Journal of Computer Science

Response of SAI Afferents May Play a Role in the Perception of Velvet Hand Illusion

Abdullah Chami, Masahiro Ohka, Yuji Kawabe and Hanafiah Bin Yussof

DOI : 10.3844/jcssp.2010.934.939

Journal of Computer Science

Volume 6, Issue 8

Pages 934-939


Problem statement: We revealed the reason behind a haptic illusion called the Velvet Hand Illusion (VHI) by FEM analysis. In VHI, a person rubs his/her hands together on both sides of wires strung through a frame and produces the sensation of rubbing a very smooth and soft surface like velvet. We focus on VHI to determine the specifications of an actuator for a tactile display enhanced by VHI. Approach: A simulated fingertip was modeled under the same contact condition that an actual finger was believed to undergo when under VHI. We collected the simulated responses of a number of SAI afferents, which were responsible for detecting the edges, to relate them to the mechanism of the illusion. Results: Even with a simple model that treats only one finger, we noticed a considerable difference between the responses of a number of SAI receptors compared with that of a fingertip touching wires without the effect of the opposing finger. The SAI responses for the VHI case are less (some receptors’ response is up to 50% less) than those for a finger touching the wires, which corresponds to a decrease of the perception of the wires. Conclusion/Recommendations: SAI might play a role in the mechanism of the VHI illusion. This study could benefit the development of a haptic display that utilizes the illusion and makes a person experience the same feeling using the proposed display.


© 2010 Abdullah Chami, Masahiro Ohka, Yuji Kawabe and Hanafiah Bin Yussof. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.