Tactile change detection
Gallace A., Tan HZ., Spence C.
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 200ms with a blank interstimulus interval of 800ms. 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.