We—as humans—can learn to use tools like hammers, tennis rackets, scalpels or robotic arms. Learning curves to become proficient in using the tools can be very different. Typical questions for learning use of a new tool are the level of complexity in manipulation, i.e. learning time and the ergonomy. We ask here these questions from a cognitive neuroscience perspective: How can we promote fast and natural embodiment of a tool? What are the neuronal mechanisms underlying quick and “natural” incorporation of a tool into the sensory-motor system, with the purpose of gaining proficiency rapidly and efficiently? This approach could benefit practically e.g. design of surgical telemanipulators and at the same time advance knowledge about the sensori-motor control system and learning mechanisms, a topic of interest in neuroprosthetics. We review both behavioral and neurophysiological data and show the importance of a coherent haptic feedback for the emergence of embodiment. We will also present a test platform for studying the mechanisms of incorporation by using advanced haptic interfaces on the master-side and VR environments on the slave side of a telemanipulator aimed at endoscopic surgery.
- Tool incorporation
- Haptic interface
- Force feedback
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The research work reported here was partially supported by the SAFROS FP-7 project of the European Union and by Grant No. 900 of MESROB Research Council (Swiss National Science Foundation SNF).
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Sengul, A., Shokur, S., Bleuler, H. (2014). Brain Incorporation of Artificial Limbs and Role of Haptic Feedback. In: Rodić, A., Pisla, D., Bleuler, H. (eds) New Trends in Medical and Service Robots. Mechanisms and Machine Science, vol 20. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05431-5_17
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