Thermal effects upon human vibratory sensitivity

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1979
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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Abstract

Vibrotactile sensitivity is measured using a "dry" procedure as opposed to a "wet" procedure previously used. Thresholds are determined using 40 Hz and 160 Hz stimuli across seven temperatures ranging from 20°C to 44°C. Twelve male subjects participated in each of four sessions, producing a high degree of reliability.

Results indicate that vibrotactile sensitivity increases with temperatures above 32°C and decreases at temperatures below 32°C; thresholds represent similar functions for both high and low frequency vibrotactile receptor populations. Concerns with previous studies are discussed. Implications are made with regard to future work in the area regarding skin pigmentation and subject age.

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