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Maximal dynamic range electrotactile stimulation waveforms

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3 Author(s)
Kaczmarek, K.A. ; Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI, USA ; Webster, J.G. ; Radwin, R.G.

A new method to measure the dynamic range of electrotactile (electrocutaneous) stimulation uses both steepest ascent (gradient) and one-variable-at-a-time methods to determine the waveform variables that maximize the subjective magnitude (intensity) of the electrotactile percept at the maximal current without discomfort for balanced-biphasic pulse bursts presented at a 15-Hz rate. The magnitude at the maximal current without discomfort is maximized by the following waveform (range tested in parenthesis): number of pulses/burst=6 (1-20), pulse repetition rate within a burst=350 Hz (200-1500), and phase width=150 mu s (40-350). The interphase interval (separation between positive and negative phases in a biphasic pulse) does not affect dynamic range from 0-500 mu s. The number of pulses/burst has a large effect on the perceived dynamic range when this is measured using a subjective-magnitude-based algorithm, whereas it has little effect on the traditional dynamic range measure, i.e., (maximal current without discomfort)/(sensation threshold current).

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 7 )