DETECTION OF DIFFERENCES IN DURATION OF ACOUSTIC AND ELECTRICAL CUTANEOUS STIMULI IN A VIGILANCE TASK,
ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT KNOX KY
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The relative efficiency was determined of detection of changes in duration of moderately intense auditory, cutaneous, mixed auditory and cutaneous, and simultaneous auditory and cutaneous stimuli. Detection of differences in cutaneous stimuli were appreciably less efficient than detection of differences in auditory stimuli. Detection of simultaneous auditory-cutaneous signals was similar to that for auditory signals alone. Detection of auditory and cutaneous signals in the mixed conditions was similar to detection of such signals presented separately. There was some evidence for adaptation or habituation to cutaneous stimulation. When detection of differences in stimuli is employed as a basis for responding, the auditory modality should be employed rather than the cutaneous modality when possible. The generality of this finding should be explored by experiments involving other discriminations, different presentation rates of relevant and irrelevant signals, and different task durations.
- Anatomy and Physiology