Somatovisceral Sensibility

  • R. F. Schmidt
Part of the Springer Study Edition book series (SSE)


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).


Skin Temperature Afferent Nerve Fiber Neutral Zone Efference Copy Pacinian Corpuscle 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

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  • R. F. Schmidt

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