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J Acoust Soc Am. 1989 May;85(5):2059-64.

Vibrotactile masking: effects of stimulus onset asynchrony and stimulus frequency.

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Department of Psychology, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York 13323.


Vibrotactile thresholds for the detection of a 50-ms vibratory stimulus on the thenar eminence of the hand were measured in the presence of and in the absence of a 700-ms suprathreshold vibratory masking stimulus. When thresholds were measured in the presence of the masking stimulus, stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was varied so that backward, simultaneous, and forward masking could be measured. The amount of masking, expressed as threshold shift, was greatest when the test stimulus was presented near the onset or offset of the masking stimulus. For both backward and forward masking, the amount of masking decreased as a function of increasing stimulus onset asynchrony. Comparisons were made of the amounts of masking measured when the test and masking stimuli were both sinusoids, and when the test stimulus was a sinusoid and the masking stimulus was noise. In all conditions, the masked threshold decreased approximately 4.0 dB when SOA was increased from 100 to 650 ms with reference to the onset of the 700-ms masking stimulus. More simultaneous masking was observed when sinusoidal test stimuli were detected in the presence of noise than when they were detected in the presence of sinusoidal maskers of the same frequency. The functions were essentially identical for detection of a low-frequency (20 Hz) test stimulus mediated by a non-Pacinian channel and detection of a high-frequency (250 Hz) test stimulus mediated by the Pacinian channel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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