Tactile change detection
Gallace A., Tan HZ., Spence C.
© 2005 IEEE. Interest in the use of tactile information displays has grown rapidly in recent years. However, relatively little research has been conducted to explore any cognitive and/or attentional limitations that may be inherent when using the body as a receptor surface for the transmission of information. In the present study, participants attempted to detect changes to tactile patterns presented sequentially on the body surface. The patterns consisted of 1-3 vibrotactile stimuli presented for 200 ms with a blank interstimulus interval of 800 ms. The pattern of tactile stimulation was repeatedly changed (alternating between two different patterns) on 50% of the trials, while no change occurred on the remaining trials. The results showed that participants often failed to detect the changes to the consecutively-presented tactile patterns. This finding may reflect a tactile equivalent of the phenomenon of change blindness reported in previous visual studies. The implications of these finding for human tactile interface design are discussed.