Contributed by: Robert S
Date of Creation: 9/30/11
Touch is the only sense that can be found all over the body the other four senses (sight, hearing smell, and taste) are located in specific parts of the body (eyes, ears, nose, and tongue).your sense of touch is based in the dermis. The dermis has tiny nerve endings that send information about your surroundings to your brain when they are stimulated. The nerve endings on your skin tell you when something is hot or cold. They can also feel when you are being hurt. There are about 20 different types of nerves that send messages to your brain thee most common are heat, cold, pain, and pressure or touch receptors. Pain receptors are probably the most important because they tell you when you are hurt. This is important because it tells you to stop something if you are doing damage to yourself. Did you notice that when you bite your tongue it hurts so much but when you get hit in the back it doesn’t hurt as much? That is because your tongue is one of the most sensitive parts of the body. The fingertips, hands, feet, lips, and face are also very sensitive. And the small of your back is the least sensitive. Each of your fingertips has 100 touch receptors.

Figure 1 This is how touch works
Figure 2 This is in more detail how the sense of touch works


David Bowsher and colleagues at Liverpool University studied people who couldn’t feel pain but could feel hot, cold, rough, and smooth. Using skin samples they found that the nerve endings that felt skin sensing were gone they found that the only sources of feeling that were left we the nerves for blood vessels and glands/organs. They knew such nerves existed but, they thought that they simply regulated blood flow and sweating. The facts found by Bowsher and his colleges showed that those nerves act as a whole different sensory system. This could help understand poorly understood pain conditions like migraines and fibromyalgia.

Dermis- the bottom layer of your skin, it houses most of the touch receptors.

Nerve- a part of your body that transports data about the world around you.
Nerve Endings- the part of you Nerve that collects data about your surroundings.


Think Quest Junior. Sense of Touch. Think Quest Junior, 8 June 1998. Web. 23 Sep. 2011
Children's Press. Sense of Touch. New York: Elaine Landau 2009. Print