Abstract

Tactile perception is typically considered the result of cortical interpretation of afferent signals from a network of mechanical sensors underneath the skin. Yet, tactile illusion studies suggest that tactile perception can be elicited without afferent signals from mechanoceptors. Therefore, the extent that tactile perception arises from isomorphic mapping of tactile afferents onto the somatosensory cortex remains controversial. We tested whether isomorphic mapping of tactile afferent fibers onto the cortex leads directly to tactile perception by examining whether it is independent from proprioceptive input by evaluating the impact of different hand postures on the perception of a tactile illusion across fingertips. Using the Cutaneous Rabbit Effect, a well studied illusion evoking the perception that a stimulus occurs at a location where none has been delivered, we found that hand posture has a significant effect on the perception of the illusion across the fingertips. This finding emphasizes that tactile perception arises from integration of perceived mechanical and proprioceptive input and not purely from tactile interaction with the external environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18073
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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Touch Perception
Touch
posture
cortex
hands
Fusion reactions
skin (animal)
Skin
Posture
rabbits
Hand
Fibers
Sensors
Somatosensory Cortex
Rabbits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Effects of fusion between tactile and proprioceptive inputs on tactile perception. / Warren, Jay P.; Santello, Marco; Helms Tillery, Stephen.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 3, e18073, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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