Skin senses
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Skin Senses. Touch , Pain, Temperature. WARM UP:. On a piece of paper rate the following on a scale of 1-10 (1 is you barely notice pain, 10 is worst pain imaginable). Paper cut Twist Ankle Bite tongue Hand in bucket of ice water Hit funny bone Being tickled (a lot) Falling on ice

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Skin Senses

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Skin senses

Skin Senses

Touch , Pain, Temperature

Warm up


On a piece of paper rate the following on a scale of 1-10 (1 is you barely notice pain, 10 is worst pain imaginable)

  • Paper cut

  • Twist Ankle

  • Bite tongue

  • Hand in bucket of ice water

  • Hit funny bone

  • Being tickled (a lot)

  • Falling on ice

  • Holding in a full bladder for a long time

  • Burn tongue on pizza

  • Leg cramp

  • Accidentally poked in eye

  • Hit head on wall

  • Fall down stairs

  • Bad headache

  • Immunization

  • Hand sanitizer in a cut

  • Stub toe

  • Leg fall asleep

  • Burn hand on hot pan

  • Poke self under fingernail

Touch pain temperature

Touch, Pain, Temperature

  • Tactile System

  • Skin consists of three layers (epidermis, dermis, hypodermis)

  • It is the dermis where nerves are located

  • Receptors are specialized for touch, pain and temperature (vary greatly)

  • Sensations can interact with each other

  • Also psychological factors (pain, tickling, etc)

Skin senses




  • Perceptual experience with negative qualities (Wall, 2000)

  • Adaptive and necessary even though negative

  • If we didn’t have pain we would be in serious danger (very rare condition)

  • Hard to study because so many variables

  • Free Nerve Endings– name for pain receptors

  • Pain is different from body part to body part and from person to person

  • Perception of pain is physical AND psychological

  • Influenced by socialization, attitude, experiences and culture

Ashyln blocker

Ashyln Blocker

  • New York Times Article

  • You Tube Video (4 minutes)

Life without pain

Life without pain

  • Video clip (a little graphic…)

Pain understanding pain

PainUnderstanding Pain

  • Biological Influences

    • Noiceptors

    • Gate-control theory

    • Endorphins

    • Phantom limb sensations

    • Tinnitus

Skin senses

Nociceptive pain -Caused when special nerve endings—called nociceptors—are irritated. -ex. Feel it when you burn yourself, twist your ankle, or stub your toe. -dull or sharp aching pain-it can be mild to severe. -can be a temporary condition, or can also be a chronic condition. (like Cancer pain and arthritis pain )-responds well to pain medications, anti-inflammatory agents, or other drugs -does not respond well to neurostimulation. Neuropathic pain (nerve pain)-caused by a malfunction of the nervous system due to an injury or an illness. -can be a sharp, intense, shocking, or shooting pain. -does not usually respond as well to standard pain therapies, such as over-the-counter pain medications (ex. ibuprofen) and prescription pain medications. -can often be managed by neurostimulation.

Neurostimulation – a device implanted under skin that delivers mild electrical signals to the epidural space near your spine through one or more thin wires, called leads. The electrical signals cause a tingling sensation in the area of your chronic pain. Neurostimulation provides pain relief by blocking the pain messages before they reach the brain.

Gate control theory melzak and wall 1962

Gate Control Theory (Melzak and Wall, 1962)

  • Said that activating pain receptors does not directly cause pain

  • the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that either blocks pain signals or allows them to continue on to the brain

  • Therefore pain medication may work by causing the brain to release inhibitory inter- neurons that can block the pain signal at the spinal chord

  • Also if touch and pain signals from the same part of the body are transmitted to the brain, we don’t feel the pain as strongly (ex. You bump your leg and rub it)

  • More “bottom up”

Neuromatrix theory of pain melzack 1999

Neuromatrix Theory of Pain (Melzack, 1999)

  • Has updated/ replaced Gate Control Theory

  • Says brain possesses Body-self Neuromatrix (BSN) which integrates inputs to produce an output pattern that we experience as pain

  • BSN is influenced by genetics and sensory input, emotional input, stress regulation and “self modulation” (inborn bodily awareness)

  • Could be used to explain phantom limb pain

  • Not just bottom up, top down

The pain circuit

The pain circuit

Pain understanding pain1

PainUnderstanding Pain

  • Psychological Influences

    • Rubber-hand illusion

    • Memories of pain



  • Rubber hand illusion (shows top down perception)

    Therefore touch is not just bottom up.

Pain understanding pain2

PainUnderstanding Pain

  • Social-Cultural Influences

Biopsychosocial approach to pain

Biopsychosocial approach to pain

Pain controlling pain

PainControlling Pain

  • Physical methods

  • Psychological methods

Body position and movement

Body Position and Movement

  • Kinesthesis

    • the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts

    • Without this sense you feel “disembodied”

    • Stand right heel in front of left toe and shut eyes

  • Vestibular Sense

    • the sense of body movement and position

    • including the sense of balance

    • Semicircular canals

    • Twirl around and come to an abrupt halt

Paranormal phenomena psi

Paranormal Phenomena (psi)

Extra Sensory Perception

  • Telepathy

    • Reading another’s thoughts

  • Clairvoyance

    • Perceiving events beyond sensory experiences

  • Precognition

    • Perceiving future events


  • Mind over matter (moving objects)

Tests of paranormal

Tests of Paranormal

  • Statistics show that most “predictions” can better be accounted for by chance alone

  • Many experiments have “tested” parapsychology

  • Even if it existed, it would rarely be “reproduced” and therefore cannot be scientifically proven

  • Some studies have shown the paranormal occuring at a likelihood slightly greater than chance…

Thinking question

Thinking question?

  • Do you believe in ESP and the paranormal?

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