Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

A Comparative Study of Simple Auditory Reaction Time in Blind (Congenitally) and Sighted Subjects

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

A Comparative Study of Simple Auditory Reaction Time in Blind (Congenitally) and Sighted Subjects

Article excerpt

Byline: Pritesh. Gandhi, Pradnya. Gokhale, H. Mehta, C. Shah

Background: Reaction time is the time interval between the application of a stimulus and the appearance of appropriate voluntary response by a subject. It involves stimulus processing, decision making, and response programming. Reaction time study has been popular due to their implication in sports physiology. Reaction time has been widely studied as its practical implications may be of great consequence e.g., a slower than normal reaction time while driving can have grave results. Objective: To study simple auditory reaction time in congenitally blind subjects and in age sex matched sighted subjects. To compare the simple auditory reaction time between congenitally blind subjects and healthy control subjects. Materials and Methods: Study had been carried out in two groups: The 1 [sup]st of 50 congenitally blind subjects and 2 [sup]nd group comprises of 50 healthy controls. It was carried out on Multiple Choice Reaction Time Apparatus, Inco Ambala Ltd. (Accuracy?0.001 s) in a sitting position at Government Medical College and Hospital, Bhavnagar and at a Blind School, PNR campus, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India. Observations / Results: Simple auditory reaction time response with four different type of sound (horn, bell, ring, and whistle) was recorded in both groups. According to our study, there is no significant different in reaction time between congenital blind and normal healthy persons. Conclusion: Blind individuals commonly utilize tactual and auditory cues for information and orientation and they reliance on touch and audition, together with more practice in using these modalities to guide behavior, is often reflected in better performance of blind relative to sighted participants in tactile or auditory discrimination tasks, but there is not any difference in reaction time between congenitally blind and sighted people.

Introduction

Reaction time is the time interval between the application of a stimulus and the appearance of appropriate voluntary response by a subject as rapidly as possible. [sup][1] It is a measure of function of sensorimotor association [sup][2] and performance of an individual. [sup][3] It involves stimulus processing, decision making, and response programming.

Reaction time has been widely studied as its practical implications may be of great consequence, e.g., a slower than normal reaction time while driving can have grave results. Many factors such as physiological, psychological, pharmacological etc., have been shown to affect reaction times. They are age, [sup][4] sex, [sup][4],[5] gender, [sup][4],[6] handedness, [sup][7],[8] physical fitness, [sup][9],[10] sleep, [sup][9] fatigue, [sup][9] distraction, [sup][9],[11] alcohol, [sup][12] caffeine, [sup][13] diabetes, [sup][14] personality type and whether the stimulus is auditory or visual. Reaction time study has been popular due to their implication in sports physiology. [sup][6]

The model for information flow within an organism can be represented in this way. [sup][15],[16],[17]

Stimulus → Receptors → Integrator → Effectors → Response

More specific in human, the information flow can be represented in this way.

Stimulus → Sensory neuron → Spinal Cord or Brain → Motor Neurone → Response.

Types of auditory reaction time

*Simple reaction time: One stimulus and one response (Shorter duration) *Recognition reaction time: There are some stimuli that should be responded to (the 'Memory set'), and others that should get no response (the 'Distracter set'). There is still only one correct response (Longer) *Choice reaction time: There are multiple stimuli and multiple responses. The reaction must correspond to the correct stimulus (Longest duration).

Simple auditory reaction time [sup][15],[16],[17],[18] is the time interval between the onset of the single stimulus and the initiation of the response under the condition that the subject has been instructed to respond as rapidly as possible. …

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