TAC-Cell is a custom-built somatosensory stimulator that delivers pneumatic cutaneous tactile inputs to virtually any skin target on the body and by virtue of its non-ferrous materials is compatible with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain scanners. In this study, we describe the method to measure apparent skin displacement induced by TAC-Cell stimulation of the glabrous surface of the distal phalanx of the index finger. Specifically, we studied the effect of four servo controller input voltages (0.4 V-1.0 V) on resultant skin displacement among eighteen, neurotypical adult male and female participants. A fiberoptic displacement sensor, commonly used in industrial applications, was coupled to the TAC-Cell to measure the glabrous skin's kinematic response to different stimulus amplitudes. Skin displacement was significantly dependent on stimulus amplitudes and sex (p<0.0001). Power spectrum and kinematic analysis of skin displacement showed that the pneumatic TAC-Cell stimulus consists of a spectrally rich, high velocity signal. In related work, we have shown that this dynamic pneumocutaneous stimulus is highly effective in evoking a cortical brain response for neurodiagnostic applications and somatosensory pathway analysis in health and disease.
- Glabrous skin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering