A. J. Brammer
J. E. Piercy
Inst. for Microstructural Sci., Natl. Res. Council, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada
Kanazawa Univ., Kanazawa, Japan
P. L. Auger
Ctr. Hospitalier de l'Univ. Laval, Ste-Foy, PQ, Canada
Mechanoreceptor-specific vibrotactile perception thresholds have been measured at the fingertips using the tactometer [A. J. Brammer and J. E. Piercy, in Proc. UK Informal Group Meeting on Human Response to Vibration, Buxton (September 1991)]. Thresholds were obtained from the left and right hands of healthy male white-collar workers, aged from 25 to 73 years, without signs, symptoms, or history of neurological disease, or of exposure to vibration. Groups were formed from: (1) oriental professionals (mean age 34(plus or minus)5.9 years, N=24); (2) occidental professionals (mean age 40(plus or minus)5.0 years, N=18); and (3) oriental workers (mean age 62(plus or minus)5.6 years, N=24). A preliminary analysis of the data suggests that there is little effect of age on thresholds mediated by the SAI and FAI receptors. Thresholds mediated by the FAII receptors decreased in sensitivity at a average rate of 2.6 dB per decade increase in age. There are also a tendency for the SAI and FAI receptor thresholds in groups 1 and 3 to be more sensitive than those in group 2.