Essay On Sense Of Touch

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The sense of touch is the most perplexing of the five basic senses; some neurologists believe we have more. The touch sense, also known as somatosensation, refers to the body’s ability to interact with the environment, interpret external factors, and distinguish pain from pleasure through experience which allows the body to respond appropriately to various sensations. The sense of touch differs from the other senses of sight, sound, smell, and taste because it is not confined to one specific location. Instead, it occurs all over the body. The primary organ that the body uses for the sense of touch is the skin, the largest organ of the body as it covers the entirety of it. While some believe that the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, is the only place where the touch is sensed, somatosensation occurs within the body as well. Somatosensation can be broken into mechanoreception, thermosensation, and nociception - sensing contact, heat, and pain, respectively. The skin can be divided into three layers - the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. Each is vital to the sensation of touch. The epidermis, the outer layer, acts as a …show more content…

Each sensory receptor in the skin connects with a neuron in the central nervous system through various relay neurons. Along the way, sensations are converted into electrical signals. The neurons on this pathway delineate the contralateral. These signals travel along axons to the central nervous system. Their journey is comprised of being transmitted through the spinal cord, past the medulla where they cross, through the thalamus, and finally to the parietal lobes, specifically the postcentral gyrus. Here, in the postcentral gyrus, the somatosensory cortex is located. Divided into primary and secondary, the somatosensory cortex houses neuron designated to specific locations of the body that they are responsible for detecting sensations

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