Masking has been used to study human perception of tactile stimuli, including those created on haptic touch screens. Earlier studies have investigated the effect of in-site masking on tactile perception of electrovibration. In this study, we investigated whether it is possible to change the detection threshold of electrovibration at fingertip of index finger via remote masking, i.e. by applying a (mechanical) vibrotactile stimulus on the proximal phalanx of the same finger. The masking stimuli were generated by a voice coil (Haptuator). For eight participants, we first measured the detection thresholds for electrovibration at the fingertip and for vibrotactile stimuli at the proximal phalanx. Then, the vibrations on the skin were measured at four different locations on the index finger of subjects to investigate how the mechanical masking stimulus propagated as the masking level was varied. Finally, electrovibration thresholds were measured in the presence of vibrotactile masking stimuli. Our results show that vibrotactile masking stimuli generated sub-threshold vibrations around fingertip and, hence, probably did not mechanically interfere with the electrovibration stimulus. However, there was a clear psychophysical masking effect due to central neural processes. Electrovibration absolute threshold increased approximately 0.19 dB for each dB increase in the masking level.
|Title of host publication||2019 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2019|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Event||2019 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2019 - Tokyo, Japan|
Duration: 9 Jul 2019 → 12 Jul 2019
|Conference||2019 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2019|
|Period||9/07/19 → 12/07/19|