Sensory Systems & Virtual Reality Research
We have an ongoing program of research involving the human sensory systems, with a particular interest in the sense of touch (or “haptics”), both on its own and the interaction between it and vision and audition.
A number of projects explore fundamental aspects of the sense of touch, including:
- Isolating and comparing haptic components
- Pitting haptic components against each other
- Exploring how touch might be used to assist a bionic eye implant
- Adding temperature information to exploratory haptics
Active vs passive touch
In active touch the explorer retains control over their movements, while a passive explorer surrenders that control to an outside agency, such as our unique Tactile Display System (click image left for video). A number of projects have been completed:
- Active versus passive for touch in 3 dimensions
- Active versus passive with temperature added
- Active versus passive in two dimensions
- An fMRI comparison of active and passive touch (publication pending)
In order to better understand the haptic modality we explore how it performs when it receives stimulation that is either congruent or incongruent with information provided to vision &/or audition.
- We provide haptic information via our Exograsp and visual information on a monitor (see right) to explore the realism of virtual touch
- The horizontal-vertical illusion across the senses
- A comparison of touch and vision in identifying letters (click for a video, abstract)
- A test of dominance/capture when haptic and visual information is incongruent
Further papers on haptic, multimodal and virtual reality topics can be found on our haptic publications page.