Assessment of midline lingual point-pressure somatosensation using von frey hair monofilaments

Nicole M. Etter, Scott P. Breen, Maya I.M. Alcala, Gregory R. Ziegler, John E. Hayes

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7 Scopus citations


Detection and discrimination threshold estimates for oral point pressure are assessed using Von Frey Hair monofilaments. Consistent with previously published protocols, threshold estimates are determined using a two-interval forced choice (2-IFC) paradigm with a three down/ one up approach. Detection threshold estimates determine the mean force in which a participant can identify the presence of pressure. During the detection threshold procedure, the participant is instructed to choose which of two sequentially presented observation intervals contained the tactile test stimulus. If the participant performs three correct detections in a row (i.e., 3 'hits'), the researcher decreases the stimulus to the next lower target force level. With one incorrect detection (a 'miss'), the researcher increases the force delivered to the next higher level. This threshold estimation approach is known as a 3-down/1-up adaptive staircase. Reponses are recorded on a paper ballot, and a participant's estimated threshold is defined as the geometric mean of five reversals. During the discrimination threshold procedure, the participant is asked to make a choice between two serially presented stimuli as to which is the "harder" or "stronger" pressure. The same scoring of 'hits', 'misses', and stopping points are used. Detection and discrimination testing for oral point pressure at tongue midline takes approximately 20 min to complete. Using these commercially-available clinical tools, individual touch sensation profiles for the midline tongue can be achieved in a relatively time and cost effective means.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere60656
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number156
StatePublished - Feb 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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