The skin is not a uniform sensory surface. Within it, in varying density, are found the receptors of three independent modalities: pressure/touch (mechanoreception), heat and cold (thermoreception), and pain (nociception). In the five sections that follow, the psychophysics, physiology, and histology of these cutaneous sense modalities are discussed first. Then we shall consider the pain sensibility of the deeper layers of the body (muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissue) and the viscera. Taken together, all these modalities are called somatovisceral sensibility. Their common property is that their receptors are not associated to form a sense organ (such as the eye or ear) but as a rule are scattered widely over the body; moreover, their afferent fibers do not run in special nerves (such as the optic or statoacoustic nerves), but are intermingled in the numerous nerves of the body and many central tracts (cf. Chap. 2).
KeywordsSkin Temperature Afferent Nerve Fiber Neutral Zone Efference Copy Pacinian Corpuscle
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- DE Reuck, A. V. S., Knight, J.: Touch, Heat and Pain. London: J. amp; A. Churchill Ltd. 1969.Google Scholar
- Fulton, J. F.: Physiology of the Nervous System. London-New York-Toronto: Oxford University Press 1943.Google Scholar
- Iggo, A. (ed.): Handbook of Sensory Physiology. Somatosensory System. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer 1973, Vol. II.Google Scholar
- Janzen, R., Keidel, W. D., Herz, A., Steichele, C. (eds.): Pain. Stuttgart: Thieme 1972.Google Scholar
- KoRnhuber, H. H., Aschoef, J. C. (eds.): Somato-Sensory System. Stuttgart: Thieme 1976.Google Scholar
- Mathews, P. B. C.: Mammalian Muscle Receptors and their Central Actions. London: Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd 1972.Google Scholar
- Mountcastle, V. B.: Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Saint Louis: The C. V. Mosby Company 1974, Vol. 1.Google Scholar
- Schmidt, R. F., Thews, G. (eds.): Physiologie des Menschen. 19th ed. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer 1977.Google Scholar
- Sherrington, C. S.: The muscular sense. In: Schäfer’s Textbook of Physiology. London-Edinburgh: Pentland 1900, Vol. II, pp. 1002–1025.Google Scholar
- Sweet, W. H.: Pain. In: Handbook of Physiology; Section I: Neurophysiology 1. Washington, D. C.: American Physiological Society 1959, pp. 459–506.Google Scholar
- Zotterman, Y. (ed.): Sensory Functions of the Skin in Primates. Oxford: Pergamon Press 1976.Google Scholar