Vibrotactile identification of vowels

Barry G. Green, James C. Craig, Amy M. Wilson, David B. Pisoni, Roger P. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The ability of subjects to identify vowels in vibrotactile transformations of consonant-vowel syllables was measured for two types of displays: a spectral display (frequency by intensity), and a vocal tract area function display (vocal tract location by cross-sectional area). Both displays were presented to the fingertip via the tactile display of the Optacon transducer. In the first experiments the spectral display was effective for identifying vowels in /b/V/ context when as many as 24 or as few as eight spectral channels were presented to the skin. Another experiment measured the utility of the spectral display when the syllables were produced by multiple speakers. The final experiment found an area function display to be inferior to the spectral display for identification of vowels. The results demonstrate that a two-dimensional spectral display is worthy of further development as a basic vibrotactile display for speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1766-1778
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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