Validation of a Mechanical Model of the Active Scanning Process in the Rat Vibrissal System
The rat vibrissal system shows a sophisticated functionality in tactile discrimination, therefore it is analyzed in various works out of the perspective of neuroscience and bio-engineering. The present work focuses on the vibrissal system of rodents during tactile exploration in terms of mechanics. In this way, a mechanical model of the natural vibrissa is designed in order to determine the forces and moments at the base while the modeled vibrissa contacts a rough surface. The results of the mechanical simulation are compared to electrophysiological measurements of the afferent activity from vibrissal nerve in consequence of a contact between the vibrissa and real surface. This comparison gives information about the principal relation between mechanical and neuronal signals and furthermore about the electromechanical properties of the system.