Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering

Committee Member

Sara Lu Riggs, PhD, Committee Chair

Committee Member

David Neyens, PhD, MPH

Committee Member

Joel Greenstein, PhD

Abstract

There has been a growing interest in using the tactile modality to offload the often overburdened visual and auditory channels. Although the promise and merit of using the tactile channel has been demonstrated in various work domains, more work is needed to understand perceptual limitations like change blindness. Change blindness refers to the failure in detecting expected visual changes (both small and large) within a scene or on a display when these changes coincide with a visual "transient" (i.e., a brief disruption in visual continuity). While the majority of work on change blindness has been conducted with vision, there is evidence it affects the tactile modality as well. The goal of this study was to examine how movement and tactile cue complexity affect the ability to detect tactile changes. The findings show that the ability to detect tactile changes is affected by movement as walking resulted in worse change detection rates compared to sitting. The findings also demonstrated that higher complexity cues had worse change detection rates compared to lower complexity cues. Overall, this work adds to the knowledge base of tactile perception and can be applied to multiple work domains such as anesthesiology to inform the design of tactile displays.

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