An Investigation of Mechanical Stimuli at the Origin of Texture Tactile Perception


  • Blouin Jean
  • Chatelet E.
  • Felicetti Livia
  • Massi Francesco
  • Mouchnino Laurence
  • Sutter Chloé


  • Tactile perception Friction-Induced Vibrations Textures EEG Biotribology

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Between human senses, tactile perception is one of the most unknown and difficult to be rendered. While stimuli at the origin of hearing and sight are well known, can be captured, and can be even reproduced by acoustic devices or monitors, tactile stimuli are far from being fully understood. In fact, the investigation of touch is quite challenging, due to the different involved disciplines and underlying phenomena. This work presents a tribological analysis dealing with the measuring, analysis [1] and mimicking [2] of the mechanical stimuli that are at the origin of texture perception [3]. The investigation is focused on the friction-induced vibrations, which are promoted by the sliding of the finger on a surface and are appointed to be the key stimuli for texture discrimination [4]. The main features of induced vibrations and contact forces are first discussed with respect to the texture descriptors, while the brain response associated to the exploration of the texture is captured by EEG. The stimuli are then mimicked by a tactile device to provide tactile feedback. The tribological analysis is supported as well by discrimination campaigns on voluntaries, in order to verify the texture discrimination obtained by both real and mimicked mechanical stimuli. Intercorrelating the results from voluntaries’ responses and the analysis of the spectral features of the mechanical stimuli allows identifying the main signal characteristics at the basis of texture discrimination.

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