Development of flexible touch sensors and their implementation in sensory neuroscience

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In sensory neuroscience the tracking of behavior and sensory input allows quantitative analysis of the information that the brain utilizes to generate the internal percept of the stimulus in the periphery. So far behavioral tracking is only possible with high-cost and complex imaging devices or fixed sensor systems. Here we introduce an open source, customizable, mobile, low-cost inkjet printed capacitive sensors carbon nanotube based that can capture gesture information and can be embedded onto the surfaces of even amorphous objects. We demonstrate, on a proof-of-principle experimental design, how these sensors can detect pressure, gesture and speed information during haptic exploration. The results show that it is possible to distinguish the contact of multiple finger contacts of 0.1, 1 and 10 N of pressure as well as speed up to 360 mm/s with our sensors. Implementation of this novel approach with simultaneous recording of neural signals will ultimately provide a correlated study of sensory exploration and neural representation of touch in real-life situations.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen