Tactile masking by electrovibration

Yasemin Vardar, Burak Guclu, Cagatay Basdogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Future touch screen applications will include multiple tactile stimuli displayed simultaneously or consecutively to single finger or multiple fingers. These applications should be designed by considering human tactile masking mechanism since it is known that presenting one stimulus may interfere with the perception of the other. In this study, we investigate the effect of masking on the tactile perception of electrovibration displayed on touch screens. Through conducting psychophysical experiments with nine participants, we measured the masked thresholds of sinusoidal electrovibration bursts (125 Hz) under two masking conditions: simultaneous and pedestal. The masking signals were noise bursts, applied at five different sensation levels varying from 2 to 22 dB SL, also presented by electrovibration. For each participant, the thresholds were elevated as linear functions of masking levels for both masking types. We observed that the masking effectiveness was larger with pedestal masking than simultaneous masking. Moreover, in order to investigate the effect of tactile masking on our haptic perception of edge sharpness, we compared the perceived sharpness of edges separating two textured regions displayed with and without various types of masking stimuli. Our results suggest that sharpness perception depends on the local contrast between background and foreground stimuli, which varies as a function of masking amplitude and activation levels of frequency-dependent psychophysical channels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8410023
Pages (from-to)623-635
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • active movement
  • edge perception
  • electroadhesion
  • Electrovibration
  • friction modulation displays
  • local haptic contrast
  • masking
  • perception
  • tactile
  • touch screen

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Tactile masking by electrovibration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this