Sensory feedback is crucial for dexterous manipulation and sense of ownership. Electrical stimulation of severed afferent fibers due to an amputation elicits referred sensations in the missing limb. However, these sensations are commonly reported with a concurrent 'electric' or 'tingling' character (paresthesia). In this paper, we examined the effect of modulating different pulse parameters on the quality of perceived sensations. Three subjects with above-elbow amputation were implanted with cuff electrodes and stimulated with a train of pulses modulated in either amplitude, width, or frequency ('patterned stimulation'). Pulses were shaped using a slower carrier wave or via quasi-random generation. Subjects were asked to evaluate the natural quality of the resulting sensations using a numeric rating scale. We found that the location of the percepts was distally referred and somatotopically congruent, but their quality remained largely perceived as artificial despite employing patterned modulation. Sensations perceived as arising from the missing limb are intuitive and natural with respect to their location and, therefore, useful for functional restoration. However, our results indicate that sensory transformation from paresthesia to natural qualia seems to require more than patterned stimulation.

Patterned Stimulation of Peripheral Nerves Produces Natural Sensations with Regards to Location but Not Quality

Mastinu E;
2019

Abstract

Sensory feedback is crucial for dexterous manipulation and sense of ownership. Electrical stimulation of severed afferent fibers due to an amputation elicits referred sensations in the missing limb. However, these sensations are commonly reported with a concurrent 'electric' or 'tingling' character (paresthesia). In this paper, we examined the effect of modulating different pulse parameters on the quality of perceived sensations. Three subjects with above-elbow amputation were implanted with cuff electrodes and stimulated with a train of pulses modulated in either amplitude, width, or frequency ('patterned stimulation'). Pulses were shaped using a slower carrier wave or via quasi-random generation. Subjects were asked to evaluate the natural quality of the resulting sensations using a numeric rating scale. We found that the location of the percepts was distally referred and somatotopically congruent, but their quality remained largely perceived as artificial despite employing patterned modulation. Sensations perceived as arising from the missing limb are intuitive and natural with respect to their location and, therefore, useful for functional restoration. However, our results indicate that sensory transformation from paresthesia to natural qualia seems to require more than patterned stimulation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/545816
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