Cognitive Science: An Introduction/Haptics

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The information[edit]

Haptic systems detect pressure to get information about the physical environment. Because it has to do with bodily-perception, it is considered a part of the "somatosensory system."

Our senses are physiological tools for perceiving environment information. There are a minimum of five senses, these are: sight (vision), hearing(audition), smell (olfaction), touch (taction) and taste (gustation). These sense are perceived when sensory neutrons react to stimuli and send messages to the central nervous system.[1]

Sensory receptors are arranged into five classes: mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, proprioceptors, pain receptors, and chemoreceptors. These classifications depend on the nature of the stimuli that each receptor class transduces. Mechanoreceptors in the skin are described as encapsulated or unencapsulated.[2]

Simple Haptic Systems[edit]

Plants also have haptics, but don’t have brains, nor any comparable mechanism for complex thought, so scientists don’t think they have any subjective experience.[3]

The burr cucumber’s sense of touch is about ten times more sensitive than a human’s. It uses this sense to detect things it can wrap around.

The venus flytrap has hairs around its trap to detect the presence of a bug. But sometimes plants are casually bumped. It takes enormous energy for the flytrap to close its trap, and hours to open it again, so it evolved ways to detect whether the stimulation on the hairs are caused by an actual bug in the trap, versus some other kind of touch that’s not worth closing for, like a raindrop or a fallen twig. Studies show that two different hairs on the trap have to be activated within about 20 seconds of each other. Only then will the trap close. Not only is this a sense of touch, but also a sense of time and a primitive memory, albeit one that only lasts 20 seconds.

The venus flytrap has a primitive sense of touch, time, and memory.

Plants also use touch to know where not to grow. A tree growing near a path where animals travel will grow more branches on the sides not facing the path. Trees can detect wind, and the same species will grow thicker trunks in high-wind areas. In this way you can change the physical development of a plant simply by touching its leaves every day.

Sensation in the human haptic system[edit]

Humans detect touch through mechanoreceptors in the skin. We detect pain through nociceptors. [3]

The major systems involved are cutaneous and kinaesthetic. Cutaenous is anything relating to or involving the skin. This includes sensations of pressure, temperature, and pain. [4] Kinesthetic is proprioceptive. Proprioceptive is the sense of the relative position of one's own body parts and the strength of effort being used by movement. [5] The brain used information from proprioception and from the vestibular system into its overall sense of body position, movement, and acceleration.

There are three classes of mechanoreceptors: tactile, proprioceptors, and baroreceptors. Mechanoreceptors sense stimuli because of physical deformation of their plasma membranes. They contain mechanically-gated ion channels whose entryways open or close in response to pressure, touch, stretching, and sound.[6]

Thermoception or thermoreception is the sense by which a living being perceives temperatures. The details of how temperature receptors function are still being researched. Mammals have at least two types of sensors: those that distinguish heat (i.e., temperatures above body temperature) and those that identify cold (i.e., temperatures underneath body temperature).[7]

The conveyance of mechanoreceptors inside the body can influence how stimuli are perceived; this dependent to the size of the receptive field and whether single or various sensory receptors are initiated.[8]

Softness is the psychological associate of the compliance of a surface. Compliant objects can be additionally characterized into those with rigid surfaces (i.e. a piano key) and those with deformable surfaces (i.e. rubber). Texture identification can be performed with comparable matching accuracy precision and precision utilizing vision, touch, or both touch and vision.[9]

Weight is an object property that is an element of gravitational force, an objects density and its volume. Strikingly, perceived weight can be additionally influenced by surface material and shape. Geometrical properties of objects have been separated into size and shape. Haptic perception of geometrical properties occurs at an extensive variety of scales from microns to about meters. Thus, perception of shape is likely going to incorporate distinctive mechanisms differing with size.[10]

Perception in the human haptic system[edit]

Human haptics alludes to the investigation of human sensing and manipulation through tactile and kinaesthetic sensations sensations. At the point when a person touches an object, the connection force or pressure is forced on the skin. The connected sensory system passes on this data to the brain, which prompts perception. As a response, the brain issues motor directions to initiate the muscles, which results in hand or arm movements. Human haptics centres predominantly around this human sensorimotor loop and all angles identified with human perception of the sense of touch. In this manner, human haptics research looks into all the mechanical, sensory, motor, and cognitive components of the body– brain haptic framework.[11]

The Somatosensory Cortex is an area in the brain, situated in the parietal lobe, that processes sensory input from the skin, muscles, and joints. This area identifies and deciphers information on touch, temperature, pain, and pressure and enables us to perceive the size, shape, and texture of an object by means of touch. [12]

The sensory information is highly sensitive to temperature • Three main modalities: – discriminative touch (tactile/cutaneous) – temperature & pain (tactile/cutaneous) – the kinesthetic senses (proprioception)[13]

Haptic perception coordinates somatosensory information in perceiving objects: – touch intercedes material properties (i.e., texture, hardness and temperature) – proprioception gives spatial and motor information (i.e., object geometry and hand position)[14]

Touch is the most fundamental of the senses, being as necessary to animality as the capacity for bodily action. It is of central import for this sense that bodily sensations do not represent bodily or tactile space. The sense of touch is closely connected to bodily awareness.[15]

Some interesting examples include: affective touch, sensory substitution, and plasticity. Affective touch has been defined as tactile processing with a hedonic or emotional component.[16] Sensory substitution is a change in the qualities of one's sensory modality into stimuli of another sensory modality.Tactile communication frameworks based on vibrotactile signals have been produced as sensory substitution devices for those with visual, auditory, or vestibular hindrances and to help clients in spatial orientation and navigation in unfamiliar conditions.[17]

The Role of haptics in AI[edit]

Haptics alludes to the science of touch in Artificial Intelligence (AI).[18] Haptics enables machines to work with human skin receptors and nerves to give an extra method to communicate besides the regular methods for hearing and seeing or utilizing a conventional console, mouse or computer game controller.[19] The innovation utilizes purpose constructed sensors that can send electrical signals based on movements or interactions. A computer deciphers the signal, and thus sends a flag back to the human organ or body. [20]

Haptic communication — also called kinaesthetic communication, reproduces the sense of touch by applying vibrations, forces or movements on the user. [21] With regards to touch, most specialists distinguish between cutaneous, kinaesthetic and haptic (haptic is typically connected with active touch (instead of passive feeling). Brainwave (or Brain-Computer) interfaces, then again, make an immediate correspondence pathway between a wired brain and an external device. [22] Brain-Computer Interaction provides an approach to quantify neuron activity specifically, and make an interpretation of it into information or action. [23] Ultimately provides humans with the capacity to sense, control, and communicate with the outside world through the intensity of thought who would not be able to otherwise.[24]

Different Virtual Reality (VR) applications inside various areas intend to give users a vivid experience - including visual, auditory, and tactile, to improve the user's feeling of being present in a VR domain. Through user's five senses, immersion enables users to experience where they are, whom they are with, and what they are doing as though it is really happening.[25] Immersion is a term utilized for depicting the technology that can give rise to presence. [26]Also, immersion is characterized as the degree of engagement a user experiences; the user communicates different feelings in a virtual space, and conveys them to the virtual environment.[27]

Without a haptic system, interactions with objects in the VR enviroment can prompt a hole between the genuine and computer generated realities; in this manner, criticism from such cooperations with articles through a haptic framework is pivotal with the end goal to precisely express the association between the virtual object and reality. This is an essential step in improving the sense of presence and immersion in VR applications.[28]

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  2. Lumen. (n.d.). Somatosensation. Retrieved from Boundless Biology/
  3. a b Chamovitz, D. (2012). What a plant knows: A field guide to the senses. Scientific American: New York. Pages 50--63.
  4. Kinesthetic relates to the feeling of motion. It relates to sensations originating in muscles, tendons, and joints.<ref name="Saddik, E., Orozco, A., Eid, M., & Cha, J. (2011). Haptics Technologies. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
  5. Mosby's Medical, Nursing & Allied Health Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Mosby-Year Book (1994). p. 1285
  6. Lumen. (n.d.). Somatosensation. Retrieved from Boundless Biology/
  7. Lumen. (n.d.). Somatosensation. Retrieved from Boundless Biology/
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  12. Somatosensory Cortex. (n.d.). In's online glossary
  13. Raisamo, R., & Raisamo, J. (2011). The Sense of Touch.
  14. Raisamo, R., & Raisamo, J. (2011). The Sense of Touch
  15. O'Shaughnessy, B. (2003). The Sense of Touch. Oxford Scholarship.
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