Vibrotactile Waveform Discriminability by the Pacinian Corpuscle

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 3:45pm

The Pacinian corpuscle (PC) is a mechanoreceptor that responds to high frequency (20-1000 Hz) vibrations. In response to vibration, the tissue portion of the PC deforms, causing the nerve at its center to stretch and initiate action potentials. Though the PC is very important to the field of haptics, there are many open questions about how it discriminates different vibrotactile signals. Our lab has set up a testing apparatus for psychophysical experiments to test the discriminability of different waveforms on the surface of skin. We are looking for a summer student to conduct experiments on how subjects perceive different complex waveforms. We also have a neural model of the PC which the student can use to model the psychophysical experiments and draw insight into why waveforms may be perceived differently.