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Sense of Touch - How Do We Feel? A Simple Explanation.

Updated on July 19, 2014

When you touch something you feel sensation, but how does this work? How does your body tell the brain how to interpret these feelings?

The sense of touch is a body's reaction to a combination of touch, temperature, pressure and pain.

Diagram of the brain showing the Parietal Lobe where most touch signals are processed.
Diagram of the brain showing the Parietal Lobe where most touch signals are processed.

Receptors In the Skin

Nerve endings, known as receptors or corpuscles in and under the skin, gauge what is happening to the body's surface. The skin is the largest organ of the human body.

There are also sensory receptors located throughout the body. The receptors constantly send signals to the spinal cord and brain,

In the Brain

Once these signals reach the brain, they are processed. Interpretation of these signals mostly occurs in the primary somatosensory area in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex in the brain.

Types of Nerve Endings

The body has approximately twenty different types of nerve endings to send signals to the brain, however the most common are cold, heat, pain, and pressure receptors. There are more pain receptors than any other type.

Areas which have more nerve endings, such as the fingertips and tongue, are more sensitive. The least sensitive area is the middle of the back.

In medicine, the sense of touch is usually called somatic senses.

Sensory Structures in the Skin

The Sensory Cortex and Touch

Want To Know More?

Janice VanCleave's The Human Body for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun
Janice VanCleave's The Human Body for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun

Finding out how your body works is fun with this interactive book full of super cool experiments. Heaps of activities for kids of all ages.

 

© 2009 fridayonmymind

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      fridayonmymind 8 years ago

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      mdawson17 8 years ago

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