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Dependence of vibrotactile thresholds on the psychophysical measurement method

Record type: Article

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.

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Citation

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), pp. 78-84. (doi:10.1007/s004200100280).

More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: vibrotactile thresholds, psychophysical measurement method, mechanoreceptor
Organisations: Human Sciences Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 10649
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/10649
ISSN: 0340-0131
PURE UUID: 8e7e19f6-b86a-474c-a4ab-95ddbc5ec48d
ORCID for Michael J. Griffin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0743-9502

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Feb 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:06

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