A critical experimental study of the classical tactile threshold theory.


The tactile sense is being used in a variety of applications involving tactile human-machine interfaces. In a significant number of publications the classical threshold concept plays a central role in modelling and explaining psychophysical experimental results such as in stochastic resonance (SR) phenomena. In SR, noise enhances detection of sub-threshold stimuli and the phenomenon is explained stating that the required amplitude to exceed the sensory threshold barrier can be reached by adding noise to a sub-threshold stimulus. We designed an experiment to test the validity of the classical vibrotactile threshold. Using a second choice experiment, we show that individuals can order sensorial events below the level known as the classical threshold. If the observer’s sensorial system is not activated by stimuli below the threshold, then a second choice could not be above the chance level. Nevertheless, our experimental results are above that chance level contradicting the definition of the classical tactile threshold.

BMC neuroscience
Leo Medina
Leo Medina
Principal Investigator

Leo teaches computer engineering courses at Usach, and his research interests are in the neural engineering and computational neuroscience fields. His work has contributed to understand how nerve fibers respond to electrical stimulation.

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