SUBMICRON-TEXTURE-DISCRIMINATION MECHANISMS IN HUMAN TACTILE PERCEPTION

  • Tetsu Miyaoka

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to determine the detection thresholds of very-fine textures in human tactile perception and to investigate mechanisms for discrimination. Three experiments were performed. In Experiment 1, fine-abrasive papers with particle sizes between 0.1 and 9 μm were used as stimuli. Six subjects touched the stimuli with their index or middle fingers preferred and judged the roughness with the two-alternative, forced-choice technique. The finger temperature was 35oC and the detection threshold was 0.84 μm. In Experiment 2 and 3, the experimental procedure was similar to Experiment 1, six subjects judged the roughness of fine-abrasive papers when the finger temperatures were 18oC and 12oC, respectively. The detection thresholds obtained in Experiment 2 and 3 were 1.51 and 1.44 μm, respectively. The results of three experiments showed that the mechanoreceptor which detected submicron textures was the Pacinian corpuscle.

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