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How We Feel The Outside World, Touch And Health

Touch is one of the five senses (the others being smell, taste, vision, and hearing) through which animals and people interpret the world around them. While the other senses are localized primarily in a single area (such as vision in the eyes or taste in the tongue), the sensation of touch (or contact with the outside world) can be experienced anywhere on the body, from the top of the head to the tip of the toe. Touch is based on nerve receptors in the skin which send electrical messages through the central nervous system to the cerebral cortex in the brain, which interprets these electrical codes. For the most part, the touch receptors specialize in experiencing either hot, cold, pain, or pressure. Arguably, touch is the most important of all the senses; without it animals would not be able to recognize pain (such as scalding water), which would greatly decrease their chances for survival. Research has also shown that touch has tremendous psychological ramifications in areas like child development, persuasion, healing, and reducing anxiety and tension.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Thallophyta to Toxicology