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Touch receptors are the nerve cells that tell your brain about tactile sensations. There are several types of touch receptors, but they can be divded into two groups (1) mechanoreceptors that tell you about sensations of pushing, pulling or movement, (2) thermoreceptors that tell you about sensations of temperature.

The mechanoreceptors contain the most types of touch receptors.

 

  • Free nerve endings informs the brain about pain, and they are located over the entire body.
  • Pacinian corpuscles detects pressure, telling the brain when a limb has moved. After the brain has told a limb, such as an arm, to move, the pacinian corpuscles tells the brain that that limb has actually moved into the correct position.

 

  • The Tactile Corpuscles of Meissner are grouped on the skin of the fingertips, lips, and orifices of the body and the nipples. Only stimulated when touched, meissner corpuscles tells the brain the shape and feel of an object in the hand, or the touch of a kiss. They adjust constantly to the environment, which is why the brain eventually ignores clothing that you are wearing.

Thermoreceptors are the other major group of touch receptors. There are two types of thermoreceptors, the end-bulb of Krause, which detects cold, and Ruffini's end organ, which detects heat.

  • The end-bulb of Krause can be found in the skin, conjunctiva, lips, and tougue.
  • Ruffini's end organs are found over the entire body in the skin.