Tactile Afferent Units with Small and Well Demarcated Receptive Fields in the Glabrous Skin Area of the Human Hand

  • Roland S. Johansson

Abstract

Microneurographic recordings have revealed that there are four distinct types of mechanoreceptive units in the glabrous skin area of the human hand (Knibestol and Vallbo, 1970; Knibestöl, 1973, 1975; Johansson, 1978). They can most readily be distinguished on the basis of their adaption to sustained skin indentation and the properties of their cutaneous receptive fields. Figure 1 gives a schematic representation of the unit types with regard to these properties. The four types, which all have thick myelinated fibers (Aa) (Knibestöl, 1973, 1975; Hagbarth, Hongell, Hallin and Torebjörk, 1970) have striking similarities to four well described types in cats and subhuman primates (Iggo, 1963; Lindblom, 1965; Lindblom and Lund, 1966; Jänig, Schmidt and Zimmermann, 1968; Talbot, Darian-Smith, Kornhuber and Mountcastle, 1968; Iggo and Muir, 1969; Chambers, Andres, Duering and Iggo, 1972; Iggo and Ogawa, 1977). The human glabrous skin units have been accordingly denoted RA, PC, SA I, and SAII (Fig. 1). These abbreviations stand for rapidly adapting, Pacinian, slowly adapting type one and slowly adapting type two, respectively.

Keywords

Vortex Respiration Tungsten Immobilization Assure 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland S. Johansson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of UmeaUmeaSweden

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