27 Sense Of Touch Facts: These Details Will Surprise You | Kidadl


27 Sense Of Touch Facts: These Details Will Surprise You

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Did you know that out of the five senses, the sense of touch is one of the most important senses we have?

It is one of the five senses that allows us to interact with the world around us and provides us with tactile information about objects we are interacting with. The skin is an extremely complex organ and can differentiate between a number of sensations.

So, read on to discover some surprising details about the sense of touch and how important it is in our daily lives!

Skin Anatomy

The skin is surprisingly the largest organ in our bodies! It covers the entire body and protects us from infection, regulates temperature, produces vitamin D, and extracts moisture from the air. There are three main layers to the skin- the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.

The epidermis is the outermost layer and is made up of five different types of cells. These cells help protect us from the environment and harmful UV rays.

The dermis is beneath the epidermis and contains nerve endings, blood vessels, sweat glands, and hair follicles.

The hypodermis is the deepest layer and consists mostly of fat tissue. This layer helps insulate our bodies and stores energy.

The skin also has several important functions, including protecting us from infection by producing antibodies that fight off bacteria; regulating heat loss through vasodilation or constriction of blood vessels; the skin absorbs ultraviolet rays to produce vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption and extracting moisture from the air via sweat glands in order to cool down when we’re too hot.

Our bodies are covered with many different layers of skin cells called keratinocytes that help protect against UV radiation as well as keep water inside where it belongs instead of letting it evaporate out into space! These layers can get thicker or thinner depending on how much sun exposure we get.

Somatosensory System: The Ability To Sense Touch

The somatosensory system is a complex collection of interconnected receptors, pathways, and processing centers that detect the movement and current position of our body parts, pain, the way that vibrations travel, temperature as well as pressure. It also informs us about the geometry of things we touch.

A certain part of this system allows us to recognize objects by touch. Thanks to these pathways, each finger can sense up to 1,000 points on an object when touched on its surface simultaneously with other fingers.

In addition, the somaesthetic cortex provides tactile recognition for different textures such as paper or cloth - which are recognized instantly without having to look at them (as long as no visual information is available).

These two abilities help us to pick objects up and read braille. The somatosensory system is closely connected with the motor nervous system, which controls our muscles and movements.

For example, if we come in contact with a hot object by accident, our skin receptors will instantly transmit information about this event to the brain in the form of electrical signals through nerve cells or axons, where it is processed in order to stimulate flexor muscles (muscles that move away from a stimulus).

Therefore reflexes are possible only thanks to an intact sensory input - specifically somaesthesia.

Touch is a love language in itself- it can help strengthen bonds and improve one's mood.

Working Of Sense Of Touch

The sense is arguably the most underrated of all the senses. We often take it for granted, but it is responsible for so much in our lives. From feeling the warmth of a loved one to experiencing the texture of a fabric, the sense of touch allows us to be in touch with the world around us in a very real way.

Touch is essential for survival. Babies who are not able to feel their mothers' skin will fail to thrive and may even die.

Touch can be comforting and reassuring, especially during times of stress or danger. It helps us to form relationships by providing physical contact that conveys emotions such as love, care, and comfort.

Touch also plays an important role in our ability to learn new things. Studies have shown that children who are patted on the back or shown any gesture of appreciation more often tend to be smarter and obtain higher marks on tests than those who are not.

This is because touch helps the brain to develop and function properly. It can promote nerve growth, increase cognitive ability, and improve learning skills.

So next time you feel someone's hand in yours or run your fingers over a soft fabric, take a moment to appreciate the sense of touch. It is one of the most wonderful things about being human.

Common Receptors

Mechanoreception is the ability to respond to mechanical stimuli that form part of the physical environment around an organism; it is essential for animals' survival because, without it, they would not be able to react quickly enough when their bodies come into contact with potentially harmful substances like sharp objects or hot surfaces.

Animals use mechanoreceptors in different ways to gather information about their surroundings; for example, hair cells in the inner ear help mammals keep balance by detecting the movement of fluid within the semicircular canals, and proprioceptive receptors located in muscles and joints give feedback on an animal's body position and movements.

There are several types of mechanoreceptor, each with its own specific function:

Meissner corpuscle is an example of a mechanoreceptor. This type of receptor reacts to pressure and touch. In the skin, Meissner corpuscles are located in the dermis layer (the deeper layer) close to the epidermis (the topmost layer).

These receptors have more than one ending that is all controlled by nerve fibers within their structure.

The endings branch out into a net-like formation which allows them to stretch when touched upon.

When this happens, cells within these receptors fire, sending electrical impulses up into our brains so that we can perceive what we're touching as light or rough, depending on how sensitive each receptor is at that area of your body and how much you've stimulated it.

These receptors are extremely sensitive and respond well to light touch.

Pacinian corpuscle is a type of mechanoreceptor found in the skin and around joints as well as internal organs like the heart or bladder.

Since Pacinian corpuscles are located deep within our bodies, they help us detect changes in pressure from inside out, like, when we have full bladders, need to pass gas, or get goosebumps!

When these receptors are stimulated by outside forces such as squeezing them tightly together, which increases their sensitivity over time due to repeated use - the body sends signals through nerves up into your brain for interpretation so you can feel what's happening with that part of your body.

Merkel disks are specialized sensory receptors that respond specifically to light touch and vibration. They're also called tactile disks because of their flat, round appearance.

Merkel disks are found in the skin all over our bodies, but they're especially concentrated in areas having a higher density of nerve endings like fingertips, lips, and the soles of our feet.

These receptors are unique because they don't have any nerve endings within them - instead, they rely on other cells near them to send electrical impulses directly into the brain so we can perceive what we're touching as gentle or harsh depending on how many Merkel disks are being stimulated at once.

Now that you've learned more about common receptors for touch go out and enjoy your sense of feeling! Touch something soft, rough, or bumpy and see if you can figure out which type of receptor is responding to that stimulus.


What is the sense of touch?

The sense of touch consists of a number of nervous structures placed all over the body, which help sense different sensations like temperature, pain, textures, and more.

How did the sense of touch evolve?

The sense of touch evolved as the network of receptors and sensors evolved in the bodies of different organisms, which helped in survival.

What does touch do to the brain?

Various sensations travel to the brain via signals through the nervous system to the thalamus. The thalamus processes the sensation felt and relays the information to the rest of the brain.

How accurate is the sense of touch?

According to studies, the sense of touch is extremely accurate- it can tell the difference between surfaces which differ by just a layer of molecules!

Why is touch one of the most important senses for survival?

Touch has helped organisms differentiate between 'safe' and 'rotten' foods and has also helped them to recognize pain through nerve impulses- which is a signal to stop doing a harmful activity and tend to their wounds.

How does touch reduce stress?

Touching soft and familiar surfaces can trigger dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which helps improve one's mood and relieve anxiety, stress, and sadness. Touch in the form of high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, head pats, and more can also show positive changes in the brain, leading to a better mood.

Is it possible to lose your sense of touch?

Yes, if the nerves or receptors on your skin are damaged, you may lose the ability to feel. This may happen because of burns or other serious injuries.

Can touch trigger memories?

Yes, according to studies, touch can trigger memories of significant events in our lives by touching any objects involved.

What will happen if you don't have a sense of touch?

Having no sense of touch would cause a lot of problems in your daily life. You won't be able to do basic actions as you won't be able to differentiate between surfaces and may end up in a couple of sticky situations as your sense of pain would also be taken away!

Written By
Tanya Parkhi

Tanya always had a knack for writing which encouraged her to be a part of several editorials and publications across print and digital media. During her school life, she was a prominent member of the editorial team at the school newspaper. While studying economics at Fergusson College, Pune, India, she got more opportunities to learn details of content creation. She wrote various blogs, articles, and essays that garnered appreciation from readers. Continuing her passion for writing, she accepted the role of a content creator, where she wrote articles on an array of topics. Tanya’s write-ups reflect her love for traveling, learning about new cultures, and experiencing local traditions.

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