chapter  10
Conclusions: Touch and Blindness
Pages 22

Research on the psychology of touch and blindness has important implications for theoretical approaches in psychology and neuroscience. However, researchers in the areas of psychology and neuroscience normally work in isolation, present their research at different conferences, and even publish their work in different journals. The idea of this book was to promote communication between scientists from psychology and neuroscience in order to arrive at theoretical advances in these two closely interrelated fields (Ballesteros & Heller, 2004). In this final chapter, we offer a number of comments on the field of touch, blindness, and neuroscience in light of the ideas expressed in the preceding chapters. Our general view is rather optimistic. The field of touch is a flourishing research area today. Moreover, the interaction between the psychology of touch and cognitive neuroscience is a fertile field that is producing important results. New non-invasive imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) are very exciting research tools for discovering the complex relationships between areas in the brain of sighted and blind persons and haptic behavior (see chaps. 7, 8, and 9, this volume). These new techniques, especially fMRI, are very powerful tools

for investigating the relationship between the human brain and attention, perception, memory, and other cognitive processes.