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Etymology: Fr, toucher + L, recipere, to receive
specialized sensory nerve endings that are sensitive to tactile stimuli.
1. the sense by which contact of an object with the skin is recognized.
2. palpation with the finger.
Touch is actually not a single sense, but several. There are separate nerves in the skin to register heat, cold, pressure, pain and touch. These thousands of nerves are distributed unevenly over the body, so that some areas are more responsive to cold, others to pain, and others to heat or pressure.
Each of these types of nerves has a different structure at the receiving end. A touch nerve has an elongated bulb-shaped end, and a nerve responsive to cold a squat bulb; the nerve that registers warmth has what looks like twisted threads, and the nerve for deep pressure has an egg-shaped end. Pain receptors have no protective sheath.