Terms to know about touch


The outer layer of an organ, in this case the cerebrum. The nerve cells are found here. The part of the cerebrum used to do something; e.g. the olfactory cortex. Also refers to the part of the cerebrum under a particular bone; e.g. the frontal cortex.


A group of axons connecting the central nervous system with an effector organ


A group of axons passing through the brain to connect two groups of neurons. Itís like a nerve, but embedded in the brain tissue.

Association cortex

A part of the cerebral cortex that lets you make connections between what you sense and what you think, remember, or feel






Refers to all of the body except the internal organs


The internal organs


Somatic senses

Senses felt by the soma; Touch, pressure, itch, vibration, temperature, proprioception, pain

Visceral senses

Senses felt by the viscera; mainly pressure and pain


Neurons that fire in response to mechanical stimuli


Neurons that fire in response to chemical stimuli


Neurons that fire in response to temperature


Neurons that fire in response to light or dark


Neurons that fire in response to painful stimuli


Neurons that fire in response to changes in body position

Free nerve endings

Detect pain and temperature

Meissnerís corpuscles

Detect changes in texture

Merkelís disks

Detect indentation

Ruffini end organs

Detect skin stretch

Pacinian corpuscles

Detect deep pressure and vibration

Muscle spindles

Detect whether a muscle is stretched or not

Golgi tendon organs

Detect whether tendons are stretched or not

Primary somatic sensory cortex

In the parietal lobe, right behind a Ďheadbandí