Galileo Tactile Stimulator

The Galileo Tactile Stimulus System is an 8-channel, pneumatic evoked tactile stimulation device uniquely designed for use in fMRI, fNIRS, MEG, EEG and PET environments.

Request a quote

Galileo Tactile Stimulator

Galileo Tactile Stimulator

The Galileo Tactile Stimulus System is an 8-channel, pneumatic evoked response tactile stimulator that can be used to activate populations of low-threshold, rapidly conducting mechanoreceptive afferents in soft tissues overlying joints and muscles. Stimulus-response is ideally suited for two of the most skilled sensorimotor systems of the human body; the hand (manipulation) and the orofacial (speech) systems.

As a result of the Galileo Tactile Stimulus System's natural, punctate stimuli, this pneumotactile stimulator is able to recruit nerves in the correct, desired order and creates an interference-free signal. The Galileo system is the very first tactile somatosensory stimulator designed to be used in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other magnetic imaging suites, using only plastic contacts and air to create the stimulus.

With a 9 ms rise time at 17′ tube length and an 11ms rise time at 25′, this evoked response stimulator is ideally suited for tactile stimulation in fMRI, fNIRS, MEG, EEG, and PET environments. Each channel of the Galileo Tactile Stimulator is equipped with TTL output ports which can synchronise easily with imaging systems. The dedicated TTL input can be used to start a sequence from another piece of hardware or software, or USB can be used in conjunction with other industry software and hardware to do event-based stimulus triggering.


The Galileo Tactile Stimulus System has been designed with the researcher in mind and can be supplied in either rack mount or desktop versions. The system's software and hardware controls allow for complete customisation of pneumatic frequency, pulse trains and patterns, and wave height, while the built-in tuning feature allows the researcher to read the waveform directly from one of the nodes (of your choice) and tweak the wave in the software. The Galileo system's native software also includes counterbalanced and random modes, making it perfect for research studies and applications.

What is tactile stimulation?

Tactile stimulation involves the activation of nerve receptors (including thermal, pain, and location receptors) under the skin's surface. In tactile stimulation of the fingertips, for example, responses are evoked in the scalp that closely mirrors the waveform and latency of those responses evoked by transcranial electrical stimulation (Aminoff et al., 2012).

Expand all

Collapse all


Designed to have a broad compatibility with imaging systems and including features that make it useful for all types of brain research, the Galileo Tactile Stimulator is an invaluable research tool with unparalleled capabilities in tactile stimulation.


Typical operating window between -50 and 150cm/H20. A pressure boost is possible by combining 4 channels into a single, specially designed TAC cell. This produces a stronger tactile effect at the site of stimulation.


Temporal resolution of 9ms when using 17” hoses, and 11ms when using 25” hoses.


TAC cells are available in a variety of sizes and configurations, for use in experiments with humans, primates, small mammals and rodents. Custom TAC cells can be engineered on request for specific projects.


Within the software controls, the user can activate 1 to 8 channels in any combination. Pulses can be set from 20ms to 500ms in duration, and the pulse cycle time can be configured from 200ms to 30 seconds with a pulse resolution of 1ms.


Control every aspect of sequences, pressure waveform and data management with the Galileo Tactile Stimulator via the powerful proprietary desktop application included with the device. For other research settings, the Galileo can be controlled via serial triggers delivered through third party applications such as MatLab, Python, E-Prime and others.

Power consumption
  • 230Vac 6A nominal
  • 120Vac 7.5A max
  • Optional 220Vac 50Hz

Operating temperature 

10 - 50 degC
Dimensions  50cm x 50cm x 50cm
Weight  17.2kg
Pressure output  -200 to 200 cnH2O
Hardware control 
  • Vacuum Pressure Regulator (manual knob)
  • Pressure Regulator (manual knob)
  • BNC TTL output – 1 input and one output per channel
  • BNC TTL output – 1 input transmitting full signal chain
  • Serial Control via USB 2.0
Computer requirements 

PC running Windows 10 with one open USB 2.0 port, or Intel Macintosh using OSX and Bootcamp running Windows XP, 7, or 8 with one open USB 2.0 port.

Windows virtual machines for Macintosh OSX such as Parallels and VMWare® may not supply the required driver support for communication with the Galileo.

  1. Dynamic Causal Modeling of Neural Responses to an Orofacial Pneumotactile Velocity Array. Yingying Wang, Rebecca Custead, Hyuntaek Oh, Steven M. Barlow. bioRxiv. April 2021
  2. Classification of Tactile and Motor Velocity-Evoked Hemodynamic Response in Primary Somatosensory and Motor Cortices as Measured by Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Mohsen Hozan, Jacob Greenwood, Michaela Sullivan, and Steven M Barlow. Applied Sciences. May 2020
  3. Whole brain mapping of somatosensory responses in awake marmosets investigated with ultra-high field fMRI. Justine C. Cléry, Yuki Hori, David J. Schaeffer, Joseph S. Gati, J. Andrew Pruszynski, Stefan Everling. bioRxiv. May 2020
  4. Functional Connectivity Evoked by Orofacial Tactile Perception of Velocity. Yingying Wang, Fatima Sibaii, Rebecca Custead, Hyuntaek Oh, and Steven M. Barlow. Frontiers in Neuroscience. March 2020
  5. Real-Time Cerebral Hemodynamic Response to Tactile Somatosensory Stimulation. Benjamin Hage, Emily Way, Steven M Barlow, Gregory R Bashford. J Neuroimaging. November 2018
  6. Brain encoding of saltatory velocity through a pulsed pneumotactile array in the lower face. Rebecca Custead, Hyuntaek Oh, Yingying Wang, Steven Barlow. Brain Research. March 2017
  7. Neural encoding of saltatory pneumotactile velocity in human glabrous hand. Hyuntaek Oh, Rebecca Custead, Yingying Wang, and Steven M Barlow. PLoS ONE. August 2017
  8. Hemodynamic Changes in Cortical Sensorimotor Systems Following Hand and Orofacial Motor Tasks and Pulsed Cutaneous Stimulation. Austin Oder Rosner. University of Nebraska, Lincoln Public Access Theses. 2016
  9. Neural Circuitry in the Somatosensory System. K.D. Alloway. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. 2009

Associated Techniques

To find out more about the techniques that are applicable to this product, follow the links below.

Added Value

In addition to supplying and supporting a wide range of neuroscience products, Brainbox offers additional value in a number of areas that can benefit our customers, including:

Installation, Product Training, Technique Training, Bespoke Training

Lab Support
System Upgrades, Testing, Calibration, System Integration, Bespoke Solutions

Research Support
Study Design, Piloting, Technical Information, References

Grant Applications, Industrial Projects, Workshops

Request a quote

Request a quote