Psychophysical Measurements of Enhancement, Suppression, and Surface Gradient Effects in Vibrotaction

  • Ronald T. Verrillo
  • George A. Gescheider


Twelve years ago at the First International Symposium on the Skin Senses held in Tallahassee (Kenshalo, 1968), it was proposed that the pattern theory of mechanoreception was not sufficient to explain the results of an extensive series of psychophysical experiments (Verrillo, 1968). At that time it was demonstrated that our perception of repetitive mechanical stimuli is mediated by at least two types of end organs in cutaneous tissue and their accompanying neural systems (Verrillo, 1963, 1966a,b, 1968). The duplex model was consistent, In part, with the limited knowledge we had at that time of the physiological response of specific end organs (Sato, 1961). Subsequent experimentation performed in other laboratories later verified or supported this model (Harrington and Merzenich, 1970; Lindblom, 1965; Merzenich and Harrington, 1969; Talbot et al., 1968). The development of techniques for microneurography in humans (Vallbo and Hagbarth, 1968) gave strong support for the position that at least two neural systems subserve our appreciation of vibration on the skin (Järvilehto, Hämäläinen, and Laurinen, 1976; Knibestöl and Vallbo, 1970; Knibestol, 1973; Konietzny and Hensel, 1977; and others).


Enhancement Effect Temporal Summation Spatial Summation Thenar Eminence Pacinian Corpuscle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

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

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