Introduction of a Complex Reaction Time Tester Instrument

  • Roland Reginald Zana Department of Applied Mechanics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics 1111 Budapest, Muegyetem rkp. 5., Hungary
  • Ambrus Zelei MTA-BME Lendület Human Balancing Research Group, 1111 Budapest, Muegyetem rkp. 5., Hungary


The reaction time, which is also referred as reflex delay in the literature, is an important factor in human balancing, since reaction time highly affects the ability of self stabilization. Increased reaction time delay may cause dangerous fall-over accidents related to elderly people. Reaction time depends on age, health, everyday activities, the general and actual physical and mental state of the individual and the environmental conditions.
The reaction time is considered as a parameter in many of the mathematical models of the neural processes in human balancing. It is beneficial in many cases to estimate the reaction time based on experimental data.
The present paper introduces the prototype of a complex reaction time tester instrument. The novelty of the instrument is that the reaction time can be measured in various combinations of sensory organs and reaction movements. The reaction time is defined as the time duration in between the initial time instant of the stimulus of the sensory organs (input signal) and the onset of the response that is typically indicated by a button or a pedal. Another novelty is that the instrument is free of any uncertain time delay, which is not the case for several instruments available.
Usually, human simple reaction time is considered to be roughly about 200 ms. The shortest (aural) reaction time for skilled athletes is 85ms. In our measurements the shortest reaction time was 97 ms, and the mean about 190 ms in simple reaction cases. So our collected experimental data are in agreement with the literature.

Keywords: human reaction time delay, neural models, human balancing, experimental devices
Published online
How to Cite
Zana, R. R. and Zelei, A. (2020) “Introduction of a Complex Reaction Time Tester Instrument”, Periodica Polytechnica Mechanical Engineering, 64(1), pp. 20-30.