Psychophysical correlates in adults with sensory modulation disorder

Tami Bar-Shalita, Jean Jacques Vatine, Shula Parush*, Lisa Deutsch, Ze'Ev Seltzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Individuals with sensory modulation disorder (SMD) demonstrate abnormal responses to naturally occurring stimuli in a manner that interferes with daily life activities. This study is the first study applying quantitative sensory testing to characterize the somatosensory sensitivity of adults with SMD. Method: One hundred and fifty one adults (68 males and 83 females) were tested comparing 91 SMD to 60 SMD-free, control individuals. Group placement (SMD vs. SMD-free) was determined using the Sensory Responsiveness Questionnaire (SRQ). Sensory detection thresholds for skin warming, cooling, punctate dynamic tactile sensation, vibration and thermal pain thresholds for heat and cold stimuli were determined at several body sites. Pinprick pain and prickliness were also assessed, as well as the duration and intensity of the after-sensations of prickliness and pain evoked by the prickly stimuli. Results: Compared to control adults, individuals with SMD showed significantly higher pain intensity to prickle stimuli, marginally higher pain intensity to pinprick and hypoesthesia to punctate dynamic tactile sensation at one of two sites tested. Conclusions: These results are in line with our previous study that investigated children with SMD using the same stimuli, and found similar results. We suggest a CNS involvement as the underlying mechanisms in SMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-950
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2012


  • Adults
  • Quantitative sensory testing
  • Sensory modulation disorder
  • Somatosensory profile


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