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Math Biosci. 2002 Apr;176(2):203-17.

A transduction model of the Meissner corpuscle.

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Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #3270 Davie Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270, USA.


I propose a transduction model of the Meissner corpuscle that integrates ideas put forth by Freeman and Johnson and results obtained by Looft. The principal development in the present model is its specification that RA receptor potentials are updated as a linear function of stimulus velocity above baseline; the model thus readily accommodates non-sinusoidal input. It also incorporates modifications to Freeman and Johnson's model proposed by Slavík and Bell, namely a period of refractoriness lasting 1 ms followed by a period of hyperexcitability lasting 13.5 ms. The model is applied to various psychophysical and physiological situations: psychophysical threshold vs. frequency, RA afferent impulse rates vs. intensity, impulse regularity vs. frequency, phase retardation vs. frequency, and responses to non-repeating noise and to complex stimuli. Model output closely matches psychophysical and neurophysiological data. The proposed model thus reliably predicts RA afferent responses to arbitrary stimuli and may facilitate the development of theories relating psychophysical phenomena to their underlying neural representations.

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