The relationship between energy, phase charge, impedance, and perceived sensation in electrotactile stimulation

Aadeel Akhtar, Brandon Boyce, Timothy Bretl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Electrotactile stimulation is a common method of sensory substitution and haptic feedback. One problem with this method has been the large variability in perceived sensation that derives from changes in the impedance of the electrode-skin interface. One way to reduce this variability is to modulate stimulation parameters (current amplitude and pulse duration) in response to impedance changes, which are reflected in the time domain by changes in measured peak resistance, Rp. To work well, this approach requires knowing precisely the relationship between stimulation parameters, peak resistance, and perceived sensation. In this paper, experimental results show that at a constant level of perceived sensation there are linear relationships between R p and both peak pulse energy, Ep, and phase charge, Q, from which stimulation parameters are easily computed. These linear relationships held across different subjects, sessions, magnitudes of sensation, stimulation locations, and electrode sizes. The average R2 values for these linear relationships were 0.957 for Ep vs. Rp and 0.960 for Q vs. Rp, indicating a nearly perfect fit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Haptics Symposium 2014, HAPTICS 2014 - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479931316
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2014 - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2014Feb 26 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS
ISSN (Print)2324-7347
ISSN (Electronic)2324-7355


Other2014 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHouston, TX


  • H.5.2 [Information Interfaces and Representation]
  • User Interfaces?Haptics I/O
  • User Interfaces?Theory and methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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