates activated the mosquito's immune system, affected the mosquito's life span, and were capable of blocking Plasmodium development. We have also shown that the ability of these bacteria to inhibit the parasites is likely to involve different mechanisms and factors. A Serratia marcescens isolate was particularly efficient in colonizing the mosquitoes’ gut, compromising mosquito survival, and inhibiting both sexual- and asexual-stage Plasmodium through secreted factors, thereby rendering it a potential candidate for the development of a malaria transmission intervention strategy. PMID:24428613

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. Tri-axial tactile sensing element

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellanos-Ramos, Julián.; Navas-González, Rafael; Vidal-Verdú, F.

    2013-05-01

    A 13 x 13 square millimetre tri-axial taxel is presented which is suitable for some medical applications, for instance in assistive robotics that involves contact with humans or in prosthetics. Finite Element Analysis is carried out to determine what structure is the best to obtain a uniform distribution of pressure on the sensing areas underneath the structure. This structure has been fabricated in plastic with a 3D printer and a commercial tactile sensor has been used to implement the sensing areas. A three axis linear motorized translation stage with a tri-axial precision force sensor is used to find the parameters of the linear regression model and characterize the proposed taxel. The results are analysed to see to what extent the goal has been reached in this specific implementation.

  15. The importance of synchrony and temporal order of visual and tactile input for illusory limb ownership experiences - an FMRI study applying virtual reality.

    PubMed

    Bekrater-Bodmann, Robin; Foell, Jens; Diers, Martin; Kamping, Sandra; Rance, Mariela; Kirsch, Pinar; Trojan, Jörg; Fuchs, Xaver; Bach, Felix; Çakmak, Hüseyin Kemal; Maaß, Heiko; Flor, Herta

    2014-01-01

    In the so-called rubber hand illusion, synchronous visuotactile stimulation of a visible rubber hand together with one's own hidden hand elicits ownership experiences for the artificial limb. Recently, advanced virtual reality setups were developed to induce a virtual hand illusion (VHI). Here, we present functional imaging data from a sample of 25 healthy participants using a new device to induce the VHI in the environment of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. In order to evaluate the neuronal robustness of the illusion, we varied the degree of synchrony between visual and tactile events in five steps: in two conditions, the tactile stimulation was applied prior to visual stimulation (asynchrony of -300 ms or -600 ms), whereas in another two conditions, the tactile stimulation was applied after visual stimulation (asynchrony of +300 ms or +600 ms). In the fifth condition, tactile and visual stimulation was applied synchronously. On a subjective level, the VHI was successfully induced by synchronous visuotactile stimulation. Asynchronies between visual and tactile input of ±300 ms did not significantly diminish the vividness of illusion, whereas asynchronies of ±600 ms did. The temporal order of visual and tactile stimulation had no effect on VHI vividness. Conjunction analyses of functional MRI data across all conditions revealed significant activation in bilateral ventral premotor cortex (PMv). Further characteristic activation patterns included bilateral activity in the motion-sensitive medial superior temporal area as well as in the bilateral Rolandic operculum, suggesting their involvement in the processing of bodily awareness through the integration of visual and tactile events. A comparison of the VHI-inducing conditions with asynchronous control conditions of ±600 ms yielded significant PMv activity only contralateral to the stimulation site. These results underline the temporal limits of the induction of limb ownership related to multisensory

  16. The Importance of Synchrony and Temporal Order of Visual and Tactile Input for Illusory Limb Ownership Experiences – An fMRI Study Applying Virtual Reality

    PubMed Central

    Diers, Martin; Kamping, Sandra; Rance, Mariela; Kirsch, Pinar; Trojan, Jörg; Fuchs, Xaver; Bach, Felix; Çakmak, Hüseyin Kemal; Maaß, Heiko; Flor, Herta

    2014-01-01

    In the so-called rubber hand illusion, synchronous visuotactile stimulation of a visible rubber hand together with one's own hidden hand elicits ownership experiences for the artificial limb. Recently, advanced virtual reality setups were developed to induce a virtual hand illusion (VHI). Here, we present functional imaging data from a sample of 25 healthy participants using a new device to induce the VHI in the environment of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. In order to evaluate the neuronal robustness of the illusion, we varied the degree of synchrony between visual and tactile events in five steps: in two conditions, the tactile stimulation was applied prior to visual stimulation (asynchrony of −300 ms or −600 ms), whereas in another two conditions, the tactile stimulation was applied after visual stimulation (asynchrony of +300 ms or +600 ms). In the fifth condition, tactile and visual stimulation was applied synchronously. On a subjective level, the VHI was successfully induced by synchronous visuotactile stimulation. Asynchronies between visual and tactile input of ±300 ms did not significantly diminish the vividness of illusion, whereas asynchronies of ±600 ms did. The temporal order of visual and tactile stimulation had no effect on VHI vividness. Conjunction analyses of functional MRI data across all conditions revealed significant activation in bilateral ventral premotor cortex (PMv). Further characteristic activation patterns included bilateral activity in the motion-sensitive medial superior temporal area as well as in the bilateral Rolandic operculum, suggesting their involvement in the processing of bodily awareness through the integration of visual and tactile events. A comparison of the VHI-inducing conditions with asynchronous control conditions of ±600 ms yielded significant PMv activity only contralateral to the stimulation site. These results underline the temporal limits of the induction of limb ownership related to

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Preferential processing of tactile events under conditions of divided attention.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-07

    Differences in transduction and transmission latencies of visual, auditory and tactile events cause corresponding differences in simple reaction time. As reaction time is usually measured in unimodal blocks, it is unclear whether such latency differences also apply when observers monitor multiple sensory channels. We investigate this by comparing reaction time when attention is focused on a single modality, and when attention is divided between multiple modalities. Results show that tactile reaction time is unaffected by dividing attention, whereas visual and auditory reaction times are significantly and asymmetrically increased. These findings show that tactile information is processed preferentially by the nervous system under conditions of divided attention, and suggest that tactile events may be processed preattentively.

  20. 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.

  1. The role of working memory in tactile selective attention.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Polly; Lavie, Nilli; Spence, Charles

    2009-04-01

    Load theory suggests that working memory controls the extent to which irrelevant distractors are processed (e.g., Lavie, Hirst, De Fockert, & Viding, 2004). However, so far this proposal has only been tested in vision. Here, we examine the extent to which tactile selective attention also depends on working memory. In Experiment 1, participants focused their attention on continuous target vibrations while attempting to ignore pulsed distractor vibrations. In Experiment 2, targets were always presented to a particular hand, with distractors being presented to the other hand. In both experiments, a high (vs. low) load in a concurrent working memory task led to greater interference by the tactile distractors. These results establish the role of working memory in the control of tactile selective attention, demonstrating for the first time that the principles of load theory also apply to the tactile modality.

  2. 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.

  3. Enhancing Variable Friction Tactile Display using an ultrasonic travelling wave.

    PubMed

    Ghenna, Sofiane; Vezzoli, Eric; Giraud-Audine, Christophe; Giraud, Frederic; Amberg, Michel; Lemaire-Semail, Betty

    2016-09-08

    In Variable Friction Tactile Displays, an ultrasonic standing wave can be used to reduce the friction coefficient between a user's finger sliding and a vibrating surface. However, by principle, the effect is limited by a saturation due to the contact mechanics, and very low friction levels require very high vibration amplitudes. Besides, to be effective, the user's finger has to move. We present a device which uses a travelling wave rather than a standing wave. We present a control that allows to realize such a travelling wave in a robust way, and thus can be implemented on various plane surfaces. We show experimentally that the force produced by the travelling wave has two superimposed contributions. The first one is equal to the friction reduction produced by a standing of the same vibration amplitude. The second produces a driving force in the opposite direction of the travelling wave. As a result, the modulation range of the tangential force on the finger can be extended to zero and even negative values. Moreover, the effect is dependant on the relative direction of exploration with regards to the travelling wave, which is perceivable and confirmed by a psycho-physical study.

  4. 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.

  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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Connections between intraparietal sulcus and a sensorimotor network underpin sustained tactile attention.

    PubMed

    Goltz, Dominique; Gundlach, Christopher; Nierhaus, Till; Villringer, Arno; Müller, Matthias; Pleger, Burkhard

    2015-05-20

    Previous studies on sustained tactile attention draw conclusions about underlying cortical networks by averaging over experimental conditions without considering attentional variance in single trials. This may have formed an imprecise picture of brain processes underpinning sustained tactile attention. In the present study, we simultaneously recorded EEG-fMRI and used modulations of steady-state somatosensory evoked potentials (SSSEPs) as a measure of attentional trial-by-trial variability. Therefore, frequency-tagged streams of vibrotactile stimulations were simultaneously presented to both index fingers. Human participants were cued to sustain attention to either the left or right finger stimulation and to press a button whenever they perceived a target pulse embedded in the to-be-attended stream. In-line with previous studies, a classical general linear model (GLM) analysis based on cued attention conditions revealed increased activity mainly in somatosensory and cerebellar regions. Yet, parametric modeling of the BOLD response using simultaneously recorded SSSEPs as a marker of attentional trial-by-trial variability quarried the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). The IPS in turn showed enhanced functional connectivity to a modality-unspecific attention network. However, this was only revealed on the basis of cued attention conditions in the classical GLM. By considering attentional variability as captured by SSSEPs, the IPS showed increased connectivity to a sensorimotor network, underpinning attentional selection processes between competing tactile stimuli and action choices (press a button or not). Thus, the current findings highlight the potential value by considering attentional variations in single trials and extend previous knowledge on the role of the IPS in tactile attention.

  9. 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

  10. Rendering edge enhancement tactile phenomenon by friction variation in dynamic touch.

    PubMed

    Abdolvahab, Mohammad

    2011-01-04

    Variable friction tactile displays have been recently used to render virtual textures and gratings. Neural basis of perceptual mechanism of detection of edge-like features resulting in discrimination of virtual gratings during active touching these tactile actuators is studied using a finite-element biomechanical model of human fingertip. The predicted neural response of the mechanoreceptors, i.e. the computed strain energy density at the location of selected mechanoreceptors as a measure of neural discharge rate of the corresponding receptors, to local reduction of friction between fingerpad and surface are shown to exhibit a similar shape as the edge enhancement phenomenon, particularly in a sudden burst at the boundary of variable friction regions. This phenomenon is supposed to account for the illusion of virtual edges rendered through the modification of contact forces. The presence of this sudden burst under varied model parameters was investigated. It was shown that while the appearance of this phenomenon in simulation results was invariant to model parameters, associated alteration of the edge enhancement ratio might be considered for the purpose of the tuning of the variable friction tactile display.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. The plasmapause revisited. [Explorer 45 observation at various magnetic activity levels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maynard, N. C.; Grebowsky, J. M.

    1977-01-01

    A statistical investigation is conducted concerning the plasmapause behavior observed from Explorer 45 during various levels of magnetic activity. Aspects of data handling are reported and the implications of a constant density level for a plasmapause definition are discussed. The average local time dependence of the gradient saturation events and the sharp saturation events detected on Explorer 45 is shown with the aid of graphs. Other graphs show the results of the statistical processing operations. The significance of the obtained data is discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Tactile localization depends on stimulus intensity.

    PubMed

    Steenbergen, Peter; Buitenweg, Jan R; Trojan, Jörg; Veltink, Peter H

    2014-02-01

    Few experimental data are available about the influence of stimulus intensity on localization of cutaneous stimuli. The localization behavior of an individual as function of the veridical stimulus sites can be represented in the form of a perceptual map. It is unknown how the intensity of cutaneous stimuli influences these perceptual maps. We investigated the effect of stimulus intensity on trial-to-trial localization variability and on perceptual maps. We applied non-painful electrocutaneous stimuli of three different intensities through seven surface electrodes on the lower arm of healthy participants. They localized the stimuli on a tablet monitor mounted directly above their arm, on which a photograph of this arm was presented. The length of the arm over which the stimuli were localized was contracted when compared to the real electrode positions. This length increased toward veridical with increasing stimulus intensity. The trial-to-trial variance of the localizations dropped significantly with increasing intensity. Furthermore, localization biases of individual stimulus positions were shown to decrease with increasing stimulus intensity. We conclude that tactile stimuli are localized closer to veridical with increasing intensity in two respects: the localizations become more consistent and more accurate.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Liquid cooling system for the vibro-tactile threshold device.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Erin M; Redd, Christian; Gandhi, Minu S; Tuckett, Robert P; Bamberg, Stacy J Morris

    2011-01-01

    Vibrotactile threshold testing has been used to investigate activation of human somatosensory pathways. A portable vibrotactile threshold testing device called the Vibrotactile Threshold Evaluator for the Workplace (VTEW) was designed for screening of carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace, and initially contained a small fan for cooling. During subject testing, the device is operated intermittently, which causes the linear actuator to warm the tactile probe. The probe causes discomfort for some subjects. During testing, the probe heated to 42 °C within 90 seconds of continuous operation. A liquid cooling system was implemented to dissipate heat from the probe. The liquid cooling system maintains a steady state temperature of 36 °C for continuous actuation of the probe. The liquid cooling system is capable of maintaining a safe operating temperature, without adding erroneous vibrations to the device. However, the cooling system deters the portability of the device. Further research will investigate how to make the liquid cooling system portable and implements vibrotactile threshold testing in the workplace to quickly evaluate whether or not a person has early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

  5. Nestmate recognition in ants is possible without tactile interaction.

    PubMed

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Endler, Annett; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2008-07-01

    Ants of the genus Camponotus are able to discriminate recognition cues of colony members (nestmates) from recognition cues of workers of a different colony (non-nestmates) from a distance of 1 cm. Free moving, individual Camponotus floridanus workers encountered differently treated dummies on a T-bar and their behavior was recorded. Aggressive behavior was scored as mandibular threat towards dummies. Dummies were treated with hexane extracts of postpharyngeal glands (PPGs) from nestmates or non-nestmates which contain long-chain hydrocarbons in ratios comparable to what is found on the cuticle. The cuticular hydrocarbon profile bears cues which are essential for nestmate recognition. Although workers were prevented from antennating the dummies, they showed significantly less aggressive behavior towards dummies treated with nestmate PPG extracts than towards dummies treated with non-nestmate PPG extracts. In an additional experiment, we show that cis-9-tricosene, an alkene naturally not found in C. floridanus' cuticular profile, is behaviorally active and can interfere with nestmate recognition when presented together with a nestmate PPG extract. Our study demonstrates for the first time that the complex multi-component recognition cues can be perceived and discriminated by ants at close range. We conclude that contact chemosensilla are not crucial for nestmate recognition since tactile interaction is not necessary.

  6. 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

  7. The role of vibration in tactile speed perception

    PubMed Central

    Dallmann, Chris J.; Ernst, Marc O.

    2015-01-01

    The relative motion between the surface of an object and our fingers produces patterns of skin deformation such as stretch, indentation, and vibrations. In this study, we hypothesized that motion-induced vibrations are combined with other tactile cues for the discrimination of tactile speed. Specifically, we hypothesized that vibrations provide a critical cue to tactile speed on surfaces lacking individually detectable features like dots or ridges. Thus masking vibrations unrelated to slip motion should impair the discriminability of tactile speed, and the effect should be surface-dependent. To test this hypothesis, we measured the precision of participants in discriminating the speed of moving surfaces having either a fine or a ridged texture, while adding masking vibratory noise in the working range of the fast-adapting mechanoreceptive afferents. Vibratory noise significantly reduced the precision of speed discrimination, and the effect was much stronger on the fine-textured than on the ridged surface. On both surfaces, masking vibrations at intermediate frequencies of 64 Hz (65-μm peak-to-peak amplitude) and 128 Hz (10 μm) had the strongest effect, followed by high-frequency vibrations of 256 Hz (1 μm) and low-frequency vibrations of 32 Hz (50 and 25 μm). These results are consistent with our hypothesis that slip-induced vibrations concur to the discrimination of tactile speed. PMID:26424580

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The role of vibration in tactile speed perception.

    PubMed

    Dallmann, Chris J; Ernst, Marc O; Moscatelli, Alessandro

    2015-12-01

    The relative motion between the surface of an object and our fingers produces patterns of skin deformation such as stretch, indentation, and vibrations. In this study, we hypothesized that motion-induced vibrations are combined with other tactile cues for the discrimination of tactile speed. Specifically, we hypothesized that vibrations provide a critical cue to tactile speed on surfaces lacking individually detectable features like dots or ridges. Thus masking vibrations unrelated to slip motion should impair the discriminability of tactile speed, and the effect should be surface-dependent. To test this hypothesis, we measured the precision of participants in discriminating the speed of moving surfaces having either a fine or a ridged texture, while adding masking vibratory noise in the working range of the fast-adapting mechanoreceptive afferents. Vibratory noise significantly reduced the precision of speed discrimination, and the effect was much stronger on the fine-textured than on the ridged surface. On both surfaces, masking vibrations at intermediate frequencies of 64 Hz (65-μm peak-to-peak amplitude) and 128 Hz (10 μm) had the strongest effect, followed by high-frequency vibrations of 256 Hz (1 μm) and low-frequency vibrations of 32 Hz (50 and 25 μm). These results are consistent with our hypothesis that slip-induced vibrations concur to the discrimination of tactile speed.

  11. Aversion in the elevated plus-maze: role of visual and tactile cues.

    PubMed

    Filgueiras, Guilherme Bracarense; Carvalho-Netto, Eduardo F; Estanislau, Celio

    2014-09-01

    Thigmotaxis, a tendency to be close to vertical surfaces, leads rats to avoid open arms in the elevated plus-maze. Evidences support a role in thigmotaxis for the vibrissal sense as well as for vision. In this study, sensory inputs for both senses were manipulated in order to identify which of them mainly contributes to thigmotaxis. This was achieved by manipulating the length of rats' mystacial vibrissae, the presence of walls in the "open" arms and their transparency. As expected, rats avoided arms which lacked walls. On the other hand, rats did not avoid "open" arms surrounded by transparent walls as one could expect if they were using mainly vision while exploring the maze. Furthermore, these "open" arms were explored similarly to arms surrounded by opaque walls. Acute vibrissotomy resulted in minor effects in rats tested in a conventional elevated plus-maze. These findings suggest that vibrissotomized rats seemed to be able to compensate the absence of mystacial vibrissae by means of other sensory pathways (tactile or non-tactile) and by adjusting some exploratory aspects. Thus, the current results indicate that rats rely more on other sensory cues than on vision in avoiding open arms in the elevated plus-maze.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    2016-04-06

    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.

  15. Comparison of a Visual and Head Tactile Display for Soldier Navigation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-12-01

    Abbreviations, and Acronyms ACH Advanced Combat Helmet ARL U.S. Army Research Laboratory COTS commercial-off-the-shelf HMTD head - mounted tactile display ...purpose of the study was to determine the advantages of a head - mounted tactile display (HMTD), compared with a map for Soldier navigation in an urban...their overall workload. 15. SUBJECT TERMS tactile modality, head - mounted tactile display , urban environment, threat detection, overall workload

  16. 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,…

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Cooperative processing in primary somatosensory cortex and posterior parietal cortex during tactile working memory.

    PubMed

    Ku, Yixuan; Zhao, Di; Bodner, Mark; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2015-08-01

    In the present study, causal roles of both the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) were investigated in a tactile unimodal working memory (WM) task. Individual magnetic resonance imaging-based single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) was applied, respectively, to the left SI (ipsilateral to tactile stimuli), right SI (contralateral to tactile stimuli) and right PPC (contralateral to tactile stimuli), while human participants were performing a tactile-tactile unimodal delayed matching-to-sample task. The time points of spTMS were 300, 600 and 900 ms after the onset of the tactile sample stimulus (duration: 200 ms). Compared with ipsilateral SI, application of spTMS over either contralateral SI or contralateral PPC at those time points significantly impaired the accuracy of task performance. Meanwhile, the deterioration in accuracy did not vary with the stimulating time points. Together, these results indicate that the tactile information is processed cooperatively by SI and PPC in the same hemisphere, starting from the early delay of the tactile unimodal WM task. This pattern of processing of tactile information is different from the pattern in tactile-visual cross-modal WM. In a tactile-visual cross-modal WM task, SI and PPC contribute to the processing sequentially, suggesting a process of sensory information transfer during the early delay between modalities.

  20. 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

  1. Quantifying Different Tactile Sensations Evoked by Cutaneous Electrical Stimulation Using Electroencephalography Features.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dingguo; Xu, Fei; Xu, Heng; Shull, Peter B; Zhu, Xiangyang

    2016-03-01

    Psychophysical tests and standardized questionnaires are often used to analyze tactile sensation based on subjective judgment in conventional studies. In contrast with the subjective evaluation, a novel method based on electroencephalography (EEG) is proposed to explore the possibility of quantifying tactile sensation in an objective way. The proposed experiments adopt cutaneous electrical stimulation to generate two kinds of sensations (vibration and pressure) with three grades (low/medium/strong) on eight subjects. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and event-related synchronization/desynchronization (ERS/ERD) are extracted from EEG, which are used as evaluation indexes to distinguish between vibration and pressure, and also to discriminate sensation grades. Results show that five-phase P1–N1–P2–N2–P3 deflection is induced in EEG. Using amplitudes of latter ERP components (N2 and P3), vibration and pressure sensations can be discriminated on both individual and grand-averaged ERP (p < 0.05). The grand-average ERPs can distinguish the three sensations grades, but there is no significant difference on individuals. In addition, ERS/ERD features of mu rhythm (8–13 Hz) are adopted. Vibration and pressure sensations can be discriminated on grand-average ERS/ERD (p < 0.05), but only some individuals show significant difference. The grand-averaged results show that most sensation grades can be differentiated, and most pairwise comparisons show significant difference on individuals (p < 0.05). The work suggests that ERP- and ERS/ERD-based EEG features may have potential to quantify tactile sensations for medical diagnosis or engineering applications.

  2. 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.

  3. Flexible Capacitive Tactile Sensor Based on Micropatterned Dielectric Layer.

    PubMed

    Li, Tie; Luo, Hui; Qin, Lin; Wang, Xuewen; Xiong, Zuoping; Ding, Haiyan; Gu, Yang; Liu, Zheng; Zhang, Ting

    2016-09-01

    Flexible tactile sensors are considered as an effective way to realize the sense of touch, which can perform the synchronized interactions with surrounding environment. Here, the utilization of bionic microstructures on natural lotus leaves is demonstrated to design and fabricate new-type of high-performance flexible capacitive tactile sensors. Taking advantage of unique surface micropattern of lotus leave as the template for electrodes and using polystyrene microspheres as the dielectric layer, the proposed devices present stable and high sensing performance, such as high sensitivity (0.815 kPa(-1) ), wide dynamic response range (from 0 to 50 N), and fast response time (≈38 ms). In addition, the flexible capacitive sensor is not only applicable to pressure (touch of a single hair), but also to bending and stretching forces. The results indicate that the proposed capacitive tactile sensor is a promising candidate for the future applications in electronic skins, wearable robotics, and biomedical devices.

  4. Effect of tactile vibration on annoyance to synthesized propfan noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clevenson, S. A.

    1981-01-01

    Design information that maximizes passenger comfort for propfan aircraft is presented. Predicted noise and vibration environments and the resultant passenger acceptability were studied. The effect of high frequency tactile vibration (i.e., greater than 30 Hz) on passenger reactions was analyzed. Passenger reactions to a wide range of noise with and without tactile vibration was studied. The passenger ride quality simulator was employed using subjects who evaluated either synthesized propeller noises only, or these noises combined with seat/arm vibration. The noises ranging from 80-100 dB consisted of a turbulent boundary layer noise with a factorial combination of five blade passage frequencies (50-200 Hz), two harmonic rolloffs, and three tone/noise ratios. It is indicated that passenger reaction (annoyance) to noise is not significantly changed in the presence of tactile vibration.

  5. 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.

  6. Optical based tactile shear and normal load sensor

    DOEpatents

    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.

  7. Electromechanical tactile stimulation system for sensory vision substitution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalevsky, Zeev; Elani, Gal; Azoulay, Eli; Ilani, Dan; Beiderman, Yevgeny; Belkin, Michael

    2013-02-01

    A sensory substitution device is developed in which nonretinal stimulus is used to generate input to the brain of blind people to substitute for damage or loss of retinal input. Although the final realization of this technology (direct stimulation of the corneal nerve endings) was not addressed, a device consisting of a contact lens delivering point mechanical or electrical stimulating of the corneal nerves and a camera mounted on a spectacles frame which wirelessly transmit processed image to the contact lens, translating the visual information into tactile sensation is expected to be constructed. In order to improve the spatial resolution of the constructed image, the camera will also time multiplex, compress and encode the captured image before transmitting it to the stimulating contact lens. Preliminary devices performing tactile stimulation of the fingers and of the tongue by applying point electrical stimulations, were constructed and tested. Subjects were taught to "see" using the mechanical and the electrical tactile sensory.

  8. Exploring Group Dynamics of Primary 6 Students Engaged in Mathematical Modelling Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eric, Chan Chun Ming

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the group dynamics among three groups of students involved in collaborative learning in mathematical modelling activities. It reports how group dynamics were established and their influence on the students' mathematical problem-solving endeavours. Through video analyses, discourse structures were identified to suggest the…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Flipped Classroom with Problem Based Activities: Exploring Self-Regulated Learning in a Programming Language Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çakiroglu, Ünal; Öztürk, Mücahit

    2017-01-01

    This study intended to explore the development of self-regulation in a flipped classroom setting. Problem based learning activities were carried out in flipped classrooms to promote self-regulation. A total of 30 undergraduate students from Mechatronic department participated in the study. Self-regulation skills were discussed through students'…

  18. 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.

  19. Left hand tactile agnosia after posterior callosal lesion.

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  20. Bionic Tactile Sensor for Near-Range Search, Localisation and Material Classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dürr, Volker; Krause, André F.; Neitzel, Matthias; Lange, Oliver; Reimann, Bert

    Insects use their antennae (feelers) as near range sensors for orientation, object localisation and communication. Here, we use the stick insect antenna as a paragon for an actively moved tactile sensor. Our bionic sensor uses vibration signals from contact events for obstacle localisation and classification of material properties. It is shown how distance is coded by salient peaks in the frequency spectrum, and how the damping time constants can be exploited to distinguish between eight objects made of a range of materials. Thus, we demonstrate application of bionic principles for non-visual, reliable, near-range object localisation and material classification that is suitable for autonomous exploratory robots.

  1. The influence of familiarity on brain activation during haptic exploration of 3-D facemasks.

    PubMed

    James, Thomas W; Servos, Philip; Kilgour, Andrea R; Huh, Eunji; Lederman, Susan

    2006-04-24

    Little is known about the neural substrates that underlie difficult haptic discrimination of 3-D within-class object stimuli. Recent work [A.R. Kilgour, R. Kitada, P. Servos, T.W. James, S.J. Lederman, Haptic face identification activates ventral occipital and temporal areas: an fMRI study, Brain Cogn. (in press)] suggests that the left fusiform gyrus may contribute to the identification of facemasks that are haptically explored in the absence of vision. Here, we extend this line of research to investigate the influence of familiarity. Subjects were trained extensively to individuate a set of facemasks in the absence of vision using only haptic exploration. Brain activation was then measured using fMRI while subjects performed a haptic face recognition task on familiar and unfamiliar facemasks. A group analysis contrasting familiar and unfamiliar facemasks found that the left fusiform gyrus produced greater activation with familiar facemasks.

  2. Some design characteristics of the AMPTE turn and orbit change maneuvers. [Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kechichian, J. A.; Kwong, D. D.

    1985-01-01

    The maneuvers carried out by the Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers (AMPTE) including the Charge Composition Explorer (CCE) and the Ion Release Module (IRM) spacecraft are analyzed. Analytic and graphical methods are developed in order to carry out sensitivity analyses that helped design the nominal maneuvers, by taking into account errors in burn initiating time, motor performance, and spin axis pointing. A tradeoff analysis between errors in timing and Delta V magnitude is shown for the IRM orbit transfer, and a technique that allows for the determination of the attitude of spinner spacecraft by way of the observed Doppler shift resulting from an unbalanced turn is investigated.

  3. Efficacy of Directional Cues from a Tactile System for Target Orientation in Helicopter Extractions over Moving Targets

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    water-resistant- sealed -housing with data, tactor, and operator switch interfaces. The system stimulates the tactile sense to relay to pilots...3 Tactile system ...This study assessed the ability of a tactile cueing system to provide to the pilot nonverbal, tactile directional cues as to a dynamic target’s

  4. Aristotle's illusion in Parkinson's disease: evidence for normal interdigit tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Fiorio, Mirta; Marotta, Angela; Ottaviani, Sarah; Pozzer, Lara; Tinazzi, Michele

    2014-01-01

    Sensory alterations, a common feature of such movement disorders as Parkinson's disease (PD) and dystonia, could emerge as epiphenomena of basal ganglia dysfunction. Recently, we found a selective reduction of tactile perception (Aristotle's illusion, the illusory doubling sensation of one object when touched with crossed fingers) in the affected hand of patients with focal hand dystonia. This suggests that reduced tactile illusion might be a specific feature of this type of dystonia and could be due to abnormal somatosensory cortical activation. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether Aristotle's illusion is reduced in the affected hand of patients with PD. We tested 15 PD patients, in whom motor symptoms were mainly localised to one side of the body, and 15 healthy controls. Three pairs of fingers were tested in crossed (evoking the illusion) or parallel position (not evoking the illusion). A sphere was placed in the contact point between the two fingers and the blindfolded participants had to say whether they felt one or two stimuli. Stimuli were applied on the affected and less or unaffected side of the PD patients. We found no difference in illusory perception between the PD patients and the controls, nor between the more affected and less/unaffected side, suggesting that Aristotle's illusion is preserved in PD. The retained tactile illusion in PD and its reduction in focal hand dystonia suggest that the basal ganglia, which are dysfunctional in both PD and dystonia, may not be causally involved in this function. Instead, the level of activation between digits in the somatosensory cortex may be more directly involved. Finally, the similar percentage of illusion in the more affected and less or unaffected body sides indicates that the illusory perception is not influenced by the presence or amount of motor symptoms.

  5. Aristotle’s Illusion in Parkinson’s Disease: Evidence for Normal Interdigit Tactile Perception

    PubMed Central

    Fiorio, Mirta; Marotta, Angela; Ottaviani, Sarah; Pozzer, Lara; Tinazzi, Michele

    2014-01-01

    Sensory alterations, a common feature of such movement disorders as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dystonia, could emerge as epiphenomena of basal ganglia dysfunction. Recently, we found a selective reduction of tactile perception (Aristotle’s illusion, the illusory doubling sensation of one object when touched with crossed fingers) in the affected hand of patients with focal hand dystonia. This suggests that reduced tactile illusion might be a specific feature of this type of dystonia and could be due to abnormal somatosensory cortical activation. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether Aristotle’s illusion is reduced in the affected hand of patients with PD. We tested 15 PD patients, in whom motor symptoms were mainly localised to one side of the body, and 15 healthy controls. Three pairs of fingers were tested in crossed (evoking the illusion) or parallel position (not evoking the illusion). A sphere was placed in the contact point between the two fingers and the blindfolded participants had to say whether they felt one or two stimuli. Stimuli were applied on the affected and less or unaffected side of the PD patients. We found no difference in illusory perception between the PD patients and the controls, nor between the more affected and less/unaffected side, suggesting that Aristotle’s illusion is preserved in PD. The retained tactile illusion in PD and its reduction in focal hand dystonia suggest that the basal ganglia, which are dysfunctional in both PD and dystonia, may not be causally involved in this function. Instead, the level of activation between digits in the somatosensory cortex may be more directly involved. Finally, the similar percentage of illusion in the more affected and less or unaffected body sides indicates that the illusory perception is not influenced by the presence or amount of motor symptoms. PMID:24523929

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Role of friction and tangential force variation in the subjective scaling of tactile roughness.

    PubMed

    Smith, Allan M; Chapman, C Elaine; Deslandes, Mélanie; Langlais, Jean-Sébastien; Thibodeau, Marie-Pierre

    2002-05-01

    The present study examined the contribution of normal (Fz) and tangential (Fx) forces, and their ratio, kinetic friction (Fx/Fz), to the subjective magnitude estimations of roughness. The results suggested that the rate of variation in tangential stroking force is a significant determinant of roughness perception. In the first experiment, six volunteer subjects scaled the roughness of eight surfaces explored with a single, active scan of the middle finger. The surfaces were 7.5x2.4-cm polymer strips embossed with truncated cones 1.8 mm high with a spatial period of 2.0 mm in the transverse direction and 1.5-8.5 mm in the longitudinal, scanning direction. The surfaces were mounted on a six-axis force and torque sensor that measured the perpendicular, contact force (normal to the skin surface) and the tangential force along the axis of stroking. The results confirmed the findings of an earlier study that magnitude estimates of perceived roughness increase approximately linearly up to a longitudinal spatial period of 8.5 mm. Across subjects, no consistent correlations were found between perceived roughness and either the mean normal or tangential force alone. Although significant positive correlations were found between roughness and mean kinetic friction for all subjects, they were not as consistently robust as one might have expected. Furthermore, instantaneous kinetic friction varied widely over the course of a single stroke because of within trial oscillations in the tangential force. The amplitude of these oscillations increased with the longitudinal spatial period and their frequency was determined by a combination of the spatial period and the stroking velocity. These oscillations were even more conspicuous in the first derivative or rate of change of the tangential force (dFx/d t), which was quantified as the root mean square (RMS) of the tangential force rate. The mean normalized RMS proved to be strongly correlated with subjective roughness, averaging 0

  13. Exploring beliefs around physical activity among older adults in rural Canada

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Laurie; Rempel, Gwen; Murray, Terra C.; McHugh, Tara-Leigh; Vallance, Jeff K.

    2016-01-01

    Objective As physical activity can improve health and reduce the risk of chronic disease, it is important to understand the contributing factors to physical activity engagement among older adults, particularly those living in rural communities to assist in remaining active and healthy as long as possible. The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the socio-ecological factors that influence or contribute to physical activity among rural-dwelling older adults in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Methods This qualitative description explored the perceptions of physical activity among older adults living in two rural communities in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 adults aged 69–94. Using content analysis techniques, transcribed interview data were coded and categorized. Results Participants identified socio-ecological elements facilitating physical activity such as improved health, independence, and mobility as well as social cohesion and having opportunities for physical activity. The most common perceived environmental barrier to engaging in physical activity was the fear of falling, particularly on the ice during the winter months. Participants also cited adverse weather conditions, aging (e.g., arthritis), and family members (e.g., encouraged to “take it easy”) as barriers to physical activity. Conclusion Hearing directly from older adults who reside in rural Saskatchewan was determined to have the potential to improve awareness of physical activity in rural communities to support the implementation of programs and practices that will facilitate active lifestyles for older adults. PMID:27834180

  14. Methods for Presenting Braille Characters on a Mobile Device with a Touchscreen and Tactile Feedback.

    PubMed

    Rantala, J; Raisamo, R; Lylykangas, J; Surakka, V; Raisamo, J; Salminen, K; Pakkanen, T; Hippula, A

    2009-01-01

    Three novel interaction methods were designed for reading six-dot Braille characters from the touchscreen of a mobile device. A prototype device with a piezoelectric actuator embedded under the touchscreen was used to create tactile feedback. The three interaction methods, scan, sweep, and rhythm, enabled users to read Braille characters one at a time either by exploring the characters dot by dot or by sensing a rhythmic pattern presented on the screen. The methods were tested with five blind Braille readers as a proof of concept. The results of the first experiment showed that all three methods can be used to convey information as the participants could accurately (91-97 percent) recognize individual characters. In the second experiment the presentation rate of the most efficient and preferred method, the rhythm, was varied. A mean recognition accuracy of 70 percent was found when the speed of presenting a single character was nearly doubled from the first experiment. The results showed that temporal tactile feedback and Braille coding can be used to transmit single-character information while further studies are still needed to evaluate the presentation of serial information, i.e., multiple Braille characters.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Active Clearance of Chest Tubes Reduces Re-Exploration for Bleeding After Ventricular Assist Device Implantation

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Mary E.; Haglund, Nicholas A.; Perrault, Louis; Kushwaha, Sudhir S.; Stulak, John M.; Boyle, Edward M.

    2016-01-01

    Chest tubes are utilized to evacuate shed blood after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation, however, they can become clogged, leading to retained blood. We implemented a protocol for active tube clearance (ATC) of chest tubes to determine if this might reduce interventions for retained blood. A total of 252 patients underwent LVAD implantation. Seventy-seven patients had conventional chest tube drainage (group 1), whereas 175 patients had ATC (group 2). A univariate and multivariate analysis adjusting for the use of conventional sternotomy (CS) and minimally invasive left thoracotomy (MILT) was performed. Univariate analysis revealed a 65% reduction in re-exploration (43–15%, p < 0.001), and an 82% reduction in delayed sternal closure (DSC; 34–6%, p <0.001). In a sub-analysis of CS only, there continued to be statistically significant 53% reduction in re-exploration (45% vs. 21%, p = 0.0011), and a 77% reduction in DSC (35% vs. 8%, p < 0.001) in group 2. Using a logistic regression model adjusting for CS versus MILT, there was a significant reduction in re-exploration (odds ratio [OR] = 0.44 [confidence interval {CI} = 0.23–0.85], p = 0.014) and DSC (OR = 0.20 [CI = 0.08–0.46], p <0.001) in group 2. Actively maintaining chest tube patency after LVAD implantation significantly reduces re-exploration and DSC. PMID:27556153

  19. Rich Pinch: Perception of Object Movement with Tactile Illusion.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaedong; Kim, Youngsun; Kim, Gerard

    2015-09-01

    Vibrotactile feedback is an effective and economical approach for enriching interactive feedback. However, its effects are mostly limited to providing supplementary alarms or conveying the sense of simple object presence or contact. In this paper, we propose a novel tactile feedback method, called Rich Pinch, based on the "out of body" tactile illusion for selecting and manipulating a virtual object using a two-finger pinch gesture. Rich Pinch uses vibration motors attached only to the two fingertips, but can induce illusory feedback, such as tactile touch/contact and directional movement, as felt from the space between the fingers. We first experimentally verify that the "out of body" illusion technique does in fact exist when applied between the fingertips. Then we compare three different tactile rendering functions to illustrate different resulting perceptual scales and argue to use the tangent-based interpolation in its actual application for a better user performance and experience due to its near-linear perceptual response. Finally, we assess the user experience (focusing on the perception of the object movement of the selected object) of the proposed pinch method by comparing it to the conventional contact-based method. Our results indicate that, with Rich Pinch, users were able to perceive rich dynamic feedback, and clearly preferred it over the conventional method.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of pitch, level, and tactile cues on speech segregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drullman, Rob; Bronkhorst, Adelbert W.

    2003-04-01

    Sentence intelligibility for interfering speech was investigated as a function of level difference, pitch difference, and presence of tactile support. A previous study by the present authors [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 111, 2432-2433 (2002)] had shown a small benefit of tactile support in the speech-reception threshold measured against a background of one to eight competing talkers. The present experiment focused on the effects of informational and energetic masking for one competing talker. Competing speech was obtained by manipulating the speech of the male target talker (different sentences). The PSOLA technique was used to increase the average pitch of competing speech by 2, 4, 8, or 12 semitones. Level differences between target and competing speech ranged from -16 to +4 dB. Tactile support (B&K 4810 shaker) was given to the index finger by presenting the temporal envelope of the low-pass-filtered speech (0-200 Hz). Sentences were presented diotically and the percentage of correctly perceived words was measured. Results show a significant overall increase in intelligibility score from 71% to 77% due to tactile support. Performance improves monotonically with increasing pitch difference. Louder target speech generally helps perception, but results for level differences are considerably dependent on pitch differences.

  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 Perception and Braille Letter Recognition: Effects of Developmental Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mangold, Sally S.

    1978-01-01

    The extent to which a developmental program of tactile perception and braille letter recognition would affect errors in these abilities and reduce scrubbing and backtracking behaviors of 30 legally blind braille users (5-15 years old) was studied. (Author/BD)

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  7. Use of tactile afferent information in sequential finger movements.

    PubMed

    Gordon, A M; Soechting, J F

    1995-01-01

    We have investigated how tactile afferent information contributes to the generation of sequences of skilled finger movements by anesthetizing the right index fingers of experienced typists. Subjects were asked to type phrases in which the right index finger was used only once every seven to 12 keypresses. The time at which each key was depressed was recorded with a digital timer, and the translational and rotational motion of the fingers and wrist of the right hand were recorded optoelectronically from the location of reflective markers placed on the fingers. Midway through the experiment, a local anesthetic was injected at the base of the distal phalange of the right index finger. Following digital anesthesia, error rates increased considerably, mainly due to the diminished accuracy of movements of the anesthetized finger. The typing intervals following keypresses with the anesthetized fingertip were unaffected by the removal of tactile information. When errors occurred during control trials, the intervals immediately following the errors were greatly prolonged. However, errors produced with the anesthetized right index finger did not influence the timing of subsequent keypresses, implying that lack of tactile cues affected error recognition. The movement patterns during keypresses were similar before and after digital anesthesia for some subjects, while a less pronounced flexion-extension movement was seen in other subjects. The results suggest that tactile afferent information is not essential for initiating movement segments in a sequence. Rather, they emphasize the importance of this information for ensuring movement accuracy and for detecting errors.

  8. Spatial auditory attention is modulated by tactile priming.

    PubMed

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

    2005-07-01

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

  9. 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.…

  10. 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…

  11. Lateralized ultradian rhythms: evidence from tactile discrimination of either hand.

    PubMed

    Meier-Koll, A

    1998-12-01

    Endogenous ultradian rhythms with periods of one or a few hours affect not only on physiological and behavioural functions but also perception and cognition. In particular, lateralized ultradian rhythms which seem to operate separately in the right and left hemispheres of the brain can be monitored by testing the tactile discrimination of the contralateral hand. The present paper is based on two subsequent studies: First, ultradian rhythms in tactile discrimination of either hand were examined in German subjects under laboratory conditions. Considerably different ultradian periods of right and left-handed tactile error rate were found in men but not in women. In a second study, a group of Kenyan Masai shepherds were tested while the subjects were leading herds on daily feeding routes through a savanna habitat. They showed ultradian periods of about 2 hours in tactile discrimination of either hand. Since the right hemisphere is specialized for visuospatial, the left for verbal processing lateralized ultradian rhythms may serve for a long-scale timing of neural processes underlying spatial and semantic mapping of the environment. Sex difference in German subjects and lateral differences found in left-handed (right-hemispheric) ultradian rhythms of German and Masai subjects are discussed from this point of view.

  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. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Mugge, Winfred; Abbink, David A; Schouten, Alfred C; van der Helm, Frans C T; Arendzen, J H; Meskers, Carel G M

    2013-02-01

    Motor control tasks like stance or object handling require sensory feedback from proprioception, vision and touch. The distinction between tactile and proprioceptive sensors is not frequently made in dynamic motor control tasks, and if so, mostly based on signal latency. We previously found that force control tasks entail more compliant behavior than a passive, relaxed condition and by neuromuscular modeling we were able to attribute this to adaptations in proprioceptive force feedback from Golgi tendon organs. This required the assumption that both tactile and visual feedback are too slow to explain the measured adaptations in face of unpredictable force perturbations. Although this assumption was shown to hold using model simulations, so far no experimental data is available to validate it. Here we applied a systematic approach using continuous perturbations and engineering analyses to provide experimental evidence for the hypothesis that motor control adaptation in force control tasks can be achieved using proprioceptive feedback only. Varying task instruction resulted in substantial adaptations in neuromuscular behavior, which persisted after eliminating visual and/or tactile feedback by a nerve block of the nervus plantaris medialis. It is concluded that proprioception adapts dynamic human ankle motor control even in the absence of visual and tactile feedback.

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. Brain networks involved in tactile speed classification of moving dot patterns: the effects of speed and dot periodicity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jiajia; Kitada, Ryo; Kochiyama, Takanori; Yu, Yinghua; Makita, Kai; Araki, Yuta; Wu, Jinglong; Sadato, Norihiro

    2017-01-01

    Humans are able to judge the speed of an object’s motion by touch. Research has suggested that tactile judgment of speed is influenced by physical properties of the moving object, though the neural mechanisms underlying this process remain poorly understood. In the present study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate brain networks that may be involved in tactile speed classification and how such networks may be affected by an object’s texture. Participants were asked to classify the speed of 2-D raised dot patterns passing under their right middle finger. Activity in the parietal operculum, insula, and inferior and superior frontal gyri was positively related to the motion speed of dot patterns. Activity in the postcentral gyrus and superior parietal lobule was sensitive to dot periodicity. Psycho-physiological interaction (PPI) analysis revealed that dot periodicity modulated functional connectivity between the parietal operculum (related to speed) and postcentral gyrus (related to dot periodicity). These results suggest that texture-sensitive activity in the primary somatosensory cortex and superior parietal lobule influences brain networks associated with tactually-extracted motion speed. Such effects may be related to the influence of surface texture on tactile speed judgment. PMID:28145505

  20. OPIOID ANTAGONISTS BLOCK THE ACQUISITION OF ETHANOL-MEDIATED CONDITIONED TACTILE PREFERENCE IN INFANT RATS

    PubMed Central

    Nizhnikov, Michael Eduard; Pautassi, Ricardo Marcos; Truxell, Eric; Spear, Norman E.

    2009-01-01

    It has been difficult to find conditioned preference for tactile cues paired with ethanol intoxication in rats. Toward understanding the ontogeny of ethanol reinforcement, we aimed at establishing a simple and reliable procedure for: (i) assessing primary appetitive conditioning to ethanol in infant rats and (ii) discerning the role the opioid system plays in ethanol-mediated conditioning at this age. Experiment 1 determined the parameters (i.e., dose, interval of conditioning) for assessing ethanol-mediated conditioning. Pups were then trained with differential Pavlovian conditioning (Experiments 2 and 3) in which ethanol intoxication (1.0 – 2.0 g/kg, intragastrically or intraperitoneally delivered) was paired with a tactile stimulus (sandpaper) while an alternative texture signaled the absence of ethanol’s effects. Unpaired control conditions were also employed. Tactile preferences were assessed after two conditioning sessions. Paired rats spent significantly more time on sandpaper than unpaired controls, an effect that was greater following intragastric administration of 1.0 than 2.0 g/kg ethanol. This effect was replicated in Experiments 4a and 4c and found to be inhibited by pretreatment with general (naloxone) or specific (D-Pen-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Orn-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2 [CTOP] and naltrindole) opioid antagonists. Blood ethanol levels at conditioning were not altered by naloxone (Exp. 4b). The study outlines a procedure that reveals appetitive conditioning to ethanol by infant rats. The results are discussed in terms of a potential ethanol-induced activation of the endogenous opioid system during the onset of the intoxication process. PMID:19671461

  1. Opioid antagonists block the acquisition of ethanol-mediated conditioned tactile preference in infant rats.

    PubMed

    Nizhnikov, Michael Eduard; Pautassi, Ricardo Marcos; Truxell, Eric; Spear, Norman E

    2009-08-01

    It has been difficult to find conditioned preference for tactile cues paired with ethanol intoxication in rats. Toward understanding the ontogeny of ethanol reinforcement, we aimed at establishing a simple and reliable procedure for (1) assessing primary appetitive conditioning to ethanol in infant rats and (2) discerning the role the opioid system plays in ethanol-mediated conditioning at this age. Experiment 1 determined the parameters (i.e., dose, interval of conditioning) for assessing ethanol-mediated conditioning. Pups were then trained with differential Pavlovian conditioning (Experiments 2 and 3) in which ethanol intoxication (1.0-2.0 g/kg, intragastrically or intraperitoneally delivered) was paired with a tactile stimulus (sandpaper) while an alternative texture signaled the absence of ethanol's effects. Unpaired control conditions were also used. Tactile preferences were assessed after two conditioning sessions. Paired rats spent significantly more time on sandpaper than unpaired controls, an effect that was greater after intragastric administration of 1.0 than 2.0 g/kg ethanol. This effect was replicated in Experiments 4a and 4c and found to be inhibited by pretreatment with general (naloxone [NAL]) or specific (d-Pen-Cys-Tyr-d-Trp-Orn-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2 [CTOP] and naltrindole) opioid antagonists. Blood ethanol levels at conditioning were not altered by NAL (Experiment 4b). The study outlines a procedure that reveals appetitive conditioning to ethanol by infant rats. The results are discussed in terms of a potential ethanol-induced activation of the endogenous opioid system during the onset of the intoxication process.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Summary of geothermal exploration activity in the State of Washington from 1978 to 1983. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Korosec, M.A.

    1984-01-01

    Project activity is summarized with references to the publications produced. Project findings are reported as they relate to specific geothermal resource target areas. Some major projects of the goethermal exploration program are: thermal and mineral spring chemistry, heat flow drilling, temperature gradient measurements, Cascade Range regional gravity, geohydrology study of the Yakima area, low temperature geothermal resources, geology, geochemistry of Cascade Mountains volcanic rocks, and soil mercury studies. (MHR)

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Efficient exploration through active learning for value function approximation in reinforcement learning.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Takayuki; Hachiya, Hirotaka; Sugiyama, Masashi

    2010-06-01

    Appropriately designing sampling policies is highly important for obtaining better control policies in reinforcement learning. In this paper, we first show that the least-squares policy iteration (LSPI) framework allows us to employ statistical active learning methods for linear regression. Then we propose a design method of good sampling policies for efficient exploration, which is particularly useful when the sampling cost of immediate rewards is high. The effectiveness of the proposed method, which we call active policy iteration (API), is demonstrated through simulations with a batting robot.

  9. Now you feel it, now you don't: how robust is the phenomenon of illusory tactile experience?

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Kirsten J; Poliakoff, Ellen; Brown, Richard J; Lloyd, Donna M

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have reported that in normal healthy individuals, the perception of illusory sensations in one modality can be induced by the presentation of a stimulus in another modality. These illusory sensations may arise from the activation of a tactile representation in memory induced by the non-target stimulus, in a process mirroring that thought to be responsible for many forms of medically unexplained symptoms. The reliability of illusory-touch reports was investigated here in two experiments with a novel perceptual paradigm designed to simulate the occurrence of somatoform symptoms in the laboratory. A concurrent light significantly increased the number of tactile stimuli reported, and resulted in a higher number of illusory-touch reports, while the modality of the trial start cue did not affect subsequent responses. In addition, a strong relationship was found between the rates of illusory sensations that participants produced in successive sessions, indicating that the tendency to report illusory sensations is a robust phenomenon.

  10. Impact of spikelets on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell activity during spatial exploration.

    PubMed

    Epsztein, Jérôme; Lee, Albert K; Chorev, Edith; Brecht, Michael

    2010-01-22

    In vivo intracellular recordings of hippocampal neurons reveal the occurrence of fast events of small amplitude called spikelets or fast prepotentials. Because intracellular recordings have been restricted to anesthetized or head-fixed animals, it is not known how spikelet activity contributes to hippocampal spatial representations. We addressed this question in CA1 pyramidal cells by using in vivo whole-cell recording in freely moving rats. We observed a high incidence of spikelets that occurred either in isolation or in bursts and could drive spiking as fast prepotentials of action potentials. Spikelets strongly contributed to spiking activity, driving approximately 30% of all action potentials. CA1 pyramidal cell firing and spikelet activity were comodulated as a function of the animal's location in the environment. We conclude that spikelets have a major impact on hippocampal activity during spatial exploration.

  11. 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.

  12. A structural fingertip model for simulating of the biomechanics of tactile sensation.

    PubMed

    Wu, J Z; Dong, R G; Rakheja, S; Schopper, A W; Smutz, W P

    2004-03-01

    Tactile performance of human fingertips is associated with activity of the nerve endings and sensitivity of the soft tissue within the fingertip to the static and dynamic skin indentation. The nerve endings in the fingertips sense the stress/strain states developed within the soft tissue, which are affected by the material properties of the tissues. The vibrotactile sensation and tactile performance are thus believed to be strongly influenced by the nonlinear and time-dependent properties of the soft tissues. The purpose of the present research is to simulate the biomechanics of tactile sensation. A two-dimensional model, which incorporates the essential anatomical structures of a finger (i.e. skin, subcutaneous tissue, bone, and nail), has been used for the analysis. The skin tissue is assumed to be hyperelastic and viscoelastic. The subcutaneous tissue is considered to be a nonlinear, biphasic material composed of a hyperelastic solid and an inviscid fluid phase. The nail and bone are considered to be linearly elastic. The advantages of the proposed fingertip model over the previous "waterbed" and "continuum" fingertip models include its ability to predict the deflection profile of the fingertip surface, the stress and strain distributions within the soft tissue, and most importantly, the dynamic response of the fingertip to mechanical stimuli. The proposed model is applied to simulate the mechanical responses of a fingertip under a line load, and in one-point (1PT) and two-point (2PT) tactile discrimination tests. The model's predictions of the deflection profiles of a fingertip surface under a line load agree well with the reported experimental data. Assuming that the mechanoreceptors in the dermis sense the stimuli associated with normal strains (the vertical and horizontal strains) and strain energy density, our numerical results suggest that the threshold of 2PT discrimination may lie between 2.0 and 3.0 mm, which is consistent with the published

  13. 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

  14. Learning touch preferences with a tactile robot using dopamine modulated STDP in a model of insular cortex.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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";…

  17. Smoking automaticity and tolerance moderate brain activation during explore-exploit behavior

    PubMed Central

    Addicott, Merideth A.; Pearson, John M.; Froeliger, Brett; Platt, Michael L.; McClernon, F. Joseph

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25453166

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.