Dependence of vibrotactile thresholds on the psychophysical measurement method


Morioka, Miyuki and Griffin, Michael J. (2002) Dependence of vibrotactile thresholds on the psychophysical measurement method. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 75, (1-2), 78-84. (doi:10.1007/s004200100280).

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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s004200100280

Description/Abstract

Objectives: To investigate the dependence of vibrotactile thresholds on the psychophysical method used in the diagnosis of neurological dysfunction caused by exposure to hand-transmitted vibration. To compare thresholds obtained with (a) 'continuously variable' versus intermittent 'staircase' stimulation using 'yes-no' responses, and (b) 'yes-no' and 'forced-choice' responses using intermittent staircase stimulation.

Methods: Vibrotactile thresholds were measured on 12 healthy men by three different psychophysical methods. All measurements were performed with the same vibrometer in which the vibratory stimulus was applied by a probe 6 mm in diameter that protruded through a hole of 10 mm diameter in a surround, controlling both the contact force and the push force. Four stimulus frequencies (16, 31.5, 63 and 125 Hz) were used to obtain responses from FAI and FAII mechanoreceptors.

Results: There was a 3 to 6 dB variation in threshold due to the psychophysical method: thresholds were lower with intermittent stimulation and thresholds obtained with the 'forced-choice' procedure were lower than those obtained with the 'yes-no' procedure. Alternative explanations of the findings were offered.

Conclusions: The dependence of psychophysical measurement method on vibrotactile thresholds was partly due to influencing responses via mechanoreceptor systems. It was suggested that the psychophysical measurement method had a sufficiently large effect on vibrotactile thresholds for it to be taken into account when methods for the diagnosis of neurological disorders are standardised.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0340-0131 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: vibrotactile thresholds, psychophysical measurement method, mechanoreceptor
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Q Science > QP Physiology
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Institute of Sound and Vibration Research > Human Sciences
ePrint ID: 10649
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:02
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/10649

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