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June 1961

Human Vibration Perception: Part I. Vibration Perception at Different Ages (Normal Ranges)

Author Affiliations

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine.
Presently, Plant Physician, Olin Mathieson, Pisgah Forest, N.C. (Dr. Plumb). Associate Professor of Occupational Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine (Dr. Meigs).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(6):611-614. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710120081009

Vibration perception, believed to be an elaboration of touch, pressure, and position senses,1,2 has long been measured with the tuning fork. This instrument is not appropriate for quantitative studies, and numerous devices have been used to determine normal ranges of vibration perception in human subjects. Previous investigators2-6 have not agreed on what is normal, nor have they published results in comparable absolute units for subjects of different ages over a reasonably wide range of frequencies. Such information is needed for a better understanding of this complex tactile sense and its characteristics in normal persons as they grow older, as well as in persons with disturbances of the nervous system.

Through the cooperation of a manufacturer of electronic equipment, a vibration generator or vibrator was assembled. This assembly provided a tactor in the form of a steel ring, a vibrator, an oscillator and power amplifier

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