Chapter

The Localization of Touch

J. Kevin O’Regan

in Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199775224
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919031 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199775224.003.0074
The Localization of Touch

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This chapter begins by considering neurophysiological evidence that converges on the idea that our sensations of bodily location are determined by the structure of a somatosensory map that represents the body anatomy. The distorted structure of the map, its adaptability, and the influence of vision and proprioception, all concur to suggest that the reason we feel things where we do on the body is related to the existence of this cortical map. The chapter then addresses the question of why the activation of neurons in a map in the brain somehow induces sensations in some form of body location. For example, why do the neurons in the arm area of the map create sensation on the arm rather than on the face, the foot, or anywhere else for that matter? This is followed by a discussion of the sensorimotor approach.

Keywords: touch sensitivity; touch sensation; somatosensory maps; neurons; body location

Chapter.  5805 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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