Tactile modulation of emotional speech samples
Traditionally only speech communicates emotions via mobile phone. However, in daily communication the sense of touch mediates emotional information during conversation. The present aim was to study if tactile stimulation affects emotional ratings of speech when measured with scales of pleasantness, arousal, approachability, and dominance. In the Experiment 1 participants rated speech-only and speech-tactile stimuli. The tactile signal mimicked the amplitude changes of the speech. In the Experiment 2 the aim was to study whether the way the tactile signal was produced affected the ratings. The tactile signal either mimicked the amplitude changes of the speech sample in question, or the amplitude changes of another speech sample. Also, concurrent static vibration was included. The results showed that the speech-tactile stimuli were rated as more arousing and dominant than the speech-only stimuli. The speech-only stimuli were rated as more approachable than the speech-tactile stimuli, but only in the Experiment 1. Variations in tactile stimulation also affected the ratings. When the tactile stimulation was static vibration the speech-tactile stimuli were rated as more arousing than when the concurrent tactile stimulation was mimicking speech samples. The results suggest that tactile stimulation offers new ways of modulating and enriching the interpretation of speech.