Advertisement

Psychophysical Assessment of the Sensory and Affective Components of Touch

  • Steve GuestEmail author
  • Greg K. Essick
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, we address two issues. Initially, we consider how to assess the sensations and emotions that occur through touch. This is not a trivial problem, for there exists a wealth of potentially relevant language that one might use to construct appropriate psychometric instruments. After reviewing the limited number of prior tactile lexicons, we illustrate a method by which we have developed a new lexicon for touch. This ‘Touch Perception Task’ allows the assessment of relevant sensory and emotional components of perception. In the subsequent part of the chapter, we review two classes of devices for the study of touch. These devices either allow tactile stimuli to be delivered in a highly controlled manner, or allow the assessment of the physical interactions between skin and stimulus during tactile perception. The former robotic stimulators are of particular relevance to the study of C-tactile afferents, because they allow stimuli to be presented to hairy skin with velocities that are well- or ill-suited to stimulate such afferents. The other class of force-plate devices tends to be limited to assessing finger−surface interactions, which do not involve C-tactile afferents. However, active touch using the fingers is an important human behavior, which can certainly be replete with emotion. As such, it is important to reconcile C-tactile mediated affect, and the affect that derives from touch devoid of these afferents. Robotic and force-plate devices will both be of utility in this respect.

Keywords

Affect Emotion Lexicons Mechanical events Perceptual space Review Sensation Stimulus parameters Touch 

References

  1. Ackerley R, Olausson H, Wessberg J, McGlone FP (2012) Wetness perception across body sites. Neurosci Lett 522:73–77CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Almeida IF, Gaio AR, Bahia MF (2008) Skinfeel analysis of oleogels. J Sens Stud 23:92–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bergmann Tiest WM, Kappers AMI (2006) Analysis of haptic perception of materials by multidimensional scaling and physical measurements of roughness and compressibility. Acta Psychol (Amst) 121:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhushan N, Rao AR, Lohse GL (1997) The texture lexicon: understanding the categorization of visual texture terms and their relationship to texture images. Cognit Sci 21(2):219–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Björnsdotter M, Larsson L, Ljungberg T (2000) Post-conflict affiliation in two captive groups of black-and-white Guereza Colobus Guereza. Ethology 106:289–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blakemore S-J, Wolpert D, Frith C (2000) Why can’t you tickle yourself? Neuroreport 11:R11–R16CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Cardello AV, Winterhalter C, Schutz HG (2003) Predicting the handle and comfort of military clothing fabrics from sensory and instrumental data: development and application of new psychophysical methods. Text Res J 73:221–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cascio CJ, McGlone FP, Folger S, Tannan V, Baranek G, Pelphrey KA et al (2008) Tactile perception in adults with autism: a multidimensional psychophysical study. J Autism Dev Disord 38:127–137CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Diamond A, Amso D (2008) Contributions of neuroscience to our understanding of cognitive development. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 17:136–141CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Donley B, Allen B (1977) Influences of experimenter attractiveness and ego-involvement on paired-associates learning. J Soc Psychol 101:151–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dravnieks A (1982) Odor quality: semantically generated multidimensional profiles are stable. Science 218(4574):799–801CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Dravnieks A (1985) Atlas of odor character profiles (no. (PCN) 05-061000-36). ASTM, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  13. Essick GK, Chopra A, Guest S, McGlone FP (2003) Lingual tactile acuity, taste perception, and the density and diameter of fungiform papillae in female subjects. Physiol Behav 80:289–302CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Essick GK, James A, McGlone FP (1999) Psychophysical assessment of the affective components of non-painful touch. Neuroreport 10:2083–2087CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Essick GK, McGlone FP, Dancer C, Fabricant D, Ragin Y, Phillips N et al (2010) Quantitative assessment of pleasant touch. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 34:192–203CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Fabricant D (2000) A new stimulator for studying the affective components of touch. Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel HillGoogle Scholar
  17. Foxall G, Greenley G (1998) The affective structure of consumer situations. Environ Behav 30(6):781–798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gee MG, Tomlins P, Calver A, Darling RH, Rides M (2005) A new friction measurement system for the frictional component of touch. Wear 259:1437–1442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guest S, Dessirier JM, Mehrabyan A, McGlone FP, Essick GK, Gescheider GA et al (2011) The development and validation of sensory and emotional scales of touch perception. Atten Percept Psychophys 73:531–550CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Guest S, Essick G, Mehrabyan A, Dessirier JM, McGlone FP (2014) Effect of hydration on the tactile and thermal sensitivity of the lip. Physiol Behav 123:127–135CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Guest S, Essick GK, Dessirier JM, Blot K, Lopetcharat K, McGlone FP (2009) Sensory and affective judgments of skin during inter- and intrapersonal touch. Acta Psychol (Amst) 130:115–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guest S, McGlone FP, Hopkinson A, Schendel ZA, Blot K, Essick G (2013) Perceptual and sensory-function consequences of skin care products. J Cosmet Dermatol Sci Appl 3:66–78Google Scholar
  23. Guest S, Mehrabyan A, Essick G, Phillips N, Hopkinson A, McGlone FP (2012a) Physics and tactile perception of fluid-covered surfaces. J Text Stud 43:77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guest S, Mehrabyan A, Essick GK, McGlone FP, Hopkinson A (2012b) Perception of fluids with diverse rheology applied to the axillary versus volar forearm skin. Somatosens Motor Res 29:89–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harlow HF (1958) The nature of love. Am Psychol 13:673–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harper R, Bate-Smith EC, Land DG (1968) Odour description and odour classification. Churchill, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Hartnett JJ, Gottlieb J, Hayes RL (1976) Social facilitation theory and experimenter attractiveness. J Soc Psychol 99:293–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hertenstein MJ, Keltner D, App B, Bulleit BA, Jaskolka AR (2006a) Touch communicates distinct emotions. Emotion 6:528–533CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Hertenstein MJ, Verkamp JM, Kerestes AM, Holmes RM (2006b) The communicative functions of touch in humans, nonhuman primates, and rats: a review and synthesis of the empirical research. Genet Soc Gen Psychol Monogr 132:5–94CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Heslin R, Nguyen TD, Nguyen ML (1983) Meaning of touch: the case of touch from a stranger or same sex person. J Nonverbal Behav 73:147–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holbrook MB, Batra R (1987) Assessing the role of emotions as mediators of consumer responses to advertising. J Consum Res 14(3):404–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hollins M, Bensmaïa S, Karlof K, Young F (2000) Individual differences in perceptual space for tactile textures: evidence from multidimensional scaling. Percept Psychophys 62(8):1534–1544CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Hollins M, Faldowski R, Rao S, Young F (1993) Perceptual dimensions of tactile surface texture: a multidimensional scaling analysis. Percept Psychophys 54(6):697–705CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Hopkinson A, Essick G, Mehrabyan A, Guest S, Lawton G, Williams AKNW et al (2008). The role of friction in the tactile perception of lubricated surfaces. Paper presented at the Materials & SensationsGoogle Scholar
  35. Jerosch-Herold C (2005) Assessment of sensibility after nerve injury and repair: a systematic review of evidence for validity, reliability and responsiveness of tests. J Hand Surg Br 30(3):252–264CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. King SC, Meiselman HL (2010) Development of a method to measure consumer emotions associated with foods. Food Qual Prefer 21:168–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Koutantji M, Pearce SA, Oakley DA (1998) The relationship between gender and family history of pain with current pain experience and awareness of pain in others. Pain 77:25–31CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Laros FJM, Steenkamp J-BEM (2005) Emotions in consumer behavior: a hierarchical approach. J Bus Res 58:1437–1445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lautenbacher S, Rollman GB (1993) Sex differences in responsiveness to painful and non-painful stimuli are dependent upon the stimulation method. Pain 53:255–264CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Lederman SJ (1974) Tactile roughness of grooved surfaces: the touching process and effects of macro- and microsurface structure. Percept Psychophys 16(2):385–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lederman SJ, Klatzky RL (1987) Hand movements: a window into haptic object recognition. Cogn Psychol 19:342–368CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Lederman SJ, Klatzky RL (1990) Haptic classification of common objects: knowledge-driven exploration. Cogn Psychol 22:421–459CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Lévêque J-L, Dresler J, Ribot-Ciscar E, Roll J-P, Poelman C (2000) Changes in tactile spatial discrimination and cutaneous coding properties by skin hydration in the elderly. J Invest Dermatol 115:454–458CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Levine FM, De Simone LL (1991) The effects of experimenter gender on pain report in male and female subjects. Pain 44:69–72CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Löken LS, Evert M, Wessberg J (2012) Pleasantness of touch in human glabrous and hairy skin: order effects on affective ratings. Brain Res 1417:9–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Löken LS, Wessberg J, McGlone FP, Olausson H (2006) The response of human unmyelinated afferents to brush stroking with varying velocity. Society for neuroscience—abstracts poster 143.5Google Scholar
  47. Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone FP, Olausson H (2009) Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci 12(5):547–548CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Major DR (1895) On the affective tone of simple sense-impressions. Am J Psychol 7:57–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Manzocco L, Rumignani A, Lagazio C (2013) Emotional response to fruit salads with different visual quality. Food Qual Prefer 28:17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McGlone FP, Olausson H, Boyle JA, Jones-Gotman M, Dancer C, Guest S et al (2012) Differences in pleasant touch processing between glabrous and hairy skin in humans. Eur J Neurosci 35:1782–1788CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. McGlone FP, Vallbo Å, Olausson H, Loken L, Wessberg J (2007) Discriminative touch and emotional touch. Can J Exp Psychol 61:175–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. McGlone FP, Wessberg J, Olausson H (2014) Discriminative and affective touch: sensing and feeling. Neuron 82:737–755CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. McNair DM, Lorr M, Droppleman LF (1971) Profile of mood states. Educational and Industrial Testing Service, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  54. Meaney MJ, Mitchell JB, Aitken DH, Bhatnagar S, Bodnoff SR, Iny LJ et al (1991) The effects of neonatal handling on the development of the adrenocortical response to stress: implications for neuropathology and cognitive deficits in later life. Psychoneuroendocrinology 16(1–3):85–103CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Meerlo P, Horvath KM, Nagy GM, Bohus B, Koolhaas JM (1999) The influence of postnatal handling on adult neuroendocrine and behavioural stress reactivity. J Neuroendocrinol 11:925–933CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Mehrabian A (1970) A semantic space for nonverbal behavior. J Consult Clin Psychol 35(2):248–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Melzack R (1975) The McGill pain questionnaire: major properties and scoring methods. Pain 1:277–288CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Melzack R (1987) The short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire. Pain 30:191–197CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Melzack R, Torgerson WS (1971) On the language of pain. Anesthesiology 34(1):50–59CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Montagu A (1986) Touching: the human significance of the skin, 3rd edn. Harper & Row, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Morley JW, Goodwin AW, Darian-Smith I (1983) Tactile discrimination of gratings. Exp Brain Res 49:291–299CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Na Y, Kim C (2001) Quantifying the handle and sensibility of woven silk fabrics. Text Res J 71:739–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Nagi SS, Mahns DA (2013) C-tactile fibers contribute to cutaneous allodynia after eccentric exercise. J Pain 14(5):538–548CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Okamoto S, Nagano H, Yamada Y (2013) Psychophysical dimensions of tactile perception of textures. IEEE Trans Haptics 6(1):81–93CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Olausson H, Cole J, Rylander K, McGlone FP, Lamarre Y, Wallin BG et al (2008a) Functional role of unmyelinated tactile afferents in human hairy skin: sympathetic response and perceptual localization. Exp Brain Res 184:135–140CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Olausson H, Cole J, Vallbo Å, McGlone FP, Elam M, Krämer H et al (2008b) Unmyelinated tactile afferents have opposite effects on insular and somatosensory cortical processing. Neurosci Lett 436:128–132CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Olausson H, Lamarre Y, Backlund H, Morin C, Wallin BG, Starck G et al (2002) Unmyelinated tactile afferents signal touch and project to insular cortex. Nat Neurosci 5:900–904CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Osgood CE (1952) The nature and measurement of meaning. Psychol Bull 49(3):197–237CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Osgood CE (1966) Dimensionality of the semantic space for communication via facial expressions. Scand J Psychol 7:1–30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Osgood CE, Suci GJ (1955) Factor analysis of meaning. J Exp Psychol 50(5):325–338CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Patel J, Essick GK, Kelly DG (1997) Utility of square-wave gratings to assess perioral spatial acuity. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 55:593–601CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Picard D, Dacremont C, Valentin D, Giboreau A (2003) Perceptual dimensions of tactile textures. Acta Psychol (Amst) 114:165–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Ragin Y (2002) Development and testing of a psychophysical protocol for studies on the affective components of touch. Unpublished Masters dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel HillGoogle Scholar
  74. Ripin R, Lazarsfeld PF (1937) The tactile-kinaesthetic perception of fabrics with emphasis on their relative pleasantness. J Appl Psychol 21:198–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Russell JA, Mehrabian A (1977) Evidence for a three-factor theory of emotions. J Res Pers 11:273–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Russell JA, Steiger JH (1982) The structure in persons’ implicit taxonomy of emotions. J Res Pers 16:447–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Skedung L, Danerlöv K, Olofsson U, Aikala M, Niemi K, Kettle J et al (2010) Finger friction measurements on coated and uncoated printing papers. Tribol Lett 37:389–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Smith AM, Chapman CE, Deslandes M, Langlais J-S, Thibodeau M-P (2002a) Role of friction and tangential force variation in the subjective scaling of tactile roughness. Exp Brain Res 144:211–223CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. Smith AM, Gosselin G, Houde B (2002b) Deployment of fingertip forces in tactile exploration. Exp Brain Res 147:209–218CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. Spence C, Gallace A (2011) Multisensory design: reaching out to touch the consumer. Psychol Mark 28(3):267–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Stevenson RJ, Boakes RA (2003) A mnemonic theory of odor perception. Psychol Rev 110:340–364CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Tannan V, Dennis R, Tommerdahl M (2005) A novel device for delivering two-site vibrotactile stimuli to the skin. J Neurosci Methods 147:75–81CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. Von Békésy G (1963) Interaction of paired sensory stimuli and conduction in peripheral nerves. J Appl Physiol 18:1276–1284Google Scholar
  84. Weiskrantz L, Elliot J, Darlington C (1971) Preliminary observations on tickling oneself. Nature 230:598–599CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  85. Wolpert D (1997) Computational approaches to motor control. Trends Cogn Sci 1:209–216CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Prosthodontics, and Regional Center for Neurosensory DisordersSchool of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations