Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The somatosensory system is the sensory system of somatic sensation.
Somatic sensation consists of the various sensory receptors that trigger the experiences labelled as touch or pressure, the sensation of posture, the sensation of movement, temperature (warm or cold), and pain (including itch and tickle).
The primary somatosensory area in the human cortex is located in the postcentral gyrus. Areas of this part of the human brain map to certain areas of the body, dependant on the amount or importance of somatosensory input from that area. For example, the hands have a large amout of cortex devoted to sensation in the hands, while the back has much less area. This somatosensory map is termed the homunculus.
The somatosenses include: Cutaneous (skin), kinesthesia (movement) and organic senses, of which the first two are better known. Organic senses have to do with sensory information from the organs, such as stomach aches.
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