- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- 2022 IEEE 3rd International Conference on Human-Machine Systems (ICHMS)
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 1 to 4
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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null (Ed.)Haptic feedback allows an individual to identify various object properties. In this preliminary study, we determined the performance of stiffness recognition using transcutaneous nerve stimulation when a prosthetic hand was moved passively or was controlled actively by the subjects. Using a 2×8 electrode grid placed along the subject's upper arm, electrical stimulation was delivered to evoke somatotopic sensation along their index finger. Stimulation intensity, i.e. sensation strength, was modulated using the fingertip forces from a sensorized prosthetic hand. Object stiffness was encoded based on the rate of change of the evoked sensation as the prosthesis grasped one of three objects of different stiffness levels. During active control, sensation was modulated in real time as recorded forces were converted to stimulation amplitudes. During passive control, prerecorded force traces were randomly selected from a pool. Our results showed that the accuracy of object stiffness recognition was similar in both active and passive conditions. A slightly lower accuracy was observed during active control in one subject, which indicated that the sensorimotor integration processes could affect haptic perception for some users.more » « less
Objective: This study introduces distally-referred surface electrical nerve stimulation (DR-SENS) and evaluates the effects of electrode placement, polarity, and stimulation intensity on the location of elicited sensations in able-bodied individuals. Approach: A two-phased human experiment was used to characterize DR-SENS. In Experiment One, we explored 182 electrode combinations to identify a subset of electrode position combinations that would be most likely to elicit distally-referred sensations isolated to the index finger without discomfort. In Experiment Two, we further examined this subset of electrode combinations to determine the effect of stimulation intensity and electrode position on perceived sensation location. Stimulation thresholds were evaluated using parameter estimation by sequential testing and sensation locations were characterized using psychometric intensity tests. Main Results: We found that electrode positions distal to the wrist can consistently evoke distally referred sensations with no significant polarity dependency. The finger-palm combination had the most occurrences of distal sensations, and the different variations of this combination did not have a significant effect on sensation location. Increasing stimulation intensity significantly expanded the area of the sensation, moved the most distal sensation distally, and moved the vertical centroid proximally. Also, a large return electrode at the elbow mitigated all sensation at the return electrode site while using symmetric stimulation waveforms. Furthermore, this study showed that the most intense sensation for a given percept can be distally referred. Lastly, for each participant, at least one of the finger-palm combinations evaluated in this study worked at both perception threshold and maximum comfortable stimulation intensities. Significance: These findings show that a non-invasive surface electrical stimulation charge modulated haptic interface can be used to elicit distally-referred sensations on able-bodied users. Furthermore, these results inform the design of novel haptic interfaces and other applications of surface electrical stimulation based haptic feedback on electrodes positioned distally from the wrist.
null (Ed.)When individuals interact with the environment, sensory feedback is a critical aspect of the experience. Individuals using prosthesis often have difficulty controlling their device, partly due to a lack of sensory information. Transcutaneous nerve stimulation has the potential to elicit focal haptic sensation when controlled electrical current was delivered to a pair of electrodes in proximity to the nerve. The objective of this preliminary study was to evaluate how different elicited focal haptic sensation were altered, when multiple concurrent electrical stimuli were delivered to different portions of the median and ulnar nerve bundles. The delay between the individual stimulation during concurrent stimuli was also varied to identify if this parameter could alter the resulting sensation region. Lastly, the stability/repeatability of the perceived sensation during concurrent stimuli was determined. Our preliminary results showed that the spatial distribution of the haptic sensation was largely a direct summation/merge of the sensation regions from the individual nerve stimulation when comparing the regions to that of the concurrent double stimulation. Our results also showed that merged sensation region was not sensitive to different time delays the two concurrent stimuli. Lastly, the sensation regions remained stable and showed repeatable sensation in the hand even with 20-60 minutes between repeated stimulations.more » « less
Direct cortical stimulation (DCS) of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) could help restore sensation and provide task-relevant feedback in a neuroprosthesis. However, the psychophysics of S1 DCS is poorly studied, including any comparison to cutaneous haptic stimulation. We compare the response times to DCS of human hand somatosensory cortex through electrocorticographic grids with response times to haptic stimuli delivered to the hand in four subjects. We found that subjects respond significantly slower to S1 DCS than to natural, haptic stimuli for a range of DCS train durations. Median response times for haptic stimulation varied from 198 ms to 313 ms, while median responses to reliably perceived DCS ranged from 254 ms for one subject, all the way to 528 ms for another. We discern no significant impact of learning or habituation through the analysis of blocked trials, and find no significant impact of cortical stimulation train duration on response times. Our results provide a realistic set of expectations for latencies with somatosensory DCS feedback for future neuroprosthetic applications and motivate the study of neural mechanisms underlying human perception of somatosensation via DCS.
Abstract Objective.Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves is a common technique to assist or rehabilitate impaired muscle activation. However, conventional stimulation paradigms activate nerve fibers synchronously with action potentials time-locked with stimulation pulses. Such synchronous activation limits fine control of muscle force due to synchronized force twitches. Accordingly, we developed a subthreshold high-frequency stimulation waveform with the goal of activating axons asynchronously. Approach.We evaluated our waveform experimentally and through model simulations. During the experiment, we delivered continuous subthreshold pulses at frequencies of 16.67, 12.5, or 10 kHz transcutaneously to the median and ulnar nerves. We obtained high-density electromyographic (EMG) signals and fingertip forces to quantify the axonal activation patterns. We used a conventional 30 Hz stimulation waveform and the associated voluntary muscle activation for comparison. We modeled stimulation of biophysically realistic myelinated mammalian axons using a simplified volume conductor model to solve for extracellular electric potentials. We compared the firing properties under kHz and conventional 30 Hz stimulation. Main results.EMG activity evoked by kHz stimulation showed high entropy values similar to voluntary EMG activity, indicating asynchronous axon firing activity. In contrast, we observed low entropy values in EMG evoked by conventional 30 Hz stimulation. The muscle forces evoked by kHz stimulation also showed more stable force profiles across repeated trials compared with 30 Hz stimulation. Our simulation results provide direct evidence of asynchronous firing patterns across a population of axons in response to kHz frequency stimulation, while 30 Hz stimulation elicited synchronized time-locked responses across the population. Significance.We demonstrate that the continuous subthreshold high-frequency stimulation waveform can elicit asynchronous axon firing patterns, which can lead to finer control of muscle forces.