A Tactile Stimulation Device for EEG Measurements in Clinical Use

Christoph Pokorny, Christian Breitwieser, Gernot Müller-Putz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A tactile stimulation device for EEG measurements in clinical environments is proposed. The main purpose of the tactile stimulation device is to provide tactile stimulation to different parts of the body. To stimulate all four major types of mechanoreceptors, different stimulation patterns with frequencies in the range of 5-250 Hz have to be generated. The device provides two independent channels, delivers enough power to drive different types of electromagnetic transducers, is small and portable, and no expensive components are required to construct this device. The generated stimulation patterns are very stable, and deterministic control of the device is possible. To meet electrical safety requirements, the device was designed to be fully galvanically isolated. Leakage currents of the entire EEG measurement system including the tactile stimulation device were measured by the European Testing and Certifying Body for Medical Products Graz (Notified Body 0636). All measured currents were far below the maximum allowable currents defined in the safety standard EN 60601-1:2006 for medical electrical equipment. The successful operation of the tactile stimulation device was tested during an EEG experiment. The left and right wrist of one healthy subject were randomly stimulated with seven different frequencies. Steady-state somatosensory evoked potential (SSSEPs) could successfully be evoked and significant tuning curves at electrode positions contralateral to the stimulated wrist could be found. The device is ready to be used in clinical environment in a variety of applications to investigate the somatosensory system, in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), or to provide tactile feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-312
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)
  • Application
  • Experimental


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