Developing non-somatotopic phantom finger sensation to comparable levels of somatotopic sensation through user training with electrotactile stimulation

Guohong Chai, Dingguo Zhang, Xiangyang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cutaneous electrical stimulation can provide tactile feedback for upper-limb amputees through somatotopic feedback (SF) or non-somatotopic feedback (NF). The SF delivers electrotactile stimulus to projection finger maps (PFMs) on the stumps of amputees, which outperforms NF that transfers stimulus to other human intact skin areas in general. However, the SF areas on stumps are very limited and often occupied by electromyography(EMG) sensors in application of myoelectric prosthesis. This work aims at improving NF performance on human upper arms through user training with electrotactile stimulation. The experiments were conducted over seven consecutive days on nine able-bodied subjects and two forearm amputees. The performance measures of NF/SF included the correct identification rates (CIRs), the response time and the NASATLX questionnaire. The between-day CIR s on NF sites increased logarithmically with a mean course of 3-day rapid improving phase and plateaued in the relative-steady phase. The response time and NASA-TLX scores could also rapidly reduce to the comparable levels of the SF areas during the same mean period of 3-day rapid-improving phase, respectively. These results indicated that the performance of NF could be highly improved to the equivalent level as that of SF through 3-day electrotactile training, which we named as "3-day effect". It provides important insights that intact skin areas without phantom sensations can effectively replace SF sites to transfer tactile feedback after continuous user training, which validates effectiveness of non-invasive interfaces of tactile feedback for upper-limb amputees in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7491333
Pages (from-to)469-480
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2017

Keywords

  • Electrotactile stimulation
  • Nonsomatotopic feedback
  • Projection finger map
  • Somatotopic feedback
  • Upper-limb amputees
  • User training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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