The Sense of Touch
By: Nell L.

The Sense of Touch
Have you ever wondered about your sense of touch? Or maybe how it works? Well I researched and learned a lot about this wonderful sense. The sense of touch can be considered one of the most important senses. Have you ever been stuck in the dark and to get out you fell around to declare where you are? Well if you did not have the sense of touch then you would not be able to find your way around. How do you think blind people find their way around? Touch can also help you to stay safe. Like when you get too close to a fire, your sense of touch tells you not to touch it. Your sense of touch can help you determine what to wear that day. If you should wear flip flops or bundle up in a jacket. One of the most important things that you need to be able to have the sense of touch is your skin!! Your skin has many layers. But the second layer is one of the most important layers that relates to touch. In the second layer of skin there are little cells called your touch receptors. They have one of the most important jobs, which is to help your brain determine what you are touching and how it feels. When you touch something the touch receptors send a message to your nerve cell, which then passes it on to the spinal cord. Then the spinal cord passes the message on to your thalamus. This is located in the middle of your brain.

The layers of skin diagram.jpg

When this message gets to the middle of your brain, it starts to process the thing that you touched. After the brain can determine what you have touched, it marks it down in a place called your somatosensory cortex. Some of the more sensitive places of touch are the tongue, feet, and fingers. What I mean by this is you use these body parts more than others to touch things. Some of the least sensitive places are your middle back. The reason that some body parts are more sensitive than others is because you use these body parts more than others in your everyday life. You have something located in your brain called a touch center. If this is not working properly, you will have a hard time staying balanced.
Somatic Sense
Did you know that there are specific kinds of touch? Well one of them is called Somatic Sense. This sense of touch can be really helpful. When you are making faces or sitting a certain way, the way that your body determines what you are doing with your body is by using somatic sense. Somatic sense can helps you feel pain. Let’s say that you are at the hospital and you need to get an operation, the doctor uses something called anesthetic to numb the part of the body that needs to be operated on. The way that this works is when the pain hits, the message does not send to the brain. If the message is not sent to the brain then the body cannot determine what you are feeling. Touch can be a very important thing to have. Let’s review… The sense of touch can help you determine where you are or what to wear that day. It also keeps you safe. Some of the things that you feel in your everyday life are rough, smooth, big, small, round, bumpy, sharp, hot, cold, or soft. There are so many things that touch helps you do in your everyday life. I do not know what we would do without it.

The sense of touch is not the most important sense. With out the other senses touch would not be as helpful. Here are the links to all the other senses:

  1. Sight
  2. Hearing
  3. Smell
  4. Taste
sense of touch pic.jpg
One of the Most Sensitive Places of Touch

Citations- Landau, Elaine. The Sense of Touch. New York: Children’s Press, 2009. Print.