What Is Tactile Stimulation?

The fingers have high sensitivity to tactile stimulation.
••• fingers image by Vonora from Fotolia.com

The sensations you feel whenever you throw on a shirt, let the shower rain on your head or brush your hand across your pet’s belly are all part of tactile stimulation and the feeling of touch.


Tactile stimulation includes the activating of nerve signals beneath the skin's surface that inform the body of texture, temperature and other touch-sensations.

Thermal Receptors

Nerve endings beneath the epidermis report to the brain on cold and warmth as feedback of tactile stimulation. Information can vary from as low as 50º Fahrenheit to as high as 109º Fahrenheit. The nervous system integrates data from both receptors to determine the sensation of in-between temperatures.

Pain Receptors

Also known as nociceptors, these specialized nerve endings release chemicals through the spinal cord which alert the brain of painful tactile stimulation. There are two forms of pain – quick and intense or slow, dull and rising. Certain drugs (pain killers) and the body’s natural endorphins can block pain receptors from passing through the spinal cord resulting in the temporary relief of pain.

Location Receptors

These nerve endings focus on location of the body by sensing movement and pressure at different positions. Most of these are located in the muscles and limbs.

Benefits of Tactile Stimulation

Research with preterm babies published in the December 2000 issue of “Early Childhood Education Journal” found that tactile stimulation via nurses or mothers stroking the baby while it is in the incubator can improve growth, neural activity and development. Another study published in the "American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias" have shown that tactile stimulation also benefits the well being of those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (1997).

Related Articles

Types of Instruments Used in Measuring Body Temperatures
Types of Nerves in the Human Body
What Is a Tactile Sensation?
The Differences between Catecholamines and Cortisol
What Do the Parts of the Brain Control?
The Difference Between the Somatic & Autonomic System
Psychological Theory on the Five Human Senses
Description of the Anatomy of a Human Finger
Differences Between Body Cells & Neurons
How Does the Body Regulate Heart Rate?
Your Brain On: A Concussion
What Are the Six Human Senses?
Parts of the Human Heel
An Easy Way to Learn the Cranial Nerves
Chemoreceptors & Heart Rate
What Does the Temporal Lobe Do?
New "Robot Skin" Can Feel Pressure, Pain
Why Is the Study of Histology Important in Your Overall...
Human Skull Growth
What Is the Purpose of the Fibrous Capsule?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!