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Publication numberUS3747589 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 24, 1973
Filing dateMay 19, 1971
Priority dateMay 19, 1971
Publication numberUS 3747589 A, US 3747589A, US-A-3747589, US3747589 A, US3747589A
InventorsHarrison L, Kalvitis R, Van Valkinburgh R
Original AssigneeXerox Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reaction time testing apparatus
US 3747589 A
Abstract
An apparatus for testing the psycho-motor reaction of one individual to a sensual stimulus under the control of another individual comprises a support means including a support member operable by the first individual between first and second positions for constraining an upstanding, elongatated rectilinear measuring body when said support member is located at said first position and for releasing said body through the movement of said support member to said second position thereby permitting the measuring body to freefall. Means are provided for generating a sensual stimulus when said operable support member is moved to the second position thereby alerting a second individual being tested to grasp the freefalling body. The support means for the measuring body is enclosed in a housing and is demountably secured to a planar surface.
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United States Patent Harrison et al.

REACTION TIME TESTING APPARATUS Inventors: Larry Harrison, Clifton Springs;

Robert VanValkinburgh, Pittsford; Robert Kalvitis, Fairport, all of N.Y.

Assignee: Xerox Corporation, Stamford, Conn.

Filed: May 19, 1971 Appl. No.: 144,938

US. Cl. 128/2 N, 35/22 R, 273/1 R,

273/1 E Int. Cl A6111 5/16 Field of Search 128/2 N, 2 R;

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Germany 128/2 N 1,165,136 9/1969 Great Britain 128/2 N Primary Examiner-Kyle L. Howell Attorney-James J. Ralabate, William Kaufman and Barry Kramer An apparatus for testing the psycho-motor reaction of one individual to a sensual stimulus under the control of another individual comprises a support means including a support member operable by the first individual between first and second positions for constraining an upstanding, elongatated rectilinear measuring body when said support member is located at said first position and for releasing said body through the movement of said support member to said sec-0nd position thereby permitting the measuring body to freefall. Means are provided for generating a sensual stimulus when said operable support member is moved to the second position thereby alerting a second individual being tested to grasp the freefalling body. The support means for the measuring body is enclosed in a housing and is demountably secured to a planar surface.

ABSTRACT 15 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures Patented July 24, 1973 3 sheets-shoot 1 w. m m

[mm/mm". Zarrg ilarm s'afl floherf Kain 325 By Haber? Van VaZ/(mburg/z Patented July 24, 1973 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 BY fiolweri Wm Val/(4715 6 604% nrro 5r.

REACTION TIME TESTING APPARATUS This invention relates to improved apparatus for testing the psycho-motor reaction time of human subjects.

It is often desirable to measure the reaction time of human subjects to certain stimuli such as audio, visual or tactile stimuli. For example, it is desirable as part of one exercise in the process approach to science education at the grade school level as proposed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to provide a means for measuring reaction time. Students then learn what variables affect reaction time when different stimuli are employed to produce a response of a human subject. While a very high degree of analytical accuracy is not generally required in such exercises, it is preferable that the reaction tests be administered by a party other than the individual subject being tested and that the results of the test be sufficiently accurate in order to provide a meaningful result for comparison with other tested subjects.

Various psycho-motor testing apparatus are known in the art for measuring the desired reaction of an individual to stimuli. These prior apparatus however are relatively complex and bulky when reasonable accuracy is desired and generally provide only a single stimulus for human reaction.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved psycho-motor reaction testing apparatus for human subjects.

Another object of the invention is to provide atesting apparatus of the type described which overcomes one or more of the above enumerated disadvantages of prior art testing apparatus.

Another object of the invention is to provide a psycho-motor testing apparatus which is relatively noncomplex and which provides a plurality of stimuli for the subject being tested.

Another object of the invention is to provide a psycho-motor testing apparatus which provides a relatively uniform testing procedure for all subjects being tested.

A further object of the invention is to provide a portable psycho-motor testing apparatus which is readily mounted for testing and demountable for movement.

In accordance with the general features of this invention an apparatus for testing the psycho-motor reaction of one individual to a sensual stimulus under the control of another individual comprises a support means including a support member operable by the first individual between first and second positions for constraining an upstanding, elongated rectilinear measuring body when said support member is located at said first position and for releasing said body through the movement of said support member to said second position thereby permitting the measuring body to freefall. Means are provided for generating a sensual stimulus when said operable support member is moved to the second position thereby alerting a second individual being tested to grasp the freefalling body. The support means for the measuring body is enclosed in a housing and is demountably secured to a planar surface.

These and other objects and features of the invention will become apparent with reference to the following specification and to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of a psycho-motor testing apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view, partly broken away, of the testing apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken. along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken; along lines 55 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a circuit diagram of an electrically energized stimulus means employed in the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a partial plan view, partly broken away illustrating an alternative embodiment of the psycho-motor testing apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 9; and,

FIG. 11 is a partial sectional view taken along lines lll1 of FIG. 10.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a psycho-motor testing apparatus indicated generally as 20 which is supported ona flat surface of a table 22 by a suction mounting means 24. A distal portion of the apparatus 20 overhangs the table surface 22 thereby providing a free fall space for an elongated, rectilinear, reaction measuring body 26. An operators finger 28 actuates control knob 30 and causes both a sensual stimulus to occur and the release of the body 26 which has been supported by the apparatus. The stimulus is alternatively visual, audible or tactile. A means for generating these stimuli are described in detail hereinafter. Upon the occurrence of the stimulus, a subject being tested is alerted and this subjects hand 32 which at the initiation of the test is resting near the distal portion of the apparatus with the thumb finger located at a tactile stimulus station 34 will move in a direction for grasping the free falling body 26. The body 26 includes a series of graduated marks 33 along its length and the final location of the subjects fingers with respect to these marks on the measuring body 26 will be an indication of the subjects response time. The marks are spaced apart longitudinally in ac cordance with predetermined calibration to indicate the elapsed time between the generation of the stimulus and the grasping of the measuring body 26.

The psycho-motor testing apparatus 20 includes a support base 40 [FIG. 4] and a cover 42 which is secured to the base by screw means 44 extending through an aperture in an integrally molded stud 46 and engaging an internally threaded aperture in a boss 48 which extends from a longer surface of the cover. The base 40 and cover 42 support and house a means for supporting the measuring body 26 in an upright position and for releasing the body and coincidently generating a stimulus for alerting the subject being tested. This support means includes a stationary upstanding member 50 [FIGS. 2 and 5] which is integrally molded with the base 40 and extends from the base to form a wall segment for the housing. The support means further includes a support member which is operable by a party conducting the test between a first position at which location it constrains the measuring body 26 and a second position at which location it releases the measuring body. This operable support member is shown to comprise an elongated arm 52 [FIG. 2] which is rotably positioned about a stud 54. The stud 54 is integrally molded in the base 40 and extends. through an aperture 56 in the arm 52. A tactile stimulus lever arm 57, which is described in detail hereinafter, is also rotably positioned about a relatively larger diameter segment of the stud 54 between the arm 52 and base 40. A distal portion of the arm 52 includes an upstanding segment 58 having a surface 59 which bears against a surface of the measuring body 26 and forces it against an adjacent surface 60 of the upstanding member 50 thereby constraining the measuring rod in the first location. The lever arm 52 is mechanically biased in this first position by a resilient biasing means shown to comprise a helical spring 61. The first position of the lever arm 52 is established by the thickness of the measuring body 26 which spaces the segment 58 apart from the surface 60 thereby extending the helical spring 60 and creating a restraining force. In the absence of a measuring body 26, a gap will exist between the surface 59 of the upstanding segment 58 and the surface 50 of the stationary member 50 by virtue of a stop provided by a wall segment 64 which contacts and restricts counterclockwise motion of the lever arm 52. An actuating arm 66 having a distal segment 67 extending into a bore 68 [FIG. formed in the lever arm 52 is provided for actuating the arm 52. The dimensions of the bore 68 and the segment 67 extending therein are selected to provide a snug frictional fit which enables rotation of the lever arm 66 about a longitudinal axis of the arm 66. The control knob 30 is integrally molded with the actuating arm 66 at another end of the arm. An aperture 70 is formed by the housing 42 and an upstanding integrally molded shoulder 72 of the base 40 and the arm 66 extends through this aperture. When the control knob 30 is moved to the left as viewed in FIG. 3, then the lever arm 52 is rotated in a clockwise direction about the pivot post 54 as viewed in FIG. 2. This clockwise rotation of the lever arm releases the captivating force on the measuring body 26 and permits it to free fall.

A sensual stimulus is generated by movement of the control knob 30 to the left and is alternatively tactile, visual, or audible. A tactile stimulus is provided by the lever arm 57 which as indicated hereinbefore is rotably mounted about the post 54 and is biased in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2, by a helical spring 82 which forces the lever arm 57 against the stop 64. For purposes of clarity in the drawings, the tactile lever arm 57 is shown in FIG. 2 to be slightly rotated from its rest positioned against the stop 64. A distal portion of the lever arm 57 includes a pricking segment 84 extending transversely from the arm. In the full counterclockwise rest position, the pricking segment 84 is positioned within the housing near the tactile stimulus station 34. Upon clockwise rotation of the lever arm, the segment 84 extends from an aperture 86 in the housing. During the test procedure, the right hand thumb finger of a subject being tested will be initially positioned over the aperture and will receive the tactile stimulus. Rotation of the tactile lever arm about the post 56 is effected by selective engagement with, and, rotation of the actuating arm 66. As indicated hereinbefore the actuating arm 66 is rotatable about its longitudinal axis. In the tactile mode of operation, the arm is rotated 90 from its position during generation of visual and audible stimuli. A tab 88 [FIG. 5] is formed on the actuating arm and engages by contact a segment 90 of the tactile lever arm 57. Tactile stimulus or alternatively audio and visual stimuli are selectively provided by rotation of the actuating arm 66. In the tactile stimulus mode of operation, the motion of the control knob 30 to the left as viewed in FIG. 3 forces the tactile lever arm 57 to rotate in a clockwise direction about the post 54 against the resilient restoring action of the spring 82 and causes the pricking segment 84 of the tactile lever arm to exit slightly from the housing and contact the subject finger.

In addition to the tactile stimulus thus described, there is also provided in accordance with features of this invention visual and audible stimuli which are selected alternatively for operation and which are electrically energized. A circuit arrangement for these electrically energized stimuli is illustrated in FIG. 8. The audible stimulus is provided by an electrically energized horn or buzzer supported by a ring shaped body 102 which is integrally molded in the base 40. A visual stimulus is provided by an electrically energized lamp 104 which is mounted on a support socket 106 at a location beneath an aperture 108 in the housing cover 42. A window 110 formed of a plastic material of desired color is secured to the underside of the housing and a subject will be alerted when the window is illuminated by the lamp. A source of electrical potential for energizing the horn 100 and the lamp 104 is provided by a battery 112 which is mounted on the base 40. The battery 112 is coupled in circuit with the lamp and the horn by a switching means which is coupled to the battery and to the indicators. A switching means for intercoupling the source of potential and the indicators comprises a stationary contact member secured to the base 40 and a movable contact member 122 which is mounted on an upper recessed portion of the lever arm 52 and is positioned for contacting member 120 when the control knob 30 is forced to the left for releasing the measuring rod. The visual and audible indicator are alternatively selected for operation and are both disabled in the tactile stimulus mode for operation by a second manually operated switching means comprising a rotary switch 124 which is mounted to the upstanding shoulder 72 of the base 40 and extends through an aperture in the housing formed both by the base member 72 and the housing cover 42. Rotation of a switch control knob 126 operates the switch. The switch 124 is intercoupled in a circuit arrangement with the source of potential, the lamp and the horn as indicated in FIG. 8.'It can be seen from FIG. 8 that the operation of the switch 124 will selectively include the lamp or horn in circuit for energization and will decouple each of these elements in the tactile mode of operation.

During a testing exercise, anticipatory movement of the party being tested is reduced by screening the operators hand from the view of this party. A slot 130 is formed in an upper surface of the housing 42 for receiving a screening body 132. The screening body comprises an opaque card or other suitable body of material.

The testing apparatus 20 is portable and demountable for movement from location to location as the need arises. The suction mounting means 24 is adapted for receiving and mounting the reaction testing apparatus 20. The testing apparatus 20 is positioned on the mounting means 24 by channel segments [FIG. 6] formed along parallel opposite lower edges of the base 40 and which engage an overhanging shoulder segment 142 of a surface in a housing 144 of the mounting means 24. The testing apparatus is mounted by engaging the channels 140 and shoulder 142 and sliding the apparatus to a stop position. The base member 40 also includes an integrally molded tab 146 which extends through an aperture in an upright window 148 of the vacuum mount housing 144 and locks the testing apparatus in place on the vacuum mount [FIG. 4]. The tab 146 which can be deflected slightly in a vertical direction includes a forward tapered segment 149 and a rentrant rear surface segment 1511 which contacts a wall segment of the window frame 152. This locking arrangement is released by a slight downward deflection of the tapered segment 149 as viewed in FIG. 4 and withdrawal of the apparatus from the mount.

The vacuum mount 24 includes a section plate 180 comprising a flexible body having a slightly concave central surface portion. A centrally located pocket 152 is provided in an upper surface 153 for captivating an insert 154. The insert 154 includes shoulder segments 156 which extend into and are captivated by the pocket 152. The body 180 is formed of any molded elastomer such as styrene-butadiene or butyl rubber. A plurality of integrally molded rib segments 157 extend from a central portion of the body 180 to its periphery. The insert member 154 includes an aperture 158 extending through its thickness for receiving an eccentrically formed segment 160 of a rotable lever arm 162. The lever arm extends through apertures in sidewalls of the housing 144 and is secured in place by C rings 164. A guide 166 which is integrally molded with the housing 144 depends from an upper surface and engages the captivated insert 154 thereby restricting the motion of the insert 154 in response to rotation of the shaft 162 to a vertical motion. As the shaft 162 is rotated, a force is applied between the insert 154 and the housing which forces a wall of the housing 144 against the body 180 near its periphery and simultaneously raises the insert in the guide thereby raising the central portion of the flexible body. The mass of air confined between the flexible body and the surface remains substantially constant while its volume is increased. A pressure differential is thereby established for securing this mount- .ing means in place. This mounting means is described porated herein by reference.

An alternative arrangement of the tactile stimulus in accordance with features of this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 9, l0 and 11. In these figures, elements and members which perform similar functions as those elements and members described hereinbefore with respect to FIGS. 1 through 8 bear similar reference numetals. The cost of fabrication of the lever arms 52, the actuating arm 66, and the tactile stimulus lever arm 57 can be reduced significantly and the reliability of operation of the testing apparatus can be enhanced by pro- 6 audio and visual testing are to take place. Lever arm selectivity is thereby eliminated and a unitary lever arm can be provided which eliminates the use of a rotable actuating arm 66 along with the tab 88 as illustrated in FIG. 5. In addition, the embodiment of FIG. 9 is further advantageous since the necessity of a second biasing spring 82 and the tactile lever arm 57 are dispensed with. A single lever arm 200 is illustrated in FIGS. 9 amd 10. The lever arm in addition to the upstanding surface 59 and the electrical contact members described hereinbefore with respect to FIGS. 1 through 8 further includes an integrally molded tactile stimulus member 202 having a pricking segment 204. The arm 200 includes an aperture formed in the body thereof and extending through its width which is positioned about the stud 54. Another portion of the arm 200 includes the integrally molded handle 30 which extends through the aperture and formed by the cover 42 and the base 40.

Thus, there has been described a psycho-motor testing apparatus which is relatively non-complex yet is readily portable and provides advantageous response time indications for alternatively selected audio, visual or tactile stimuli.

While there have been described particular features and embodiments of the invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is: 1. Apparatus for testing the psycho-motor reaction of a subject to a sensual stimulus under the control of a second party administering the test comprising:

an elongated rectilinear reaction measuring body having indicia along its length for indicating the po sition along the length thereof at which the hand of a subject being tested grasps the body after free fall of the body is initiated and from which indicia the reaction time of the tested subject is determined;

means supporting the measuring body in a generally vertical accessible attitude ready to be grasped by the subject being tested upon the initiation of free fall;

said support means including a first member mounted for actuation by the second party between a first position at which said measurement body is constrained and a second position at which the measurement body is released and permitted to free fall;

a stationary member located at said first position;

said first member having a segment means thereof for contacting and constraining said measuring body against said stationary member at said first position and for separating from said stationary member and releasing said body at said second position thereby permitting said body to free fall; and, means for generating a sensual stimulus when said first member is actuated by the testing party to said second position thereby alerting the subject to grasp the free falling reaction measurement body.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said support means includes a base support member adapted for positioning in a generally horizontal plane, said stationary member includes a surface extending from said base against which surface said measurement body is forced by said segment means of said first member when said first member is positioned at said first position and means rotatably mounting said first member for actuation in a generally horizontal plane.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said means for generating a sensual stimulus comprises electrical switching means operable by said rotatable first member, an electrically energized indicating means, a source of electrical potential, and means intercoupling said switching means, said indicating means, and said source of potential for energizing said indicating means when said first member is in said second position.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said indicating means comprises an electrically energized visual indicator.

5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said indicating means comprises an electrically energized audible indicator.

6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said indicating means includes electrically energized visual and audible stimuli and a second switching means is provided for selectively coupling a one of said stimuli in circuit with said switching means and said source of potential.

7. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein means are provided for effecting a manually energized tactile stimulus of the subject.

8. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said tactile stimulus means comprises a body pivotally mounted for rotation in a horizontal plane and positioned for engagement by said first rotatable member for rotation toward a stimulus station when said first member is actuated toward said second location, and, a tactile stimulus member supported on said body.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said tactile stimulus member is integrally formed with the body of said stimulus means.

10. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein means are provided for resiliently biasing said first member at said first location for constraining said measurement body, and resilient biasing means are provided for displacing said tactile stimulus from said tactile stimulus station.

11. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said tactile stimulus member comprises a pointed member adapted for pricking the hand of the subject upon contact with the subjects hand.

12. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said stimulus means provides alternatively selected visual, audible and tactile stimuli, said visual and audible stimuli are electrically energized, a source of electric potential, contact means responsive to the motion of said first member for applying said potential to a one of said electrically energized stimuli for causing a sensual stimulus when said member is actuated to said second position, said tactile stimulus means comprises a body rotatably mounted in a horizontal plane for transport to an indicating station when said rotatable first member is positioned at said second location, said first member includes a longitudinal axis thereof and an extending actuating arm rotatably mounted about said axis and having means positioned thereon for engaging said tactile indicator when rotated about said axis to a first position and for disengagement when rotated about said axis to a second position.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein resilient biasing means are provided for spacing apart said tactile stimulus from said tactile stimulus station.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 including a housing having a first aperture formed therein, and said tactile stimulus is positioned for extending through said aperture and contacting a subjects hand located at said aperture when said first member is actuated and for retraction from said aperture when said first member is positioned at said first position.

15. The apparatus of claim 1 including a housing having a slotformed therein and a sheet of material positioned within said slot, said slot located on said housing for shielding the actuation of said first member by the party administering the test from the view of the subject being tested.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3952422 *Nov 15, 1974Apr 27, 1976Roberts Jr David BPersistence test apparatus
US3970303 *Jun 19, 1975Jul 20, 1976Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc.Game and toy apparatus
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US8657295Jun 15, 2010Feb 25, 2014The Regents Of The University Of MichiganDevice and method for measuring reaction time
US20100324443 *Jun 15, 2010Dec 23, 2010Ashton-Miller James ADevice and method for measuring reaction time
Classifications
U.S. Classification600/557, 273/446, 600/559, 434/258, 600/558
International ClassificationA61B5/16
Cooperative ClassificationA61B5/162
European ClassificationA61B5/16D