Master of Science (MSc)
Faculty of Science
Dr. Philip Servos
Tactile apparent motion (TAM) is a perceptual phenomenon in which consecutive presentation of multiple tactile stimuli creates an illusion of motion. Employing a novel tactile display device, the Latero, allowed us to investigate this. The current study focused on the Rapidly Adapting (RA) channel and Slowly Adapting I (SAI) channel on the index finger. The experiment implemented vibrotactile masking stimuli to target the mechanoreceptive channels with the goal of gaining better insight into the involvement of mechanoreceptive channels in the perception of TAM. Masking stimuli were used because previous studies have used them to differentiate between different channels; a certain masking stimulus will impact a mechanoreceptive channel more than others. The experiment began by measuring participants’ threshold for TAM stimuli by varying the stimulus intensity in a two-choice task (left vs right); participants received test trials consisting of TAM stimuli with 25 Hz and 6 Hz testing for the RA and SAI channels, respectively. Next, participants performed a series of test trials with vibrotactile masking stimuli that preceded the TAM stimuli mentioned above. The vibrotactile masking stimulus varied in duration (4 seconds vs 8 seconds) and intensity (two times vs three times the intensity of the TAM stimuli). The results suggest that there was no difference in accuracy when testing for the RA and SAI channels. The results also showed that the introduction of the masking stimuli significantly lowered accuracy. Overall, neither the RA nor the SAI channel may be uniquely involved in TAM perception. However, further improvement on the current design may aid in isolating each channel to help better understand the channel’s role in TAM perception.
Kim, Phill and Servos, Philip Dr., "INVESTIGATING THE ROLES OF MECHANORECEPTIVE CHANNELS IN TACTILE APPARENT MOTION PERCEPTION: A VIBROTACTILE STUDY" (2018). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2076.