Vibrotactile Frequency Characteristics as Determined by Adaptation and Masking Procedures

  • George A. Gescheider
  • Ronald T. Verrillo


It is a well established fact that when all the smallest contactors are used to stimulate glabrous or hairy skin the vibrotactile threshold is a U-shaped function of frequency with the lowest values at approximately 250–300 Hz (Bekesy, 1939; Gescheider, 1976; Gilmer, 1935; Hugony, 1935; Sherrick, 1953; Verrillo, 1962, 1963, 1966a), In some of these studies there was a tendency for the psychophysical threshold curve to become flat at low frequencies. The sharpest discontinuities in the threshold function were first reported by Verrillo (1963). When vibration was applied to the thenar eminence of the hand for 1.0 sec through contactors that were 2.9 cm2 or larger, the function was flat out to 40 Hz whereupon threshold began to decrease at a rate of 12 dB/octave until maximum sensitivity was reached at approximately 250 Hz.


Test Stimulus Tuning Curve Threshold Function Absolute Threshold Threshold Curve 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • George A. Gescheider
    • 1
  • Ronald T. Verrillo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHamilton CollegeClintonUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Sensory ResearchSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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