Artificial somatosensory kinaesthetic feedback of arm movements

Lea Hehenberger, Andreea Ioana Sburlea, Reinmar Kobler, Gernot Müller-Putz

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Afflictions like spinal cord injury potentially interrupt both efferent and afferent pathways. The main focus of neuroprosthesis research naturally lies on restoring the forward part of the feedback loop, i.e. control, while the loop is usually closed via visual feedback. In pursuit of making neuroprostheses increasingly intuitive to use, artificial somatosensory feedback should be a prominently featured topic.
We are exploring non-invasive vibrotactile stimulation to give artificial kinaesthetic feedback to a person controlling a robotic arm. In the current setup, tactors driven by a custom device are arranged in a sparse grid attached to a custom shirt in the area of the shoulder blade, and their intensities are modulated such that the stimulation is perceived as a smoothly moving sensation. This perception is based on tactile illusions arising due to the low spatial resolution of the tactile sense. We have performed tests to identify correct settings for a number of parameters to produce such moving sensations with our custom setup. Most importantly, we conducted a behavioural experiment to identify how to correctly manipulate tactor intensities in order to evoke specific apparent movement sequences across the grid, and found that a power relation between the intensities and the desired stimulation location (relative to the active tactors) at any time point leads to the best result.
Subsequently, we conducted a study to investigate the impact of vibrotactile feedback on movement parameters in electroencephalography.
Participants performed unidirectional arm movements in 3 different directions on a planar surface with either real-time vibrotactile feedback of the movement, static vibrotactile stimulation or no vibrotactile input. Average peak amplitudes of motor-related cortical potentials were found to be higher in the feedback condition, and lowest in the condition with static stimulation. We present classification results with respect to the movement directions and conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2019
EventNeuroscience 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 19 Oct 201923 Oct 2019
Conference number: 49


ConferenceNeuroscience 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • kinaestetic feedback
  • vibrotactile display
  • Sensorimotor system
  • movement-related cortical potential (MRCP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Sensory Systems
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Artificial somatosensory kinaesthetic feedback of arm movements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this