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The relationship between energy, phase charge, impedance, and perceived sensation in electrotactile stimulation

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3 Author(s)
Akhtar, A. ; Med. Scholars' Program, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA ; Boyce, B. ; Bretl, T.

Electrotactile stimulation is a common method of sensory substitution and haptic feedback. One problem with this method has been the large variability in perceived sensation that derives from changes in the impedance of the electrode-skin interface. One way to reduce this variability is to modulate stimulation parameters (current amplitude and pulse duration) in response to impedance changes, which are reflected in the time domain by changes in measured peak resistance, Rp. To work well, this approach requires knowing precisely the relationship between stimulation parameters, peak resistance, and perceived sensation. In this paper, experimental results show that at a constant level of perceived sensation there are linear relationships between Rp and both peak pulse energy, Ep, and phase charge, Q, from which stimulation parameters are easily computed. These linear relationships held across different subjects, sessions, magnitudes of sensation, stimulation locations, and electrode sizes. The average R2 values for these linear relationships were 0.957 for Ep vs. Rp and 0.960 for Q vs. Rp, indicating a nearly perfect fit.

Published in:

Haptics Symposium (HAPTICS), 2014 IEEE

Date of Conference:

23-26 Feb. 2014