Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2009 Mar 13;323(5920):1503-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1166467. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

The role of fingerprints in the coding of tactile information probed with a biomimetic sensor.

Author information

  • 1Laboratoire de Physique Statistique de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure, CNRS UMR 8550, Associé aux Universités Paris 6 et Paris 7, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.

Abstract

In humans, the tactile perception of fine textures (spatial scale <200 micrometers) is mediated by skin vibrations generated as the finger scans the surface. To establish the relationship between texture characteristics and subcutaneous vibrations, a biomimetic tactile sensor has been designed whose dimensions match those of the fingertip. When the sensor surface is patterned with parallel ridges mimicking the fingerprints, the spectrum of vibrations elicited by randomly textured substrates is dominated by one frequency set by the ratio of the scanning speed to the interridge distance. For human touch, this frequency falls within the optimal range of sensitivity of Pacinian afferents, which mediate the coding of fine textures. Thus, fingerprints may perform spectral selection and amplification of tactile information that facilitate its processing by specific mechanoreceptors.

PMID:
19179493
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk