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Vibrotactile difference thresholds: Effects of vibration frequency, vibration magnitude, contact area, and body location

Vibrotactile difference thresholds: Effects of vibration frequency, vibration magnitude, contact area, and body location
Vibrotactile difference thresholds: Effects of vibration frequency, vibration magnitude, contact area, and body location
It has not been established whether the smallest perceptible change in the intensity of vibrotactile stimuli depends on the somatosensory channel mediating the sensation. This study investigated intensity difference thresholds for vibration using contact conditions (different frequencies, magnitudes, contact areas, body locations) selected so that perception would be mediated by more than one psychophysical channel. It was hypothesized that difference thresholds mediated by the non-Pacinian I (NPI) channel and the Pacinian (P) channel would differ. Using two different contactors (1-mm diameter contactor with 1-mm gap to a fixed surround; 10-mm diameter contactor with 2-mm gap to the surround) vibration was applied to the thenar eminence and the volar forearm at two frequencies (10 and 125?Hz). The up-down-transformed-response method with a three-down-one-up rule provided absolute thresholds and also difference thresholds at various levels above the absolute thresholds of 12 subjects (i.e., sensation levels, SLs) selected to activate preferentially either single channels or multiple channels. Median difference thresholds varied from 0.20 (thenar eminence with 125-Hz vibration at 10?dB SL) to 0.58 (thenar eminence with 10-Hz vibration at 20?dB SL). Median difference thresholds tended to be lower for the P channel than the NPI channel. The NPII channel may have reduced difference thresholds with the smaller contactor at 125?Hz. It is concluded that there are large and systematic variations in difference thresholds associated with the frequency, the magnitude, the area of contact, and the location of contact with vibrotactile stimuli that cannot be explained without increased understanding of the perception of supra-threshold vibrotactile stimuli.




vibration, perception, thresholds, hand–arm, vibrotactile
0899-0220
28-37
Forta, Nazim Gizem
02d6f986-f10d-4c0a-9de5-c113288749cd
Griffin, Michael J.
24112494-9774-40cb-91b7-5b4afe3c41b8
Morioka, Miyuki
8eb26aca-8773-4e45-8737-61c2438d30d9
Forta, Nazim Gizem
02d6f986-f10d-4c0a-9de5-c113288749cd
Griffin, Michael J.
24112494-9774-40cb-91b7-5b4afe3c41b8
Morioka, Miyuki
8eb26aca-8773-4e45-8737-61c2438d30d9

Forta, Nazim Gizem, Griffin, Michael J. and Morioka, Miyuki (2012) Vibrotactile difference thresholds: Effects of vibration frequency, vibration magnitude, contact area, and body location. Somatosensory & Motor Research, 29 (1), 28-37. (doi:10.3109/08990220.2012.662182).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It has not been established whether the smallest perceptible change in the intensity of vibrotactile stimuli depends on the somatosensory channel mediating the sensation. This study investigated intensity difference thresholds for vibration using contact conditions (different frequencies, magnitudes, contact areas, body locations) selected so that perception would be mediated by more than one psychophysical channel. It was hypothesized that difference thresholds mediated by the non-Pacinian I (NPI) channel and the Pacinian (P) channel would differ. Using two different contactors (1-mm diameter contactor with 1-mm gap to a fixed surround; 10-mm diameter contactor with 2-mm gap to the surround) vibration was applied to the thenar eminence and the volar forearm at two frequencies (10 and 125?Hz). The up-down-transformed-response method with a three-down-one-up rule provided absolute thresholds and also difference thresholds at various levels above the absolute thresholds of 12 subjects (i.e., sensation levels, SLs) selected to activate preferentially either single channels or multiple channels. Median difference thresholds varied from 0.20 (thenar eminence with 125-Hz vibration at 10?dB SL) to 0.58 (thenar eminence with 10-Hz vibration at 20?dB SL). Median difference thresholds tended to be lower for the P channel than the NPI channel. The NPII channel may have reduced difference thresholds with the smaller contactor at 125?Hz. It is concluded that there are large and systematic variations in difference thresholds associated with the frequency, the magnitude, the area of contact, and the location of contact with vibrotactile stimuli that cannot be explained without increased understanding of the perception of supra-threshold vibrotactile stimuli.




Text
14713 NGF-MJG-MM 2012 Author accepted manuscript - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Published date: 2012
Keywords: vibration, perception, thresholds, hand–arm, vibrotactile
Organisations: Human Sciences Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 354940
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/354940
ISSN: 0899-0220
PURE UUID: 92dadfc1-267f-4034-a1e8-302eca425e20
ORCID for Michael J. Griffin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0743-9502

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Date deposited: 23 Jul 2013 12:38
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 06:04

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Contributors

Author: Nazim Gizem Forta
Author: Michael J. Griffin ORCID iD
Author: Miyuki Morioka

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