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Vibrotactile amplitude discrimination on the wrist of visually impaired people

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Support for spatial orientation and mobility of the blind and partially sighted people is still a hot and unsolved topic. It is well known that in supporting devices non-acoustic communication is recommended due to the role of the sense of hearing in the spatial orientation of the visually impaired people. Knowledge about discriminative ability of touch is crucial when designing devices which use tactile interfaces. The paper presents results of psychophysical studies connected with vibration perception on the wrist of blind and partially sighted people. The presented research examined the ability to identify the changes of amplitude of vibration on the wrist. Research was carried out on students of Special Schools for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children in Krakow. Thirty blind, partially and normal sighted people were examined. Transformed up/down method was used to determine vibrotactile amplitude discrimination threshold. Thresholds were obtained on the ventral wrist at 5 frequencies: 25, 32, 63, 125 and 250 Hz. Results were examined to find factors which could influence the threshold value.
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Bibliogr. 10 poz., 1 il., 1 rys., wykr.
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