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In Touch with the FutureThe sense of touch from cognitive neuroscience to virtual reality$
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Alberto Gallace and Charles Spence

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644469

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644469.001.0001

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The awareness of touch

The awareness of touch

(p.71) Chapter 4 The awareness of touch
In Touch with the Future

Alberto Gallace

Charles Spence

Oxford University Press

People’s awareness of tactile stimuli has been investigated in far less detail than their awareness of stimuli in the other senses. In an attempt to fill this gap, this chapter provides an overview of those studies that are pertinent to the topic of tactile consciousness. The results of research that has investigated phenomena such as “change blindness” in touch, together with the results obtained from the study of those patients affected by deficits that can adversely affect tactile perception such as neglect, extinction, and what is termed “numbsense” are discussed. The similarities, as well as some of the important differences, that have emerged when visual and tactile conscious information processing have been compared using similar experimental procedures are highlighted. The suggestion is made that conscious information processing in touch cannot be separated from the more general processing of spatial information in the brain. A neurocognitive model of tactile awareness is also provided.

Keywords:   Touch, haptic, awareness, consciousness, cognitive neuroscience, neural architecture, neglect, extinction, numbsense, brain damage

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