Electrotactile and Vibrotactile Feedback Enable Similar Performance in Psychometric Tests and Closed-loop Control

Jakob Dideriksen, Marko Markovic, Sabrina Lemling, Dario Farina, Strahinja Dosen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Electro-and vibro-tactile stimulation are commonly employed for feedback in closed-loop human-machine interfacing. Although these feedback systems have been extensively investigated individually, they are rarely objectively compared. In this study, two state-of-the-art stimulation units (concentric electrode and C2-tactor) similar in shape and size were compared in psychometric and online control tests. The just noticeable difference and number of discriminable levels for intensity and frequency modulation were determined across values of carrier frequency and intensity, respectively. Next, subjects performed a compensatory tracking task, in which the feedback encoded the momentary tracking error. In the psychometric tests, intensity modulation outperformed frequency modulation and electrotactile stimulation enabled significantly higher resolution than vibrotactile stimulation, for the same carrier frequency. However, for the best-case settings (eletro-tactile: 100 Hz; vibro-tactile: 200 Hz), the two stimulation modalities were equivalent in the psychometric tests and in the online control tests, where the two stimulation methods resulted in similar correlation and deviation between the target and the generated trajectory. Time delay was slightly but significantly lower for the vibrotactile modality. Overall, the present assessment shows that despite psychometric differences between the two stimulation methods, they enable similar online control performance when parameters are optimally selected for each modality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9562749
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)222-231
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Electrodes
  • Electrotactile stimulation
  • Frequency modulation
  • Pain
  • Shape
  • Skin
  • Task analysis
  • Vibrations
  • closed-loop control
  • psychometrics
  • sensory feedback
  • sensory substitution
  • vibrotactile stimulation
  • Closed-loop control
  • electrotactile stimulation


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