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June 1961

Human Vibration PerceptionPart II. A Preliminary Report on Vibration Perception in Psychiatric Patients

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine (Dr. Detre). Senior Psychiatric Resident, Department of Student Health, Yale University, now at National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr. Bunney).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(6):615-618. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710120085010

Measurements of vibration sense have been conducted by clinicians empirically for several decades. Fox and Klemperer in 1942 wrote an excellent review of the earlier literature. Although skin receptors may take part, sensory receptors deep in the skin are the most susceptible to vibratory stimulation.2 Sensory vibratory impulses run in the spinal cord by tactile and proprioceptive pathways. Evidence implicates the anterior lateral column and the ventral spinal thalamic tract.3 Little is known of the central connections, but it has been shown that certain lesions of the thalamus may impair or even abolish vibration perception.

Previously, the instrument used in diagnosis of impairment of perception was the tuning fork which operates at single frequencies. In the past years several electronically operated vibrators have been designed. They employ blunt styli or knobs as contacts.1,2,5 Neither the direction of the vibration relative to

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