News tagged with sense of touch

Related topics: brain

'Seeing' faces through touch

Our sense of touch can contribute to our ability to perceive faces, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Sep 04, 2013
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Sense of touch reproduced through prosthetic hand

In a study recently published in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, neurobiologists at the University of Chicago show how an organism can sense a tactile stimulus, in real time, through an art ...

May 10, 2013
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Scientists show how nerve wiring self-destructs

Many medical issues affect nerves, from injuries in car accidents and side effects of chemotherapy to glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. The common theme in these scenarios is destruction of nerve axons, the ...

May 09, 2013
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Somatosensory system

The somatosensory system is a diverse sensory system comprising the receptors and processing centres to produce the sensory modalities such as touch, temperature, proprioception (body position), and nociception (pain). The sensory receptors cover the skin and epithelia, skeletal muscles, bones and joints, internal organs, and the cardiovascular system. While touch is considered one of the five traditional senses, the impression of touch is formed from several modalities; In medicine, the colloquial term touch is usually replaced with somatic senses to better reflect the variety of mechanisms involved.

The system reacts to diverse stimuli using different receptors: thermoreceptors, mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors. Transmission of information from the receptors passes via sensory nerves through tracts in the spinal cord and into the brain. Processing primarily occurs in the primary somatosensory area in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex.

At its simplest, the system works when a sensory neuron is triggered by a specific stimulus such as heat; this neuron passes to an area in the brain uniquely attributed to that area on the body—this allows the processed stimulus to be felt at the correct location. The mapping of the body surfaces in the brain is called a homunculus and is essential in the creation of a body image.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA