The somatosensory system is a diverse sensory system comprising the receptors and processing centres to produce the sensory modalities such as touch, temperature, proprioception (body position), and nociception (pain). The sensory receptors cover the skin and epithelia, skeletal muscles, bones and joints, internal organs, and the cardiovascular system.

While touch (also called tactile perception or tactual perception) is considered one of the five traditional senses, the impression of touch is formed from several modalities. In medicine, the colloquial term "touch" is usually replaced with "somatic senses" to better reflect the variety of mechanisms involved.

Somatic senses are sometimes referred to as somesthetic senses, with the understanding that somesthesis includes touch, proprioception and (depending on usage) also haptic perception.

The system reacts to diverse stimuli using different receptors: thermoreceptors, nociceptors, mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors. Transmission of information from the receptors passes via sensory nerves through tracts in the spinal cord and into the brain. Processing primarily occurs in the primary somatosensory area in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex.

At its simplest, the system works when activity in a sensory neuron is triggered by a specific stimulus such as heat; this signal eventually passes to an area in the brain uniquely attributed to that area on the body—this allows the processed stimulus to be felt at the correct location. The point-to-point mapping of the body surfaces in the brain is called a homunculus and is essential in the creation of a body image. This brain-surface ("cortical") map is not immutable, however. Dramatic shifts can occur in response to stroke or injury.

Read more about Touch:  Anatomy, Fine Touch and Crude Touch, Physiology, Individual Differences, Diseases and Disorders, Technology, See Also

Other articles related to "touch":

Touch Me (Samantha Fox Album) - Track Listing - 2009 Expanded Reissue
... Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" "I'm All You Need" "Suzie, Don't Leave Me With Your Boyfriend" "Wild Kinda Love" "Hold On Tight" "Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)" "Want You To Want Me" "Baby I'm Lost For ...
Don't Touch Me - History
... "Don't Touch Me" was written by Jeannie Seely's husband, Hank Cochran, the songwriter who wrote Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" and Eddy Arnold's "Make the World Go Away" ... "Don't Touch Me" was recorded on March 12, 1966 in the Monument studios in Nashville ... music recorded material describing such explicit sexual desire as expressed in "Don't Touch Me" ...
Touch And Go - Other Uses
... Touch and Go, a play by D ... Lawrence Touch and Go, a Broadway musical with choreography by Helen Tamiris Touch and Go, a 2007 memoir by Studs Terkel "Touch and Go" an episode of the 2003 TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja ... Touch and Mr ...
Touch! Generations - Games - Europe and Australia
... The Touch! Generations brand was launched in Europe on June 9, 2006 with the release of Dr ... Wii Play was listed as a Touch! Generations title in Australia, but not included in any other region ... In addition, Trauma Center Second Opinion is shown on the European Touch! Generations website, but is not listed under the official Touch! Generations games for Wii ...
A Touch Of Class (Fawlty Towers)
... "A Touch of Class" Fawlty Towers episode Episode no ... ← Previous — Next → "The Builders" List of Fawlty Towers episodes "A Touch of Class" is the pilot episode in the first series of the BBC television sitcom Fawlty Towers ...

Famous quotes containing the word touch:

    No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
    Aristotle (384–322 B.C.)

    ... they think that Miss America belongs to them! That they can touch her and give her a kiss on the cheek—or even on the lips!
    Ellie Ross, Travelling companion for Miss Americas. As quoted in Miss America, ch. 17, by Ann-Marie Bivans (1991)

    Whatever harsh criticisms may be passed on the construction of her sentences, she at least possesses that one touch of vulgarity that makes the whole world kin.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)