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Stimulus Speed Tests


To observe the speed of response with visual, audio and tactile stimulation and the speed of response when the dominant hand is not the only primary responses.

HOW DOES IT WORK?                                                               

  Time allocation: 25 Min

A nerves signal travels a long distance between: the nerve which is stimulated (affector nerves) by internal or external changes which then stimulates nerves of the Central Nervous System (spinal nerves). The spinal nerves relay stimulus to the correct part of the brain, the brain then stimulates the correct pathway that will excite the Central Nervous System, which in turn stimulates the nerves that terminate in a muscle (effector nerves) and an appropriate action in response to the initial stimulus.

Students will use rulers to test their reaction time for catching the ruler when they are blindfolded and the test subject are given which hand is dropping the rulers as well when they are not blindfolded.


  • 10 x 30cm Plastic rulers
  • 10 x blindfolds

Observation 1   

Visual, audio and tactile situation with one hand (Dominant Hand)                 

  Time Allocated: 15 min


  1. Have the test subject sit at a table with their dominant hand over the edge.
  2. First we will test visual response. Hold the ruler at the 30 cm mark so that the 0 cm end is just at the test subject’s index finger.
  3. Tell your friend that when you release the ruler they are to grab it as fast as possible. Do not make any sounds or gestures that you are releasing the ruler. They have to react to the visual stimulus of seeing the ruler being released. Record the centimeter mark.
  4. Repeat the experiment three more times.
  5. Now you will record auditory reactions. The test subject will sit at the table as before, also be sure your partner puts on the blind fold secured over their eyes.
  6. Again testing the dominant hand, tell your partner that you will say the word “Release” as you release the ruler. Once they grab it record the centimetre mark and repeat 3 times.
  7. For the last test, have the test subject sit at the table make sure their blind fold is still sufficiently fastened. This time you will test the tactile response. Tell your partner that you will touch the shoulder of their non-dominant arm as you release the ruler.
  8. Give you partner no auditory cue that you are releasing, just a simple touch. Record the measurement and like before, repeat three times, then switch places and redo.
  9. Record your measurements in the table provided.

Observation 2                                                                       

Visual, audio and tactile situation with both hands

Time Allocated: 15 min 


  1. For the Visual portion of this experiment have the test subject sit at the table, like before, but have both of their hands over the edge.
  2. You will hold both rulers this time instead of just one.
  3. Tell the test subject that you will release just one ruler and they must pick the correct one and grab it as fast as possible. They must not squeeze both hands, only one.
  4. When you are ready to begin, randomly decide one ruler to drop. It does not matter which one, you will perform this test 3 more times, but never tell the test subject which ruler you will drop.
  5. Finally, we will test the auditory reaction again. This time using both rulers.
  6. Get in the same position as before with both rulers. Make sure the test subject has the blindfold secured so they cannot see anything.
  7. You will then proceed to say “left” or “right”. As you say it you will drop the corresponding left or right ruler. The test subject must decide which ruler to grasp based on the auditory cue you give: “left” or “right”. As before, the test subject must only squeeze one hand.
  8. Record the measurement and repeat 3 more times, remember to randomly decide which ruler to drop.


  • Do not tighten the blind fold too tightly to the point that blood flow is prevented.