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Spatial summation of vibrotactile sensations at the foot

Spatial summation of vibrotactile sensations at the foot
Spatial summation of vibrotactile sensations at the foot
Thresholds for the perception of vibration on the hand reduce with increasing area of excitation when the thresholds are mediated by the Pacinian channel (a phenomenon known as spatial summation) but thresholds are generally independent of the area of excitation when they are mediated by non-Pacinian channels. The effect of the area of excitation on vibrotactile thresholds at the sole of the foot has not been thoroughly investigated. In the study reported in this paper, thresholds for the perception of 20Hz vibration and 160Hz vibration were determined on the foot (at the big toe (hallux), the medial (inside) ball, the lateral (outside) ball, and the heel) and on the hand (at the thenar eminence and at the fingertip) in 12 male subjects using four probe diameters: 1mm (0.19cm(2) excitation area), 3mm (0.38cm(2)), 6mm (0.78mm(2)) and 10mm (1.53cm(2)) with a 2mm gap between the vibrating probe and a fixed surround. On both the hand and the foot, thresholds for the perception of 160Hz vibration decreased as the probe diameter increased. There was no overall consistent change in thresholds for the perception of 20Hz vibration. Thresholds for the perception of 160Hz vibration were lowest at the fingertip and highest at the big toe. Thresholds for 20Hz vibration were also lowest at the fingertip. It is concluded that on the sole of the foot there is evidence of spatial summation in the perception of 160Hz vibration, mediated by the Pacinian channel, but not in the perception of 20Hz vibration, mediated by a non-Pacinian channel. The findings show that vibrotactile thresholds at the foot obtained with different areas of excitation, or an unknown area of excitation, should not be compared. It is concluded that there is a need to standardise methods of measuring the vibrotactile thresholds at the foot that are obtained for clinical applications.
vibrotactile sensation, spatial summation, tactile channelhand, foot
1350-4533
1221-1227
Gu, C.
92842c70-91b9-457b-8924-322289f69823
Griffin, M.J.
24112494-9774-40cb-91b7-5b4afe3c41b8
Gu, C.
92842c70-91b9-457b-8924-322289f69823
Griffin, M.J.
24112494-9774-40cb-91b7-5b4afe3c41b8

Gu, C. and Griffin, M.J. (2013) Spatial summation of vibrotactile sensations at the foot. Medical Engineering & Physics, 35 (8), 1221-1227. (doi:10.1016/j.medengphy.2012.12.011). (PMID:23357339)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Thresholds for the perception of vibration on the hand reduce with increasing area of excitation when the thresholds are mediated by the Pacinian channel (a phenomenon known as spatial summation) but thresholds are generally independent of the area of excitation when they are mediated by non-Pacinian channels. The effect of the area of excitation on vibrotactile thresholds at the sole of the foot has not been thoroughly investigated. In the study reported in this paper, thresholds for the perception of 20Hz vibration and 160Hz vibration were determined on the foot (at the big toe (hallux), the medial (inside) ball, the lateral (outside) ball, and the heel) and on the hand (at the thenar eminence and at the fingertip) in 12 male subjects using four probe diameters: 1mm (0.19cm(2) excitation area), 3mm (0.38cm(2)), 6mm (0.78mm(2)) and 10mm (1.53cm(2)) with a 2mm gap between the vibrating probe and a fixed surround. On both the hand and the foot, thresholds for the perception of 160Hz vibration decreased as the probe diameter increased. There was no overall consistent change in thresholds for the perception of 20Hz vibration. Thresholds for the perception of 160Hz vibration were lowest at the fingertip and highest at the big toe. Thresholds for 20Hz vibration were also lowest at the fingertip. It is concluded that on the sole of the foot there is evidence of spatial summation in the perception of 160Hz vibration, mediated by the Pacinian channel, but not in the perception of 20Hz vibration, mediated by a non-Pacinian channel. The findings show that vibrotactile thresholds at the foot obtained with different areas of excitation, or an unknown area of excitation, should not be compared. It is concluded that there is a need to standardise methods of measuring the vibrotactile thresholds at the foot that are obtained for clinical applications.

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14738 CG-MJG 2013 Spatial_summation_at_foot - Accepted Manuscript
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e-pub ahead of print date: 26 January 2013
Published date: August 2013
Keywords: vibrotactile sensation, spatial summation, tactile channelhand, foot
Organisations: Human Sciences Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 355008
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355008
ISSN: 1350-4533
PURE UUID: 5cd3c985-856f-4bdf-b60e-f73481b232f6
ORCID for M.J. Griffin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0743-9502

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Date deposited: 24 Jul 2013 15:39
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 06:04

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Contributors

Author: C. Gu
Author: M.J. Griffin ORCID iD

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