Sense Perception Summaries: Touch and Hearing

Touch:

A Touch of Understanding: Gene Tweak Opens Sensory Black Box– Researchers have developed a technique to trace nerve endings and hope to someday create a complete neural map to shed some light on the least understood sense: touch. How will a complete neural map change the way we learn about and perceive touch?

Kissing device lets you send a long-distance smooch– A new egg-like device with lips, called the Kissenger, allows users to send their partners wireless kisses. Who in the world would ever actually use this?

Dating With Science: Touch A Girl’s Arm And She Will Basically Fall In Love With You – Subtle, slight physical contact can improve many relationships, from those as close as romantic partners to as casual as a waitress and her customer. How does one draw the line between contact that helps a relationship and contact that makes people uncomfortable?

10 Psychological Effects of Nonsexual Touch– There are many different situations in which light touching on the arm can be effective; however, culture, gender, and specific situation must be considered. How does the location of a light touch change its significant and meaning?

The Cutting Edge of Haptics–  Scientists have created a touch-based interface which can trick the body into thinking a flat surface is sharp or pointed. How can this technology be used, both practically and for entertainment or artistic purposes?

The Body Language of Touch– In various cultures, touch means different things and it is important to understand the cultural context of touch. Why have various cultures developed different meanings for the same kinds of touches?

Hearing:

The Cocktail Party Effect– Humans have an impressive ability to distinguish and tune into one distinct voice out of many. Does this ability apply to other sounds besides voices, or when the sounds we are tuning out are not voices?

The Sound of Taste– A study shows that foods that sound crispier are perceived to taste better. How does sound influence the way we perceive things through other senses, such as touch, sight, and smell?

Beethoven’s Deafness May Have Influenced His Music Throughout The Years: Study– Ludwig Van Beethoven, famous classical composer, seems to have used more lower-pitched notes in his pieces as his deafness caused by tinnitus grew worse with age. Would music written by someone with a hearing condition be more appealing to people with similar problems (not deafness, I doubt they would appreciate any type of music)?

Make the City Sound Better– A microphone picks up all the noise of the city and a specially designed software turns this cacophony into unique music in real time. How does this program “know” how to make appealing music?

Environmental Cues That Boost Creativity– Creative thinking can be boosted by certain, controllable environmental factors; in the case of sounds, this factor could be ambient noise. Why is the brain able to think more creatively when there is a certain level of noise, versus complete silence?

World’s Largest Natural Sound Archive Now Online– Cornell University has digitized its collection of biodiversity audio and video recordings, ranging from an ostrich chick inside the egg to whales. How do the sounds certain animals make help define their species?

My Article:

Auditory training with noise can work in hearing-impaired children– Some initial evidence has been found that children who are hearing-impaired show significant improvements in the classroom after undergoing a three week auditory training program. Can people without hearing impairments also improve their abilities with programs such as these?

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