Validation of a Vibrotactile Stimulation System Using the Wii Remote for Studies of Tactile Sensitivity

The Open Psychology Journal 27 July 2017 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350101710010118



Vibrotactile stimuli are widely used to study the functional characteristics of the haptic sense. Although many vibrotactile stimulators are commercially available, most are expensive.


We developed a low-cost vibrotactile stimulation system using a Nintendo Wii Remote and a personal computer. In the present study, we examined the validity and accuracy of this vibrotactile stimulation system.


In the first experiment, we measured the linearity of vibration amplitude and changes in peak vibration frequency generated by the Wii Remote as a function of activation intensity. In the second experiment, the effect of vibrotactile stimuli applied to the dorsal surface of hand on two-point discrimination threshold at the index finger was examined in twelve participants.


The peak vibration frequency was about 150 Hz irrespective of vibration intensity, which would effectively activate fast adapting type II (FAII) cutaneous mechanical receptors. The two-point discrimination threshold measured at the third pad of the index finger decreased significantly when a near-threshold vibrotactile stimulus was applied to the dorsal hand, a response termed stochastic resonance (SR). These SR results are consistent with findings in the other sensory systems, such as auditory, visual, and somatosensory systems.


This newly developed stimulation system produces controllable vibrotactile stimuli useful for study of the haptic sense.

Keywords: Vibrotactile noise, Touch sense, Tactile sensation, Cutaneous mechanical receptors, Two-point discrimination threshold, Somatosensory, Stochastic resonance, Humans.
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