Standardized brushes for moving tactile stimulation
A large range of different tools has historically been used for the investigation of the various percepts that can be the result of mechanical stimulation of the human skin. Among them you can find cotton wicks, von Frey hairs, sharp needle-point objects, weighted pins, brushes etc. The current trend is to standardize these objects, so as to make investigations comparable among investigators and clinics. The SENSELab Brush no. 5 is an attempt to provide a brush with excellent characteristics for the investigation of Brush Stroke Allodynia, but also for general use where there is a need to investigate percepts to moving (light) touch to the human skin.
The figure illustrates normal use of the Brush. It is brought in contact with the skin and then moved a few millimetres in the direction of the skin until the brush filaments slightly bends. Depending on the investigation protocol it may be moved in different directions for different distances and at different speeds. A normal procedure would be to bring the Brush in contact with the skin and during a 1 second long stroke move the brush for 40 mm, after which the Brush is lifted. This stroke may be repeated at a specific time interval and for a specific number of times.