There is a seeming high focus on vison and hearing in perception research with a minimal focus on other senses. Specifically, there has been a major focus on auditory looming bias with claims of a selective advantage in human subjects. This study focuses on touch perception and how we perceive changes in vibration in attempt to highlight the relationships between touch and hearing in looming studies. Previous research suggests that both modes of perception are linked back to specific genes which contribute to their similarities in function. We hypothesized that as intensity of vibration increases the amount of change perceived by the participant will increase more than the vibrational patterns decreasing in intensity. Our secondary hypothesis is that vibrational patterns of longer duration will yield larger amounts of change perceived by the participant than vibrational patterns with shorter duration. We presented vibrational stimuli to a total of thirty-two participants. Each vibrational pattern varied in durations of four and six seconds and direction of intensity change (rising and falling). We found that there was a higher perception of change in rising intensity than falling intensity vibration, and there was more change perceived in vibrational patterns of longer duration. We also found a larger perceived difference between longer (six seconds) and shorter (four seconds) durations with rising versus falling in intensity. These data are mirror other findings in auditory looming studies (Neuhoff, 2016). We suggest a possibility of haptic reception in vibrotactile perception as components of selective advantage, similarly to auditory looming.


Neuhoff, John




Communication | Communication Sciences and Disorders | Health Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech and Rhetorical Studies | Speech Pathology and Audiology


Touch, Vibration, Vibrotactile, Perception

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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