Date

6-12-2017 12:00 AM

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

College

College of Engineering

Project Advisor

Cris Schwartz

Project Advisor's Department

Mechanical Engineering

Description

This study investigates the viability of using electroencephalograms (EEG) to objectively compare how humans perceive different textures. Currently, the coefficient of friction is the most popular method for analyzing skin-to-surface interactions but this metric fails to express how the texture is perceived by the individual. EEG measures the electric potential differences between neurons in the brain to create a map of cognitive brain activity. I developed an experimental device and procedure to determine if a significant change in neurological activity is produced when an individual touches different surfaces. To accomplish this I designed a non-contact capacitive triggering system embedded in two acrylic strips surfaced with textured spray paint. Partnering with the Kinesiology department, I used EEGLab to break down the signal analysis process of raw EEG data to create an ERP (event-related potential) experimental procedure. The result is a working experiment that looks at the cognitive activity produced when a finger slides from a smooth surface to a rougher surface. The presence of neurological activity will determine if EEG data can be used to quantify the effectiveness of textures thus opening the door to a more objective way of comparing Braille styles.

File Format

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Dec 6th, 12:00 AM

Investigation of cognitive activity while touching textured surfaces

This study investigates the viability of using electroencephalograms (EEG) to objectively compare how humans perceive different textures. Currently, the coefficient of friction is the most popular method for analyzing skin-to-surface interactions but this metric fails to express how the texture is perceived by the individual. EEG measures the electric potential differences between neurons in the brain to create a map of cognitive brain activity. I developed an experimental device and procedure to determine if a significant change in neurological activity is produced when an individual touches different surfaces. To accomplish this I designed a non-contact capacitive triggering system embedded in two acrylic strips surfaced with textured spray paint. Partnering with the Kinesiology department, I used EEGLab to break down the signal analysis process of raw EEG data to create an ERP (event-related potential) experimental procedure. The result is a working experiment that looks at the cognitive activity produced when a finger slides from a smooth surface to a rougher surface. The presence of neurological activity will determine if EEG data can be used to quantify the effectiveness of textures thus opening the door to a more objective way of comparing Braille styles.