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  • Silvia Buscaglione

Perception and Performance of Electrical Stimulation for Proprioception

Blondin CM, Ivanova E, Eden J and Burdet E (2021)

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) 4550-4


Proprioception, yielding awareness of the body’s position and motion in space, is typically lacking in prostheses and supernumerary limbs. Electrical stimulation is one technique that may provide these devices with proprioception. This paper first investigates how the modalities of electrotactile cues, such as frequency and intensity, are perceived. Using the results, we designed and compared several comfortable and perceptible feedback mappings for spatial cues. Two experiments were conducted using a 16-electrode bracelet worn above the elbow to provide electrical stimuli. We found that subjects could localize

the stimulating electrode with a precision of ±1 electrode (110 mm) in all feedback conditions. Moreover, within the range of pulse intensities perceived as comfortable, the participants’ performance was more sensitive to changes in frequency than in intensity. The highest performance was obtained for the condition which increased both intensity and frequency with radial distance. These results suggest that electrical stimulation can be used for artificial proprioceptive feedback, which can ensure a comfortable and intuitive interaction and provides high spatial accuracy

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