Effect of audio-tactile congruence on vibrotactile music enhancement

Scott C. Aker, Hamish Innes-Brown, Kathleen F. Faulkner, Marianna Vatti, Jeremy Marozeau

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Music listening experiences can be enhanced with tactile vibrations. However, it is not known which parameters of the tactile vibration must be congruent with the music to enhance it. Devices that aim to enhance music with tactile vibrations often require coding an acoustic signal into a congruent vibrotactile signal. Therefore, understanding which of these audio-tactile congruences are important is crucial. Participants were presented with a simple sine wave melody through supra-aural headphones and a haptic actuator held between the thumb and forefinger. Incongruent versions of the stimuli were made by randomizing physical parameters of the tactile stimulus independently of the auditory stimulus. Participants were instructed to rate the stimuli against the incongruent stimuli based on preference. It was found making the intensity of the tactile stimulus incongruent with the intensity of the auditory stimulus, as well as misaligning the two modalities in time, had the biggest negative effect on ratings for the melody used. Future vibrotactile music enhancement devices can use time alignment and intensity congruence as a baseline coding strategy, which improved strategies can be tested against.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)3396-3409
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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