Repetitive motion in perception of tactile sensation in the fingers of string players

Barbara Susan Robinson, Anthony Kincaid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Little is known about the mechanisms that underlie the pathophysiology involved in the development of cumulative trauma disorders. Musicians, specifically string players, may be a useful model to examine the cumulative effects of repetitive motion given the highly attended movements of their left hands and the stereotypical grasp of their right hands. Musculoskeletal disorders related to playing are experienced by 39% to 87% of musicians, making musicians a potentially good model for the study of factors involved in development of cumulative trauma disorders. Sensory thresholds for two-point discrimination and light touch were measured in all phalanges of each digit, of each hand. Comparisons were made within and between a control group of 10 nonmusicians who did not engage in repetitive motion and 10 healthy musicians who did. There were 5 violinists, 2 violists, and 3 cellists. The Nonmusician group perceived two-points and light touch at significantly lower thresholds in the proximal phalanges of the left hand than the right hand. Significant differences were not present between right and left hands for the means of distal, middle, and proximal phalanges of the Musician group. This lack of significant difference may be due to higher sensory thresholds associated with repetitive use of the left hand of the musicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1183
Number of pages13
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number3 II
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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