Among the traditional five human senses, touch is perhaps the least studied. Yet, it is solicited everywhere, all the time, and even more so in recent years with the widespread daily use of electronic devices that emit vibrations. Indeed, any moving object transmits oscillatory signals that propagate through solid substrates. Our body detects them by means of mechanoreceptors located below the skin and transmits the information to the brain similarly to auditory, olfactory or visual stimuli. By studying how mice and humans perceive tactile vibrations, researchers discovered that the brain does not reliably perceive the frequency of a vibration when its amplitude varies. An illusory phenomenon is thereby created, which highlights how far our perception of the world around us can deviate from its physical reality.
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