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Modelling the early affect response to vibrotactile stimulation in the cortex: A source-based spatiotemporal analysis
  • Suranjita Ganguly,
  • Aditya Koppula,
  • Kousik Sarathy Sridharan
Suranjita Ganguly

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Aditya Koppula
Kousik Sarathy Sridharan
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Touch-mediated affect has largely been studied using natural textures and brushing techniques, which present challenges in control and deployment across haptic applications. A common alternative is vibrotactile stimulation (VBT) since it is easily deployable and accessible across devices. However, sparse literature exists on the VBT-induced affect modulation and its cortical correlates. Addressing this gap, we developed a novel paradigm that examined the behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of affect induced by VBT. We used electroencephalography (EEG) to record the cortical responses to VBT across six different locations and measured the concurrent affect ratings. Mixed effects modelling, an unsupervised modelling technique, was used to decipher the relationships between stimulation conditions, affect ratings and cortical modulations. Our study revealed that altering the duration of the vibrotactile stimuli can elicit distinct affect. The location of the VBT stimuli did not play a part in the perceptual aspects of affect but was involved in the cortical encoding of affect. Furthermore, early cortical processing in the somatosensory cortex (SCx) primarily encoded Arousal and not Valence. Our study lays out phenomenological aspects of cortical VBT processing and lays the groundwork for future research.
08 Mar 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
14 Mar 2024Published in TechRxiv