ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

5aBV8. Tactual performance with motional stimulation of the index finger.

Hong Z. Tan

Nathaniel I. Durlach

William M. Rabinowitz

Charlotte M. Reed

Res. Lab. of Electron., MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139

The results of two studies investigating performance with motional stimulation applied to the finer will be reported. Experiments were conducted using a position-controlled servomotor that delivers large-amplitude displacements in the frequency range of 1--32 Hz to the fingerpad of the index finger. In one study, measurements of amplitude and frequency discrimination were obtained as a function of reference frequency, reference displacement, and duration. Results obtained for low-frequency motional stimulation will be discussed and related to results reported in the literature for vibrational frequencies. In a second study, computer-generated sequences of International Morse code were delivered to the fingertip using high-amplitude square-wave stimulation. The ability to identify Morse code sequences was studied as a function of rate of presentation and length of the stimulus stream for subjects who were either naive or highly experienced in the traditional sending and receiving of Morse code. Results will be discussed in terms of the differences in learning and information transmission rates between naive and experienced subjects. [Work supported by NIDCD.]