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In contrast to the wealth of perceptual experiences associated with visual and auditory stimulation, the range of sensations elicited by changing the temperature of the skin is very limited. In response to thermal stimulation, people generally report that their skin has been warmed or cooled and this is quantified in terms of intensity and duration. The hedonic nature (i.e., pleasantness/unpleasantness) of the thermal stimulus may also be attended to (e.g., the pleasurable sensations associated with standing by a warm fire on a cold day and at extreme temperatures sensations of pain are evoked).

When objects are held in the hand, changes in skin temperature can be used to assist in identification and discrimination. These cues become particularly important when objects must be identified in the absence ...

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