Matching Items (15)

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DANCE AND THE SENSE OF TOUCH

Description

The goal of this study was to look at touch and dance from different views to gain a better perspective on the benefits of touch, mainly when used in dance and also perhaps in broader contexts. Part of this investigation

The goal of this study was to look at touch and dance from different views to gain a better perspective on the benefits of touch, mainly when used in dance and also perhaps in broader contexts. Part of this investigation also looked at the stigmatized view of touch in the American culture and in turn the lack of knowledge about, and comfort with touch in our society. A personal research component involved the creation of a solo reflecting about the question of why I connect with touch so intensely. The bulk of the study involved facilitating touch experiences in two introductory level dance classes for high school students. Daily journal entries were collected from each of the eighty students that focused on their personal experiences with touch in a series of six movement sessions. The study shows that bringing touch to the dance classroom has multiple benefits, including promoting a greater understanding and acceptance of the sense of touch, a positive impact on students' views about dance, and a break down of preconceived notions about the mind and the body.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Towards haptic intelligence for artificial hands: development and use of deformable, fluidic tactile sensors to relate action and perception

Description

Human fingertips contain thousands of specialized mechanoreceptors that enable effortless physical interactions with the environment. Haptic perception capabilities enable grasp and manipulation in the absence of visual feedback, as when reaching into one's pocket or wrapping a belt around oneself.

Human fingertips contain thousands of specialized mechanoreceptors that enable effortless physical interactions with the environment. Haptic perception capabilities enable grasp and manipulation in the absence of visual feedback, as when reaching into one's pocket or wrapping a belt around oneself. Unfortunately, state-of-the-art artificial tactile sensors and processing algorithms are no match for their biological counterparts. Tactile sensors must not only meet stringent practical specifications for everyday use, but their signals must be processed and interpreted within hundreds of milliseconds. Control of artificial manipulators, ranging from prosthetic hands to bomb defusal robots, requires a constant reliance on visual feedback that is not entirely practical. To address this, we conducted three studies aimed at advancing artificial haptic intelligence. First, we developed a novel, robust, microfluidic tactile sensor skin capable of measuring normal forces on flat or curved surfaces, such as a fingertip. The sensor consists of microchannels in an elastomer filled with a liquid metal alloy. The fluid serves as both electrical interconnects and tunable capacitive sensing units, and enables functionality despite substantial deformation. The second study investigated the use of a commercially-available, multimodal tactile sensor (BioTac sensor, SynTouch) to characterize edge orientation with respect to a body fixed reference frame, such as a fingertip. Trained on data from a robot testbed, a support vector regression model was developed to relate haptic exploration actions to perception of edge orientation. The model performed comparably to humans for estimating edge orientation. Finally, the robot testbed was used to perceive small, finger-sized geometric features. The efficiency and accuracy of different haptic exploratory procedures and supervised learning models were assessed for estimating feature properties such as type (bump, pit), order of curvature (flat, conical, spherical), and size. This study highlights the importance of tactile sensing in situations where other modalities fail, such as when the finger itself blocks line of sight. Insights from this work could be used to advance tactile sensor technology and haptic intelligence for artificial manipulators that improve quality of life, such as prosthetic hands and wheelchair-mounted robotic hands.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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The role of tactile information in transfer of learned manipulation following changes in degrees of freedom

Description

Humans are capable of transferring learning for anticipatory control of dexterous object manipulation despite changes in degrees-of-freedom (DoF), i.e., switching from lifting an object with two fingers to lifting the same object with three fingers. However, the role that tactile

Humans are capable of transferring learning for anticipatory control of dexterous object manipulation despite changes in degrees-of-freedom (DoF), i.e., switching from lifting an object with two fingers to lifting the same object with three fingers. However, the role that tactile information plays in this transfer of learning is unknown. In this study, subjects lifted an L-shaped object with two fingers (2-DoF), and then lifted the object with three fingers (3-DoF). The subjects were divided into two groups--one group performed the task wearing a glove (to reduce tactile sensibility) upon the switch to 3-DoF (glove group), while the other group did not wear the glove (control group). Compensatory moment (torque) was used as a measure to determine how well the subject could minimize the tilt of the object following the switch from 2-DoF to 3-DoF. Upon the switch to 3-DoF, subjects wearing the glove generated a compensatory moment (Mcom) that had a significantly higher error than the average of the last five trials at the end of the 3-DoF block (p = 0.012), while the control subjects did not demonstrate a significant difference in Mcom. Additional effects of the reduction in tactile sensibility were: (1) the grip force for the group of subjects wearing the glove was significantly higher in the 3-DoF trials compared to the 2-DoF trials (p = 0.014), while the grip force of the control subjects was not significantly different; (2) the difference in centers of pressure between the thumb and fingers (ΔCoP) significantly increased in the 3-DoF block for the group of subjects wearing the glove, while the ΔCoP of the control subjects was not significantly different; (3) lastly, the control subjects demonstrated a greater increase in lift force than the group of subjects wearing the glove (though results were not significant). Combined together, these results suggest different force modulation strategies are used depending on the amount of tactile feedback that is available to the subject. Therefore, reduction of tactile sensibility has important effects on subjects' ability to transfer learned manipulation across different DoF contexts.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Enhancing movie comprehension for individuals who are visually impaired or blind

Description

Typically, the complete loss or severe impairment of a sense such as vision and/or hearing is compensated through sensory substitution, i.e., the use of an alternative sense for receiving the same information. For individuals who are blind or visually impaired,

Typically, the complete loss or severe impairment of a sense such as vision and/or hearing is compensated through sensory substitution, i.e., the use of an alternative sense for receiving the same information. For individuals who are blind or visually impaired, the alternative senses have predominantly been hearing and touch. For movies, visual content has been made accessible to visually impaired viewers through audio descriptions -- an additional narration that describes scenes, the characters involved and other pertinent details. However, as audio descriptions should not overlap with dialogue, sound effects and musical scores, there is limited time to convey information, often resulting in stunted and abridged descriptions that leave out many important visual cues and concepts. This work proposes a promising multimodal approach to sensory substitution for movies by providing complementary information through haptics, pertaining to the positions and movements of actors, in addition to a film's audio description and audio content. In a ten-minute presentation of five movie clips to ten individuals who were visually impaired or blind, the novel methodology was found to provide an almost two time increase in the perception of actors' movements in scenes. Moreover, participants appreciated and found useful the overall concept of providing a visual perspective to film through haptics.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Somatic ABC's: a theoretical framework for designing, developing and evaluating the building blocks of touch-based information delivery

Description

Situations of sensory overload are steadily becoming more frequent as the ubiquity of technology approaches reality--particularly with the advent of socio-communicative smartphone applications, and pervasive, high speed wireless networks. Although the ease of accessing information has improved our communication effectiveness

Situations of sensory overload are steadily becoming more frequent as the ubiquity of technology approaches reality--particularly with the advent of socio-communicative smartphone applications, and pervasive, high speed wireless networks. Although the ease of accessing information has improved our communication effectiveness and efficiency, our visual and auditory modalities--those modalities that today's computerized devices and displays largely engage--have become overloaded, creating possibilities for distractions, delays and high cognitive load; which in turn can lead to a loss of situational awareness, increasing chances for life threatening situations such as texting while driving. Surprisingly, alternative modalities for information delivery have seen little exploration. Touch, in particular, is a promising candidate given that it is our largest sensory organ with impressive spatial and temporal acuity. Although some approaches have been proposed for touch-based information delivery, they are not without limitations including high learning curves, limited applicability and/or limited expression. This is largely due to the lack of a versatile, comprehensive design theory--specifically, a theory that addresses the design of touch-based building blocks for expandable, efficient, rich and robust touch languages that are easy to learn and use. Moreover, beyond design, there is a lack of implementation and evaluation theories for such languages. To overcome these limitations, a unified, theoretical framework, inspired by natural, spoken language, is proposed called Somatic ABC's for Articulating (designing), Building (developing) and Confirming (evaluating) touch-based languages. To evaluate the usefulness of Somatic ABC's, its design, implementation and evaluation theories were applied to create communication languages for two very unique application areas: audio described movies and motor learning. These applications were chosen as they presented opportunities for complementing communication by offloading information, typically conveyed visually and/or aurally, to the skin. For both studies, it was found that Somatic ABC's aided the design, development and evaluation of rich somatic languages with distinct and natural communication units.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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The effects of spousal interactions on affect and next-day somatic symptoms

Description

The present study examined daily survey data collected from married couples over the course roughly 14 days. I investigated the relationships of the morning quality ratings of three distinct spousal interactions conversation (physical affection, and sexual activity) reported in mornings

The present study examined daily survey data collected from married couples over the course roughly 14 days. I investigated the relationships of the morning quality ratings of three distinct spousal interactions conversation (physical affection, and sexual activity) reported in mornings on later-day positive and negative affect, as well as next-day intensity of negative somatic symptoms (e.g. headaches, dizziness, aches and pains). Hierarchical linear modeling was used to estimate path models for both husbands and wives. Direct and indirect effects were observed. Results showed that quality of conversation and physical affection increased later-day positive mood for both husbands and wives; however, positive quality activity increased later-day positive affect for wives only. Quality of sexual activity decreased later-day negative affect for wives only. Less later-day negative affect decreased next-day intensity of symptoms for both husbands and wives. Lastly, quality of sexual activity decreased later-day negative affect, which decreased next-day somatic symptoms for wives. This was the only significant indirect effect. Implications are that high marital quality is important for maintaining psychological health for both spouses, and physical health, particularly for wives.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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The internal representation of arm position revealed through the spatial pattern of hand location estimation errors

Description

Our ability to estimate the position of our body parts in space, a fundamentally proprioceptive process, is crucial for interacting with the environment and movement control. For proprioception to support these actions, the Central Nervous System has to rely on

Our ability to estimate the position of our body parts in space, a fundamentally proprioceptive process, is crucial for interacting with the environment and movement control. For proprioception to support these actions, the Central Nervous System has to rely on a stored internal representation of the body parts in space. However, relatively little is known about this internal representation of arm position. To this end, I developed a method to map proprioceptive estimates of hand location across a 2-d workspace. In this task, I moved each subject's hand to a target location while the subject's eyes were closed. After returning the hand, subjects opened their eyes to verbally report the location of where their fingertip had been. Then, I reconstructed and analyzed the spatial structure of the pattern of estimation errors. In the first couple of experiments I probed the structure and stability of the pattern of errors by manipulating the hand used and tactile feedback provided when the hand was at each target location. I found that the resulting pattern of errors was systematically stable across conditions for each subject, subject-specific, and not uniform across the workspace. These findings suggest that the observed structure of pattern of errors has been constructed through experience, which has resulted in a systematically stable internal representation of arm location. Moreover, this representation is continuously being calibrated across the workspace. In the next two experiments, I aimed to probe the calibration of this structure. To this end, I used two different perturbation paradigms: 1) a virtual reality visuomotor adaptation to induce a local perturbation, 2) and a standard prism adaptation paradigm to induce a global perturbation. I found that the magnitude of the errors significantly increased to a similar extent after each perturbation. This small effect indicates that proprioception is recalibrated to a similar extent regardless of how the perturbation is introduced, suggesting that sensory and motor changes may be two independent processes arising from the perturbation. Moreover, I propose that the internal representation of arm location might be constructed with a global solution and not capable of local changes.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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Haptic discrimination of object size using vibratory sensory substitution

Description

Humans constantly rely on a complex interaction of a variety of sensory modalities in order to complete even the simplest of daily tasks. For reaching and grasping to interact with objects, the visual, tactile, and proprioceptive senses provide the majority

Humans constantly rely on a complex interaction of a variety of sensory modalities in order to complete even the simplest of daily tasks. For reaching and grasping to interact with objects, the visual, tactile, and proprioceptive senses provide the majority of the information used. While vision is often relied on for many tasks, most people are able to accomplish common daily rituals without constant visual attention, instead relying mainly on tactile and proprioceptive cues. However, amputees using prosthetic arms do not have access to these cues, making tasks impossible without vision. Even tasks with vision can be incredibly difficult as prosthesis users are unable to modify grip force using touch, and thus tend to grip objects excessively hard to make sure they don’t slip.

Methods such as vibratory sensory substitution have shown promise for providing prosthesis users with a sense of contact and have proved helpful in completing motor tasks. In this thesis, two experiments were conducted to determine whether vibratory cues could be useful in discriminating between sizes. In the first experiment, subjects were asked to grasp a series of hidden virtual blocks of varying sizes with vibrations on the fingertips as indication of contact and compare the size of consecutive boxes. Vibratory haptic feedback significantly increased the accuracy of size discrimination over objects with only visual indication of contact, though accuracy was not as great as for typical grasping tasks with physical blocks. In the second, subjects were asked to adjust their virtual finger position around a series of virtual boxes with vibratory feedback on the fingertips using either finger movement or EMG. It was found that EMG control allowed for significantly less accuracy in size discrimination, implying that, while proprioceptive feedback alone is not enough to determine size, direct kinesthetic information about finger position is still needed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Social Affect Regulation and Physical Affection Between Married Partners: An Experimental Examination of the Stress-Buffering Effect of Spousal Touch and the Role of Adult Attachment

Description

Background: When studying how humans regulate their affect, it is important to recognize that affect regulation does not occur in a vacuum. As humans are an inherently social species, affect plays a crucial evolutionary role in social behavior, and social

Background: When studying how humans regulate their affect, it is important to recognize that affect regulation does not occur in a vacuum. As humans are an inherently social species, affect plays a crucial evolutionary role in social behavior, and social behavior likewise assumes an important role in affect and affect regulation. Emotion researchers are increasingly interested the specific ways people help to regulate and dysregulate one another’s affect, though experimental examinations of the extant models and theory are relatively few. This thesis presents a broad theoretical framework for social affect regulation between close others, considering the role of attachment theory and its developmental foundations for social affect regulation in adulthood. Affectionate and responsive touch is considered a major mechanism of regulatory benefit between people, both developmentally and in adulthood, and is the focus of the present investigation. Method: A total sample of 231 heterosexual married couples were recruited from the community. Participants were assigned to engage in affectionate touch or sit quietly, and/or engage in positive conversation prior to a stress task. Physiological data was collected continuously across the experiment. Hypotheses: Phasic respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was used to index the degree of regulatory engagement during the stressor for those who did and did not touch. It was hypothesized that touch would reduce stress appraisal and thus the need for regulatory engagement. This effect was predicted to be greater for those more anxiously attached while increasing the need for regulatory engagement in those more avoidantly attached. Secondarily, partner effects of attachment on sympathetic activation via pre-ejection period (PEP) change were tested. It was predicted that both attachment dimensions would predict a decrease in partner PEP change in the touch condition, with avoidant attachment having the strongest effect. Results: Hierarchical linear modeling techniques were used to account for nonindependence in dyadic observations. The first set of hypotheses were not supported, while the second set were partially supported. Wives’ avoidance significantly predicted husbands’ PEP change, but in the positive direction. This effect also significantly increased in the touch condition. Theoretical considerations and limitations are discussed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Repercussions of Sexual and Physical Trauma: The Impact of Lingering Negative Attitudes about Touch

Description

Humans are social beings, which means interpersonal relationships are important contributors to our psychological health. Our health and behavior is manifested through a dynamic cycle of interacting factors: environmental, personal, and behavioral. Contributing to this interaction, interpersonal relationships provide benefits

Humans are social beings, which means interpersonal relationships are important contributors to our psychological health. Our health and behavior is manifested through a dynamic cycle of interacting factors: environmental, personal, and behavioral. Contributing to this interaction, interpersonal relationships provide benefits such as increased social support and decreased loneliness. The care and attention of relationship partners are communicated in multiple ways, one of which is interpersonal touch. Although touch can communicate positive feelings and support, it can also be used negatively in certain contexts. Unwanted or forced touch occurs when an individual experiences sexual or physical trauma. Experiencing this type of trauma often results in negative psychological consequences. Exactly how sexual or physical trauma—both of which involve unwanted touch—might influence an individual’s attitudes towards touch is important to explore. If an individual feels negatively about interpersonal touch due to previous experience of trauma, this might negatively influence the amount of current touch with a partner, and also the survivor’s psychological well-being.

In the current study, I proposed that previous occurrence of sexual or physical trauma would predict both decreased frequency of touch in a current intimate relationship and poorer individual well-being, and that these relations would be explained by negative touch attitudes. Results supported these hypotheses, suggesting that lingering negative touch attitudes following trauma could be an underlying mechanism affecting social and individual functioning. As seen in our model, these attitudes fully mediated the effects between previous sexual or physical trauma and individual well-being, as well as frequency of touch. This understanding can help provide further insight into the repercussions of trauma and the underlying mechanisms attributing to continued negative effects.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018