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Tactile memory systems are involved in the storage and retrieval of information about stimuli that impinge on the body surface and objects that people explore haptically. Here, the authors review the behavioral, neuropsychological, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging research on tactile memory. This body of research reveals that tactile memory can be subdivided into a number of functionally distinct neurocognitive subsystems, just as is the case with auditory and visual memory. Some of these subsystems are peripheral and short lasting and others are more central and long lasting. The authors highlight evidence showing that the representation of tactile information interacts with information about other sensory attributes (e.g., visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic) of objects/events that people perceive. This fact suggests that at least part of the neural network involved in the memory for touch might be shared among different sensory modalities. In particular, multisensory/amodal information-processing networks seem to play a leading role in the storage of tactile information in the brain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

Original publication




Journal article


Psychol Bull

Publication Date





380 - 406


Brain Mapping, Cognition, Humans, Memory, Neural Pathways, Space Perception, Touch, Touch Perception