Noise increases vibrotactile sensitivity in old and young adults

Wells, Cari, Ward, Lawrence M., Chua, R. and Inglis, J. Timothy (2005) Noise increases vibrotactile sensitivity in old and young adults. Psychological Science, 16 4: 313-320. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.01533.x


Author Wells, Cari
Ward, Lawrence M.
Chua, R.
Inglis, J. Timothy
Title Noise increases vibrotactile sensitivity in old and young adults
Journal name Psychological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0956-7976
1467-9280
Publication date 2005-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.01533.x
Volume 16
Issue 4
Start page 313
End page 320
Total pages 8
Place of publication Malden, MA
Publisher Blackwell
Language eng
Subject 1109 Neurosciences
Abstract Abstract—Stochastic resonance (SR) occurs when the detection of a subthreshold signal is aided by the presence of random energy fluctuations in the signal modality, commonly called noise. SR is counterintuitive because such noise usually worsens performance. Nonetheless, SR has been demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally in human sensory systems. Using a psychophysically sophisticated paradigm, we show that SR aids the detection of vibrating touch stimuli presented to the foot soles of both healthy elderly people with elevated vibrotactile thresholds and healthy young people with normal vibrotactile thresholds. The results also suggest that it is possible to know a priori the amount of noise needed for optimal SR effects given the degree to which the signal is subthreshold. Thus, SR may be practical as a rehabilitative aid for individuals with elevated sensory thresholds.
Q-Index Code CX

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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