Sensor Reaction versus Motor Reaction


The purpose of this research project is to consider the sensory and motor reaction and identify the time of each of the mentioned responses. The research is conducted with the involvement of 30 subjects, 15 girls and 15 boys who were subjected to shoulder test and leg to shoulder one in a circle. The results of the experiment have shown that we failed to support the hypothesis that the difference between sensory and motor reaction time exists. This research has shown that it is impossible to check this variable by means of using the results of just three tests.

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Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the time of the sensor and motor reaction is so similar that it is difficult to consider it via simple tests and experiments with a restricted number of trials. Moreover, having used analysis of variance (ANOVA) for measuring the results of the research, we initially limited it as this method allows us just to identify systematic discrepancy, but fails to fit their numerical assessment with the further elimination out of the results of the observation.


The human reaction is one of the main reflections on the irritant. The presence of two kinds of reaction, sensor, and motor, protects people from dangerous influences on their organism. Thus, when people experience pain, these reactions allow them to understand the source of pain and try to get rid of it (for example, when a person holds a hand near a hot object). Playing protection function, sensory, and the motor reaction is considered to be really helpful. To understand why it is important to consider the difference between sensory and motor reaction and to know which reaction is faster, the essence of these processes should be considered.

Sensor reaction is provided on the basis of the sensory neurons, which are aimed at carrying the information from special receptors, which can be found on different parts of the body to the brain. Sensory neurons can react to both internal and external environments, like light, pressure, heat, etc. Motor impulses are rather different and can be defined as the reaction which carries impulses from the human brain to the body. People are able to move in the desired direction because of the work of the motor neurons (“Sensory input, motor response” n.p.).

To contribute to the research in the field of sensor and motor reaction and the use of the results in the psychological treatment, we have decided to conduct research aimed at measurement of the time differences in sensor and motor reactions. Two experiments are going to be conducted, shoulder to shoulder, and a leg to shoulder to get the necessary results. The hypothesis we are going to check is as follows, there is a time difference between sensory and motor reaction. The first variation of this hypothesis (H0) is that the time of sensor reaction equals to motor one, and the second variation of the same hypothesis (H1) is that sensor time reaction is greater than motor one.


The sensor and motor reactions have been considered while different experiments and from various angles. The interest in time of sensor and motor reaction is explained by a number of reasons. The understanding of whether the time reaction is different or not may allow scientists to get the information on what neurons are responsible for particular behaviors. These findings may help in treating behavioral disabilities and defining which element in the human brain requires consideration (DiCarlo and John Maunsell 2985).

Considering the reaction time, Robinson has tried to prove that sensor and motor reactions are connected due to close interconnection and interrelation of the processes, so the reaction time is similar (2177). Govaert, Melenhorst, van Gemert, and Baeten have conducted research devoted to sensory and motor reactions during percutaneous nerve evaluation with the purpose of understanding whether it is possible to predict the outcome of sacral nerve modulation. The availability of the information about time reaction might have increased the accuracy of the outcome and offered more ideas for using sensor and motor reaction in the modulations.

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The experiment is going to be conducted in two different ways. The shoulder to shoulder touch experiment is going to be taken when subjects are standing in a circle. The leg to shoulder experiment is going to be taken when subjects are lying on the grass. Even though the location of the participants is different, the main idea and methodology are similar. The subjects are put in the circle in random order. The supervisor stands in the middle of the circle and records the time of reaction with the help of the watch, stopping and activating it when any reaction is observed. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is taken as a design for the research results.


The results may be considered as follows. ANOVA design is applied with two factors, 1 within and 1 between. The general picture of the results may be presented in the following form:

  • A F (1,4) = 0.534 p<0.505561 SS=0.09 MSe=0.17
  • B F (1,4) = 2.66 p<0.177919 SS=0.71 MSe=0.26
  • A*B F (1,4) = 0.125 p<0.741614 SS=0.03 MSe=0.26

The standard error in the research results is as follows, shoulder/shoulder experiment =.58256 and shoulder/leg experiment =.168256 when boys are considered and shoulder/shoulder equals.3188 and shoulder/leg is.19743 when girls are in focus. The identification of the mean-square error (MSe) in each experiment required the calculation of the sum of squared (SS) deviations. The information above shows us the results of the experiments. The sum of squared deviation is considered to be a dependent variable in the measure of the overall variation. Therefore, the attributes in the shoulder to shoulder within groups SS is 0.09. The level associated with F-test (F=0.534; p=<0.505561) cannot be considered as a measurement for sensor or motor time reaction. SS in another experiment is 0.71 that shows high spread of the results activity. MSe, in this case, equals 0.26. The results within the between-subjects factors also have a high MSe (0.26) and the higher p, which equals 0.74.


Having considered the results of the research, it is possible to state that due to a number of reasons, we have failed to support either of the hypotheses. We failed to reject that the difference exists between the sensor and motor reaction time. We have calculated too high standard error that prevents us from adequate judgments of the results and their relation to valid information. 58% and 17% for boys and 32% and 20% for boys in the shoulder to shoulder and leg to shoulder standard errors are too high. Furthermore, the p deviation is rather high that also does not allow us to draw trustworthy conclusions in relation to sensory and motor reactions. Neither of the hypotheses has been supported or eve rejected due to small number of tests. To reduce the standard error and to make the results of sensor and motor reaction more adequate, it is important to conduct much tore tests and the results may be reliable in that case. Two measurements are not enough, like three tests are considered to be improper.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Thus, having stated two hypotheses that the time of sensor reaction equals to motor one, and that sensor time reaction is greater than motor one, we have failed to support or reject any. In order to see if there is difference in time next time we can use more than 3 test results to concur that there is a difference in reaction time. Still, this research cannot be considered as useless. We have managed to identify that the time reaction is important and to distinguish the sensor and motor time reaction may be significant in psychological needs. This research has shown that the wrong identification of the methods and may lead to the fact that the hypothesis is not checked properly. Anyway, this research can be considered as the basis for the future research in the same sphere. Taking the results we have considered as the basis for future exploration, it is important to check more variables and in this case the ratio is going to be more detailed, with less standard error and lower MSe.

Works Cited

DiCarlo, James J. and John H. R. Maunsell. “Using neuronal latency to determine sensory–motor processing pathways in reaction time tasks.” Journal of Neurophysiology 93.5(2005): 2974-2986. Print.

Govaert, B, Melenhorst, J, van Gemert, W. G. , and C G Baeten. “Can sensory and/or motor reactions during percutaneous nerve evaluation predict outcome of sacral nerve modulation?” Diseases of the Colon & Rectum 52.8(2009): 1423-1426.

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Robinson, Richard. “For some sensory neurons, motor response shapes their output.” PLoS Biol 4.12(2006): 2177.

“Sensory input, motor response.” Medicalart Library. 2011. Web.

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