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Human response to vibration: some studies of perception and startle

Human response to vibration: some studies of perception and startle
Human response to vibration: some studies of perception and startle

Experiments are described, the purpose of which were to investigate the perception and startle responses to whole body, vertical, sinusoidal vibration. An initial review showed that existing threshold of perception curves extend over a range of 40 dB. Some of the experiments attempted to explain the contributory sources of variance and some attempted to explain the nature of the way in which man perceives vibration, About 100 different subjects were used and some took part in several experiments so that there were some 200 subject/experiment exposures. The tradilionally held belief in a step-like psychometric function for the perception of vibration was shown to be misleading. Most of fhe following experimental variables were found to significantly influence perception: vibration frequency, background vibration, acoustic noise, subject versus experimenter presentation of stimulus, burst versus continuously varying stimulus presentation, analysis, methods for determining perception, subjects' vision, footwear, sex, posture, attention, response criterion and type of footrest. The extent of within and between subject variance was also determined. In the startle investigation, psychophysiological and subjective responses to short duration stimuli were recorded in twelve males. Heart rate, the galvanic skin response and vasoreaction at the forehead were recorded continuously. The stimulus evoked response in each of these three autonomic functions was found to be distinguishable from normal fluctuations in the same function. A method of magnitude estimation of the feelings of startle was used. Both the objective and subjective indices were sensitive to stimulus magnitude but only the heart rate showed sign of change on repetition. The degree of correlation between the autonomic and subjective measurements was poor. The relevance of the results to psychophysiological theory is presented and discussed. The more practical relevance of both Ihe perception and startle investigations to the human response to building vibrations is discussed with particular reference to excitation by sonic boom.

University of Southampton
McKay, John Roderick
McKay, John Roderick

McKay, John Roderick (1972) Human response to vibration: some studies of perception and startle. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Experiments are described, the purpose of which were to investigate the perception and startle responses to whole body, vertical, sinusoidal vibration. An initial review showed that existing threshold of perception curves extend over a range of 40 dB. Some of the experiments attempted to explain the contributory sources of variance and some attempted to explain the nature of the way in which man perceives vibration, About 100 different subjects were used and some took part in several experiments so that there were some 200 subject/experiment exposures. The tradilionally held belief in a step-like psychometric function for the perception of vibration was shown to be misleading. Most of fhe following experimental variables were found to significantly influence perception: vibration frequency, background vibration, acoustic noise, subject versus experimenter presentation of stimulus, burst versus continuously varying stimulus presentation, analysis, methods for determining perception, subjects' vision, footwear, sex, posture, attention, response criterion and type of footrest. The extent of within and between subject variance was also determined. In the startle investigation, psychophysiological and subjective responses to short duration stimuli were recorded in twelve males. Heart rate, the galvanic skin response and vasoreaction at the forehead were recorded continuously. The stimulus evoked response in each of these three autonomic functions was found to be distinguishable from normal fluctuations in the same function. A method of magnitude estimation of the feelings of startle was used. Both the objective and subjective indices were sensitive to stimulus magnitude but only the heart rate showed sign of change on repetition. The degree of correlation between the autonomic and subjective measurements was poor. The relevance of the results to psychophysiological theory is presented and discussed. The more practical relevance of both Ihe perception and startle investigations to the human response to building vibrations is discussed with particular reference to excitation by sonic boom.

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Published date: 1972

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Local EPrints ID: 467181
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/467181
PURE UUID: e0fcd4c8-3d95-424c-a28f-925176260808

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2022 08:15
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 08:15

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Author: John Roderick McKay

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