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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 50  |  Page : 2--8

A study on the contribution of body vibrations to the vibratory sensation induced by high-level, complex low-frequency noise

Work Environment Research Group, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Yukio Takahashi
6-21-1 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-8585
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Source of Support: Supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Encouragement of Young Scientists (No. 13780699), founded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.73993

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To investigate the contribution of body vibrations to the vibratory sensation induced by high-level, complex low-frequency noise, we conducted two experiments. In Experiment 1, eight male subjects were exposed to seven types of low-frequency noise stimuli: two pure tones [a 31.5-Hz, 100-dB(SPL) tone and a 50-Hz, 100-dB(SPL) tone] and five complex noises composed of the pure tones. For the complex noise stimuli, the sound pressure level of one tonal component was 100 dB(SPL) and that of another one was either 90, 95, or 100 dB(SPL). Vibration induced on the body surface was measured at five locations, and the correlation with the subjective rating of the vibratory sensation at each site of measurement was examined. In Experiment 2, the correlation between the body surface vibration and the vibratory sensation was similarly examined using seven types of noise stimuli composed of a 25-Hz tone and a 50-Hz tone. In both the experiments, we found that at the chest and the abdomen, the rating of the vibratory sensation was in close correlation with the vibration acceleration level (VAL) of the body surface vibration measured at each corresponding location. This was consistent with our previous results and suggested that at the trunk of the body (the chest and the abdomen), the mechanoreception of body vibrations plays an important role in the experience of the vibratory sensation in persons exposed to high-level low-frequency noise. At the head, however, no close correlation was found between the rating of the vibratory sensation and the VAL of body surface vibration. This suggested that at the head, the perceptual mechanisms of vibration induced by high-level low-frequency noise were different from those in the trunk of the body.


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