Effects of Stimulus Frequency and Location on Vibrotactile Discrimination Performance Using Voice Coil Actuators on the Forearm

Nashmin Yeganeh*, Ivan Makarov, Runar Unnthorsson, Árni Kristjánsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What are the effects of frequency variation of vibrotactile stimuli on localization acuity? The precise localization of vibrotactile stimuli is crucial for applications that are aimed at conveying vibrotactile information. In order to evaluate the ability to distinguish between vibrotactile stimuli based on their frequency and location on the forearm, we used a relative point localization method. Participants were presented with pairs of sequential vibrotactile stimuli at three possible locations on the forearm and asked to determine whether the second stimulation occurred at the same location as the first one in the pair or not. The stimulation frequency varied between 100 Hz, 150 Hz, 200 Hz and 250 Hz, which covers the range of frequencies that human observers are most sensitive to. The amplitude was kept constant. Our results revealed that the ability to discriminate between actuators remained unaffected by variations in the frequency of vibrotactile stimulation within the tested frequency range. The accuracy of the tactile discrimination task was heavily dependent on the location of the stimulation on the forearm, with the highest accuracy close to the wrist and elbow, locations that may serve as tactile anchor points. Our results highlight the critical role of stimulation location in precise vibrotactile localization and the importance of careful consideration of location in the design of forearm-mounted vibrotactile devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work described in this paper was funded by Nordic Sound and Music Computing (project no. 86892) and RANNÍS Technology Development Fund (project no. 1910271).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Other keywords

  • vibratory stimulus
  • vibrotactile discrimination
  • vibrotactile frequency
  • vibrotactile localization
  • vibrotactile stimulus
  • voice coil actuator
  • wearable device


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