The presentations in this workshop will span a range of research in temperature sensing from basic perceptual properties of human thermosensory system to engineering applications of thermal displays. We will invite two top haptic scientist in thermal sensation and four young faculties to provide latest outcome of psychological and engineering study of thermal sensation and displays.
================Date: July 4th (Mon), 2016Place: Imperial College LondonOrganizers: Hsin-Ni Ho, Ph.D. & Masashi Nakatani, Ph.D. ================
Opening Remark & Latest advancements of sensory biology on temperature sensation (9:15-9:45am)
Dr. Masashi Nakatani
Research Institute of Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Japan
Keynote talk 1: Spatial factors in human thermal perception (9:45-10:30am)
Prof. Patrick Haggard, Brianna Beck, Elisa Ferre, Serenia Giomi, Antonio CataldoInstitute of Cognitive Neuroscience & Dept. Psychology, University College London, UK
Textbook descriptions comment on the relatively coarse spatial information provided by warm and cold senses. However, precise investigation of this question is complicated by the fact that most methods of thermal stimulation also involve mechanical stimulation. In a series of experiments, we have shown that judgements to localise radiant, non-contact heat to a single digit are surprisingly accurate. At the same time, thermal sensations show strong temporal summation, leading to ‘thermal referral’ of sensations to adjacent skin regions that are not thermally stimulated. In one compelling example of this phenomenon, presenting warm, neutral and warm stimuli to the ring, middle and index fingers respectively leads to an illusory feeling of warmth on the middle finger. We show that this phenomenon occurs just as strongly with radiant, non-contact heat, as during contact with a thermal object. This suggests that thermal referral reflects low-level spatial summation, rather than a spatial cognitive principle of thermal constancy of objects. In further experiments, we have investigated the spatial factors affecting the thermal grill illusion (TGI). In TGI, a warm, cold, warm stimulation across the ring, middle and index fingers can produce a sensation of burning pain on the middle finger. We show that this sensation is profoundly altered by crossing the fingers, and therefore appears to depend on the relative positions of warm and cold stimuli in external space. We suggest that spatial interactions between thermal stimuli in a single modality are primarily low-level, and use a frame of reference based on the receptor surface. Spatial interactions between different thermal submodalities appear to involve a cortical recoding into the reference frame of external space.
Research talk 1: Perceptual representation of dynamic thermal stimulation (10:30-11:00am)
Dr. Hsin-Ni Ho
NTT Communication Science Laboratories, NTT Corporation, Japan
One of the most crucial element in developing a thermal display is to understand the spatial-temporal properties of human thermal sense because such knowledge can assist in thermal feedback design for effective information presentation. While the perception of spatially-distributed thermal stimuli have been investigated extensively, few studies have focused on the perception of time-varying thermal stimuli. In this talk, I will introduce our recent study on the physical-perceptual correspondence for dynamic temperature changes and discuss how our findings can provide a hint for the temporal filtering properties of human thermal sense.
================ Break (11:00-11:15am) ================
Keynote talk 2: Using the Thermal Modality as a Channel of Communication (11:15am-12:00pm)
Dr. Lynette A. Jones
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Much of the research on thermal displays has focused on their use to simulate the thermal properties of materials so that they can be used to assist in object recognition in virtual environments. The results from a number of experiments indicate that these model-based thermal displays can simulate the thermal cues associated with contact between the hand and an object effectively. A further application of thermal displays relates to their use as a communication channel, analogous to how vibrotactile cues presented in a tactile display can convey spatial and temporal information. The feasibility of using thermal cues to encode abstract information has been explored in a series of experiments in which thermal icons have been created by varying the magnitude, rate and direction of the change in temperature. These icons were identified at various locations on the hand and arm and the results indicated that they could be reliably identified with information transfer rates comparable to those of other haptic modalities. Moreover, by considering the thermal dynamics of the skin it is possible to modify the spatial representation of thermal stimuli by varying the temporal parameters of stimulation.
Research talk 2: Development of thermal display employing spatial characteristics of perception (12:00-12:30pm)Dr. Katsunari Sato
Department of Clothing Environmental Science, Nara Women's University, Japan
Presentation of the thermal sense has been a great challenge in the development of haptic displays because there are mainly three problems to realize a thermal display: device size; delay; and energy consumption. To overcome these problems, we focus on the spatial characteristics of thermal perception. If the thermal display is designed effectively on the basis of these characteristics, its performance could be improved using conventional thermal technologies. In this workshop, we will introduce two types of thermal display using Peltier devices.
Research talk 3: Thermal Iconicity (12:30-1:00pm)
Dr. Junji WatanebeNTT Communication Science Laboratories, NTT Corporation, Japan
Iconicity is a linkage between the form of a sign and its meaning. Although the relationship between the sound of a word and its sensory experience has long been demonstrated (sound symbolism), few researches have been performed on thermal sensation. Here I will talk about examples of thermal iconicity, such as sound symbolism of thermal sensation, and influences of thermal sensation on semantic processing.
Closing remark (1:00-1:15pm)
This workshop is supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Innovative "SHITSUKAN: brain representations of physical properties of objects" science and technology, 15H05915) from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology.