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Our lives are filled with different sorts of texture, and we often make choices based purely on their visual properties. At a glance, we discriminate cotton from burlap from wool, and we can tell how a fabric will feel if we take it between our fingers. We also have no trouble seeing which of two washcloths is moist and choosing the dryer one instead. From the appearance of a wall we can predict what it will feel like when we run our finger across its surface and whether it will leave a mark on our shirt if we lean against it; and when we look across a valley to the face of the mountain on the other side, it is the visual texture projected by ...

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