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Tactile texture perception means the appreciation, by touch, of the characteristics of a surface. In a narrow sense, texture refers to the geometry of small irregularities on the surface, such as bumps and ridges (called texture elements), but in a broader sense it refers to all the mechanical properties of a surface. Thus, it includes the extent to which the surface gives way (like a ripe pear) when pushed and its frictional resistance (what makes wet hair squeaky) as well. Thermal properties are not included.

A number of perceptual dimensions approximately correspond with these physical properties of a surface. Thus, texture geometry gives rise to the perceptual dimension of roughness/smoothness, resistance to pressure indicates hardness/softness, and frictional resistance gives rise to perceptions of stickiness/slipperiness. We ...

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