TOUCH

Your sense of touch works by means of special sensory receptors scattered all over your body’s surface. These receptors allow you to feel an amazing range of sensations, from the pain of touching a searing hot iron to the tickling of a feather as it brushes against your skin. The receptors send messages along nerves to the spinal cord and brain, where the information is processed.

TOUCH RECEPTOR

Touch receptors are types of specialized nerve ending. Meissner’s corpuscles detect fine touch and are found in hairless parts of the body, such as the lips, palms, and fingertips. Other types of receptor are sensitive to pressure, stretching of the skin, vibration, or hair movements.

FINGER RIDGES

Some areas of the skin, such as the fingertips and palms, are folded into ridges. These help improve both touch sensitivity (as they hold more receptors) and grip. The pattern of ridges and grooves provides a means of identification, because everyone has their own unique ridge pattern.

BRAILLE

Developed in the 19th century by a Frenchman, Louis Braille, the Braille system allows blind people to read. Words are represented by a series of raised dots, which the reader recognizes by running his or her fingers over the page. The ability to read Braille relies on the extreme sensitivity of the fingertips to touch.

FIND OUT MORE

Nervous System

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!