Textural timbre: The perception of surface microtexture depends in part on multimodal spectral cues

Commun Integr Biol. 2009 Jul;2(4):344-6. doi: 10.4161/cib.2.4.8551.


During haptic exploration of surfaces, complex mechanical oscillations-of surface displacement and air pressure-are generated, which are then transduced by receptors in the skin and in the inner ear. Tactile and auditory signals thus convey redundant information about texture, partially carried in the spectral content of these signals. It is no surprise, then, that the representation of temporal frequency is linked in the auditory and somatosensory systems. An emergent hypothesis is that there exists a supramodal representation of temporal frequency, and by extension texture.

Keywords: audition; interaction; multisensory integration; somatosensory; temporal frequency; texture.