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Introduction

  • William D. WillisJr.
  • Richard E. Coggeshall
Chapter

Abstract

The term “sensory modality” was introduced by Helmholtz (Boring, 1942). A sensory modality is a class of sensations. That is, sensations of two different modalities are qualitatively different (e.g., hearing versus vision), whereas sensations within a single modality are only quantitatively different (e.g., different frequencies of two sounds). Muller (1840-2) regarded the sensation derived from skin stimulation as a single sensory modality (“touch”), following Aristotle’s classification of the five senses (touch, vision, hearing, smell, and taste). However, contemporary investigators consider such sensations as touch, pain, cold, and warm to be discrete modalities. A given sensory modality would have a number of characteristics or attributes, such as quality, intensity, duration, and extension.

Keywords

Receptive Field Sensory Modality Afferent Fiber Sensory Receptor Sensory Channel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • William D. WillisJr.
    • 1
  • Richard E. Coggeshall
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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