Most users of prosthetic hands must rely on visual feedback alone, which requires visual attention and cognitive resources. Providing haptic feedback of variables relevant to manipulation, such as contact force, may thus improve the usability of prosthetic hands for tasks of daily living. Vibrotactile stimulation was explored as a feedback modality in ten unimpaired participants across eight sessions in a two-week period. Participants used their right index finger to perform a virtual object manipulation task with both visual and augmentative vibrotactile feedback related to force. Through repeated training, participants were able to learn to use the vibrotactile feedback to significantly improve object manipulation. Removal of vibrotactile feedback in session 8 significantly reduced task performance. These results suggest that vibrotactile feedback paired with training may enhance the manipulation ability of prosthetic hand users without the need for more invasive strategies.
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