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Title: Some spatial and temporal factors in tactile discriminations
Author: Barrow, Harry G.
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1968
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A computer-controlled system was set up for the presentation of tactile patterns to subjects and the performing of psychophysical experiments. The display device was an array of 35 solenoid-operated pins, covering an area of about 1 sq. cm. A number of experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of several parameters upon the discrimination of tactile patterns presented to the fingerpad. Measures obtained with the system of some basic properties of the human tactual sense, the limen for duration, the limen for localisation, and the two-point threshold, were in agreement with those obtained by others with different techniques. The new experiments have included a detailed study of the discrimination of short durations, the detection of simultaneity, the detection of increments of spatial extent and of gaps, a study of the interactions of stimulus points, and the effect of duration upon ability to localise. From the results, some conclusions have been drawn concerning the operation of the tactile sense. In particular, it appears that the mechanical properties of the skin are very important; vibrations may be set up which affect the psychophysical results and spatial interactions of stimuli can occur. An appraisal of the experimental technique is made and the relevance of the results to the construction of communication devices and aids to the blind, and a possible encoding scheme are discussed. Suggestions are also made for future experiments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology