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Chapter 3

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PSYC 212
Remy Allard

Chapter 3The Somatosensory System Touch Feeling and PainTouchsensations produced by stimulation of receptors in the skin Touch sensations include pressure vibration warmth and cold as well as various blends of these attributesTouch broken down into 2 fundamental featuresoAwareness of the point on our body where the interaction occurred with an object in the physical worldWhere was I touchedoSubjective feeling of touch that allows for the classification and identification of the object What did I touch and how did it feelMore highly developed especially with the other sensory systemsTouch distinct because multiple attributes interact to produce compound sensationsoHave objective and subjective qualitiespart of single kind of sensory experienceSensations can also arise from receptors that are distributed throughout the entire body rather than in discrete sensory organsSomatosensory perceptionthe somatosensory system deals with all aspects of touchpain perceptionoHas specialized receptors within muscles and joints that provide further sensory dimensions Proprioceptionperceptions of body position and movement arising from sensory signals generated by muscle contraction and joint movementAllows us to be aware of location of jointslimbs in spaceA Neural Basis of Somatosensory PerceptionTouchphysical interaction with object in environment that emits energy that is captured through somatosensory receptorsoEnergy may be reflected off objectcaptured by receptorsNeed mechanism to capture energyoTheory of receptor specificityJohannes Mullerspecific nerve energies whereby individual receptors and nerve endings are selectively sensitive to particular form of energy impinging on skinEach receptor produces particular touch sensationindicates where on the skin surface stimulation occurredMax von Frey also proposed specific receptors for heat cold pressure painoPattern theoryspecificity of touch sensations arises form overall pattern of activity across broad spectrum of receptorsDifferent types of touch generate different patterns of activity
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