A novel multisensory device for the assessment and rehabilitation of perceptual and attentional competencies

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2023 Jul:2023:1-4. doi: 10.1109/EMBC40787.2023.10340824.

Abstract

The present study aims to assess a novel technological device suitable for investigating perceptual and attentional competencies in people with or without sensory impairment. The TechPAD is a cabled system including embedded sensors and actuators to enable visual, auditory, and tactile interactions and a capacitive surface receiving inputs from the user. The system is conceived to create multisensory environments, using multiple units controlled separately and simultaneously. We assessed the device by adapting a spatial attention task comparing performances in different cognitive load conditions (high or low) and stimulation (unimodal, bimodal, or trimodal). 28 sighted adults were asked to monitor both the central and peripheral parts of the device and to tap a target stimulus (either visual, auditory, haptic, or multimodal) as fast as they could. Our results suggest that this new device can provide congruent and incongruent multimodal stimuli and quantitatively measure parameters such as reaction time and accuracy, allowing to investigate perceptual mechanisms in multisensory environments.Clinical Relevance-The TechPad is a reliable tool for the assessment of spatial attention during interactive tasks. its application in clinical trials will pave the way to its role in multisensory rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Reaction Time
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Touch / physiology
  • Vision, Ocular*