4Communicating touch

DOI: 10.4324/9781003391975-6

Sound, non-tangible, travels across distance and dwells, so to speak, in space. Touch, on the other hand, is palpable and present, a direct mode through which living creatures interact with the environment and each other.

It is nonetheless closely allied to sound. In practice we know this. Think, for example, of the painful feel from the screech of an ultra-high-frequency sound; or of the felt as well as heard thump of a stamp on the ground or bass rhythms from a rock number on a passing car’s radio. Or the feel of vibration – is that touch or of sound? In fact, experimental evidence shows the two senses working as one and suggests they may have evolved together. Touch is continuous with ...

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