Nociceptive detection probability depends on the temporal properties of electrocutaneous stimuli

R.J. (Robert) Doll, A.C.A. (Floor) Maten, S.P.G. (Sjoerd) Spaan, P.H. (Peter) Veltink, J.R. (Jan) Buitenweg

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    Electrical stimulation of the skin using a needle-electrode specifically activates nociceptive nerve fibres. The detection of such stimuli by subjects depends on the activation of subsequent nociceptive mechanisms. Activation of these mechanisms depends on the temporal stimulus properties, such as the pulse-width, number of pulses, and inter-pulse interval. Here, we study whether different temporal stimulus properties do not only affect the detection threshold, but also the slope of the psychophysical curve. 30 healthy human subjects were included in a 10-minute psychophysical experiment. The results showed that the psychophysical function, and thus the detection probability, depends on stimulus properties. This suggests that additional estimation of the psychophysical curve could be useful for improved observation of (several) nociceptive mechanisms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication5th Dutch Conference on Bio-Medical Engineering
    Place of PublicationEgmond aan Zee, The Netherlands
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event5th Dutch Bio-Medical Engineering Conference, BME 2015 - Hotel Zuiderduin, Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands
    Duration: 22 Jan 201523 Jan 2015
    Conference number: 5


    Conference5th Dutch Bio-Medical Engineering Conference, BME 2015
    Abbreviated titleBME 2015
    CityEgmond aan Zee


    • BSS-Central mechanisms underlying chronic pain
    • Nociception
    • Electrical stimulation
    • Pain
    • Psychophysics
    • Human subjects


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