From Spinal Central Pattern Generators to Cortical Network: Integrated BCI for Walking Rehabilitation
Vibrotactile stimulation. (a) The time profile of the vibrotactile stimulation provided by heel and first metatarsal tactors is shown. The timing and the duration of vibration correspond to a gait cycle at 3 km/h speed . (b) The evoked potential showing 3 main components (N100, P200, and P300) recorded at C2 electrode. The color maps show the distribution of these 3 evoked components. The C-2 Tactor is a linear actuator that has been optimized for use against the skin. The C-2 Tactor incorporates a moving “contactor” that is lightly preloaded against the skin. When an electrical signal is applied, the “contactor” oscillates perpendicular to the skin, while the surrounding skin area is “shielded” with a passive housing. Thus, unlike most vibrational transducers (such as common eccentric mass motors that simply shake the entire device), the C-2 provides a strong, point-like sensation that is easily felt and localized. For optimum vibrotactile efficiency, the C-2 is designed with a primary resonance in the 200–300 Hz range that coincides with peak sensitivity of the Pacinian corpuscle, the skin’s mechanoreceptors that sense vibration. The subjects are seated with both feet on the floor, wearing a sandal on the left foot with a first tactor at the level of the heel and a second tactor at the level of the head of the first metatarsal. The stimulation of each tactor is made at a frequency of 300 Hz.
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