Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Touch, Localization of

  • John E. MendozaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_806


Ability to determine the more or less precise area of the body that is the recipient of mechanical stimulation.

Current Knowledge

Touch is mediated by essentially four different systems. A more crude or primitive sense of touch is carried by the anterolateral system for sensory input for the most part at the cervical level or below (essentially the trunk and the four extremities), whereas the spinal tract and nucleus of the fifth cranial nerve carries comparable information from the face. The lemniscal system or posterior column provides more precise tactile information for the body, while the chief or principal nucleus of cranial nerve V serves the same function for the face. All four systems eventually project to the somatosensory cortex of the postcentral gyrus, which, like the motor system is topographically organized, allowing for sensory localization beyond that defined by the individual dermatomes. However, because the lemniscal system and principal nucleus of cranial...

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References and Readings

  1. Blumenfeld, H. (2002). Chapter 7. Somatosensory pathways. In Neuroanatomy through clinical cases (pp. 262–301). Sunderland: Sinauer Associates.Google Scholar
  2. Gilman, S., & Newman, S. W. (2003). Chapter 7. Proprioception, touch and tactile discrimination. In Manter & Gatz’s essentials of clinical neuroanatomy and neurophysiology (pp. 51–59). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.Google Scholar
  3. Martin, J. H. (1996). Chapter 5. The somatic sensory system. In Neuroanatomy: Text and atlas (pp. 125–159). Stamford: Appleton & Lange.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and NeuroscienceTulane Medical School and SE Louisiana Veterans Healthcare SystemNew OrleansUSA