The Tactile Research Group


The official site is now located here: The Tactile Research Group

    The Tactile Research Group (TRG) meeting is a gathering of individuals working in the broad area of cutaneous sensitivity and tactile pattern perception, and is intended to allow for an informal dialog of all issues, basic and applied, relevant to somatosensation. Historically, the meetings began as an attempt by Frank Geldard to keep in touch with the research activities of his students, all experimental psychologists, while they were attending the Psychonomic Society meetings. In the early 1970's, Frank and his colleague, Carl Sherrick, would meet with Jim Craig, Gary Rollman, Gene Leschelt, Paul Sheldon, and others in the largest hotel room that any one of them had at the conference. Gradually as Frank's students began to invite THEIR students, and as colleagues from other "family" lines expressed interest in attending the gathering, the group grew beyond any bedroom's capacity to manage them. My best recollection is that the 1980 meeting in St Louis, organized by Jim Craig, was the first held in an actual meeting room, and occurred the day before (instead of during) the formal sessions of the Society.

Membership in the TRG is informal, free, and the only request is that you notify the organizers prior to attending the meetings so they may better plan space and facilities. The only costs are those the day of the meetings to cover a light breakfast and AV equipment needed for the presentations. Students have generally been accorded reduced rates. Because the organizers for the meetings change from year to year, individuals wishing to join the group and attend the meetings should contact the Webmaster of the official TRG home page, Prof. Robert Gray at (, at the Arizona State University. Your name will be added to the TRG mailing list, and to the website listing of the TRG membership. The location of the official site, including activities, membership, and links of interest, may be found at the Tactile Research Group's Home Page. Because the TRG meetings are still held the day before the opening of those of the Psychonomic Society (the majority of members still are associated with Experimental Psychology), the location of future TRG meetings may be identified by checking with the Society's web site (see next paragraph).


    During the Psychonomics conference there are also formal paper sessions that have included presentations on touch and tactile perception, so visitors to the TRG should check the Society's program. For the meeting schedule and more information about the formal meetings, see the Psychonomic Society's Home Page. The difference between the TRG meeting and the Psychonomic paper sessions have generally been the level of (in)formality. Psychonomic papers tend to be more polished presentations, whereas the TRG meetings are intended to be a place where researchers can report work in progress, obtain expert feedback, and discuss current research issues in a collegial atmosphere with ample opportunity for interaction with other workers in associated areas of tactile research. Those who have presentations of completed work, ready for wide dissemination, should consider joining the Society and submitting their work to the formal sessions. Membership information for the Psychonomic Society can be obtained through the Secretary-Treasurer of Psychonomics.

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Updated 3/2004