Applications of Sensory Perceptual Metrics to Screen, to Track Changes in, and to Differentiate Clinical Populations Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
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  • Nguyen, Richard Hajime
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
Abstract
  • In order to overcome limitations in current neurological screening methods, a portable, non-invasive, vibrotactile mechanical stimulator was developed to rapidly and quantitatively analyze various features of central information processing. Understanding the neurobiological processes involved in somatosensory perception of particular types of tactile stimulation, the general hypothesis on which these studies are based is that any systemic changes in central information processing can be attributed to variations observed in sensory perceptual metrics. These evaluations were designed to allow investigation into fundamental neurobiological mechanisms involved in cortical interactions and brain functionality. The uniqueness of each of the protocols has thus far demonstrated significant sensitivity to detecting alterations in various types of central information processing. This research explores the application of the method within young adult clinical populations--migraine, alcoholism, and concussion--which can benefit from additional or improved assessments. Analysis of the results revealed that sensory perceptual metrics could screen, track changes in, and differentiate these clinical populations. Future work consists of further developing dual-site protocols and exploring multi-site and bilateral protocols to study adjacent or near-adjacent, as well as cross-hemispheric, cortical interactions, respectively. The ultimate goal of these studies is to develop and establish a quantifiable method of analyzing brain functionality that can be considered as either an alternative or complement to current diagnostic or screening evaluations.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Tommerdahl, Mark Allen
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2014
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