In regard to the utility of the information obtained by using these methods, we have shown that they may be used to elucidate basic functional characteristics of a sensory system with respect to intensity coding. The data obtained by these methods can also lead to hypotheses regarding the neural mechanisms that underlie fundamental sensory phenomena. Furthermore, we have been able to show that subjects belonging to different biological groups, such as gender and age, produced different results in their responses to suprathreshold vibrotactile stimulation. This type of information may be essential in the selection of subjects for experiments in which groups are compared along psychophysical dimensions.
Finally, we have shown that for the estimation of subjective length the method produces very stable results over extended periods of time, both for group and individual performances.
The author acknowledges the partial support of his research from Grants NS-09940 and NS-24255, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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