Volume 52 Number 4, 2015
Pages 397 — 406
Abstract — Surface electrical stimulation (SES) is being investigated as a noninvasive method to evoke natural sensations distal to electrode location. This may improve treatment for phantom limb pain as well as provide an alternative method to deliver sensory feedback. The median and/or ulnar nerves of 35 subjects were stimulated at the elbow using surface electrodes. Strength-duration curves of hand sensation were found for each subject. All subjects experienced sensation in their hand, which was mostly described as a paresthesia-like sensation. The rheobase and chronaxie values were found to be lower for the median nerve than the ulnar nerve, with no significant difference between sexes. Repeated sessions with the same subject resulted in sufficient variability to suggest that recalculating the strength-duration curve for each electrode placement is necessary. Most of the recruitment curves in this study were generated with 28 to 36 data points. To quickly reproduce these curves with limited increase in error, we recommend 10 data points. Future studies will focus on obtaining different sensations using SES with the strength-duration curve defining the threshold of the effective parameter space.
Key words: artificial sensation, electrical stimulation, feedback, paresthesia, phantom limb pain, referred sensation, sensation, sensory feedback, strength-duration curve, surface electrodes.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, August 12, 2015 1:23 PM