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Electroencephalographic responses and subjective evaluation on unpleasantness induced by sanitary napkins.

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  • 1Department of Physiological Anthropology, Kyushu Institute of Design, Fukuoka, Japan.


Correlation of unpleasantness and electroencephalography (EEG)-based responses induced by persistent mechanical/dry stimulation and acute wet stimulation via wearing sanitary napkins (SN) was investigated in the present study. Mesh and nonwoven SN were employed, and the effects were studied during the follicular and menstrual phases. The mesh SN characteristically displayed a higher textural surface-roughness. The results in the follicular phase revealed no change in EEG responses to nonwoven SN-induced persistent mechanical stimulation, while the same dry stimulus induced significant increases in alpha2 and beta activities in the bilateral frontal areas accompanied by markedly exacerbated unpleasantness with mesh compared with nonwoven SN. The present result with SN application confirms the previous finding that unpleasantness is well correlated with EEG responses of bilateral frontal areas. Interestingly, although the alpha2 activities were enhanced more with mesh than nonwoven SN during the menstrual phase, unpleasantness between the two textural materials was not different. Moreover, it is suggested that acute unpleasantness induced by wet stimulation is related with elevated EEG responses in the left hemisphere. These data suggest that subjective evaluation of effects of physical stimulation on the human body may not be adequately reliable, and objective assessment of physiological activities with EEG is warranted.

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