Mysteries: Out of Touch with Touch

Mysteries is a series of short articles that focus on the unknown in Neuroscience: A humbling, harrowing look at how little we know. Akin to a flashlight in a darkened basement of mind, this article looks for holes in scientific literature as a beckoning invitation for readers to probe and someday research nescience towards the appreciation and benefit of life.

Mysteries of Neuroscience

Have you ever wondered what, exactly, is a tickle? If you replaced a loving father's wiggling digits with those of Adolf Hitler, would you still laugh?

How can you tell the difference between the sensation of wind over that of breath?

BRAIN: Out of Touch with Touch

This New Year marked the second coldest ball drop on record, yet thousands still packed Times Square in good cheer. How did their attitudes affect their tactile sensations of the bone chilling temperature?

One of the little known regions of your spinal cord (the "roots" of the brain in the central nervous system), is the Mechanosensensory Dorsal Horn. Touch your back. This 'horn' is one of two regions of your spinal cord closest to your fingertips.

This region is responsible for picking up the low threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR) information, essentially believed to comprise components of your skin's 'feeling'.

An enlightening new study by Victoria Abraira, Ph.D., has revealed just how little neuroscientists understand, detailing 11 different specialized neurons. This elevates touch to the complexity of the retinae of your eyes in orchestrating the visceral world around you.

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