Recently, various methods using, simultaneously, two types of tactile feedback have been proposed to emulate a real object. However, the possible masking effect when providing two types of tactile feedback has been scarcely reported. In this study, we investigated the masking effect caused by mechanical vibration on the perception of electrovibration. The absolute and difference thresholds of the electrovibration were measured according to the presence/absence, frequency, and intensity of the mechanical vibration. The absolute threshold of electrovibration tended to increase in the form of a ramp function, as the intensity of the masking stimulus (mechanical vibration) increased. Particularly, the masking effect was more remarkable when the frequency of both the target and the masking stimulus was the same (up to 13 dB increase with 25 dB SL masker). Furthermore, the difference in the threshold (average of 1.21 dB) did not significantly change due to the masking stimulus, when the sensation level intensity of the target stimulus was within the section following the Weber’s law. The results further indicated that electrovibration contributes to the activation of slowly adapting afferents as well. This investigation will provide important guidelines for the design of haptic interface that employs multiple types of tactile feedback.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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