Method for detecting small changes in vibrotactile perception threshold related to tactile acuity.
Brammer AJ; Piercy JE; Pyykkö I; Toppila E; Starck J
J Acoust Soc Am 2007 Feb; 121(2):1238-1247
Two metrics, expressing the change in mechanoreceptor-specific vibrotactile thresholds at a fingertip over a time interval of months or years, and the shift in threshold from the mean values recorded from the fingertips of healthy persons, have been constructed for thresholds measured from individual fingers. The metrics assume the applicability of the acute adaptation property of mechanoreceptors, which has been confirmed by thresholds obtained from 18 forest workers on two occasions, separated by 5 years. Hence, when expressed in decibels, both threshold changes and threshold shifts may be averaged at frequencies mediated by the same receptor population to improve precision. Differences between threshold changes at frequencies mediated by the same receptor population may be used to identify inconsistent subject performance, and hence potentially erroneous results. For this group of subjects, the threshold changes and threshold shifts at frequencies believed mediated by the slowly adapting type I (SAI) (4 and ) and rapidly adapting type I (FAI) (20 and ) receptors within each finger were correlated. In these circumstances, which may be expected to occur for some work-induced and systemic peripheral neuropathies, both threshold changes and threshold shifts may be summed over SAI and FAI receptors to improve precision, and hence the potential for interpretation.
Analytical-processes; Vibration-disease; Vibration-exposure; Forestry-workers; Forestry; Humans
A. J. Brammer, Ergonomic Technology Center, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut 06030-2017
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
University of Connecticut Schools of Medicine