Fingertip skin as a linear medium for wave propagation

Camille Fradet, Louise R. Manfredi, Sliman Bensmaia, Vincent Hayward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Tactile information arising from mechanical interaction with the environment is first conveyed by the skin. Prior studies have shown that mechanical waves propagating in tissues carry significant tactile information far away from the region of contact. It is therefore important to determine whether it is appropriate to consider the skin to be a linear wave propagation medium since linearity would considerably simplify any analysis related to this phenomenon. For example, linearity would enable the application of the superposition principle, of the reciprocity principle, inter alia, even if the skin is considered to be anisotropic. The linearity assumption is important for the scientist interested in the physics of the tactile perception and it can also be surmised to be taken into account by the neural circuits processing tactile information. Such property would be important even if much of the other tactile physics, such as friction, are predominantly nonlinear. We found that indeed, the human fingertip skin could be considered to be a linear propagation medium, except in irregular regions such as the folds near the joints where linearity breaks down.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509014255
StatePublished - Jul 21 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event7th IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2017 - Munich, Germany
Duration: Jun 6 2017Jun 9 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2017


Other7th IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Sensory Systems
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Fingertip skin as a linear medium for wave propagation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this