Previous studies of the neural mechanisms of roughness perception have provided evidence that the magnitude of perceived roughness depends on spatial variation in the afferent population discharge. This paper reviews those studies and provides new data that appear to show that roughness perception cannot depend on activity in cutaneous rapidly adapting afferent fibers when surface element spacings exceed 1 mm. Finer surfaces have not been studied in combined psychophysical and neurophysiological studies. This paper also reinterprets the data of an earlier study, showing that all within-fiber neural coding mechanisms, which include impulse rate codes and codes based on the temporal structure of the afferent signal, can be rejected as the basis for roughness perception when the finger scans a textured surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)