Exploring the Emergent Perception of Haptic Beats from Paired Vibrotactile Presentation Conference Paper uri icon


  • Copyright 2014 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Haptic beats, an analogous presentation to auditory beats, can be generated when a vibrotactile actuator is driven by a signal that contains two different activation frequencies. In contrast to a combined signal stimulating one location, this study explored to what extent haptic beats can be perceived as an emergent property when separate body locations are stimulated at two different frequencies. Consistent with previous findings, haptic beats were reliably perceived with paired presentations on the same fingertip; previously-unexplored locations on the palm, wrist, and elbow also supported the perception of beats. However, haptic beats were not perceived when stimuli were presented to distant locations, such as on different hands, suggesting that haptic beats most likely involve a localized mechanical integration rather than neural integration. These results have implications for the design of complex haptic displays for various domains, such as driving, navigation, medicine, and immersive virtual reality.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, S., Tippey, K., & Ferris, T. K.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • September 2014