cutaneous sensation

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Related to cutaneous sensation: somatic sensation

Cutaneous sensation

The sensory quality of skin. The skin consists of two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis. Sensory receptors in or beneath the skin are peripheral nerve-fiber endings that are differentially sensitive to one or more forms of energy. The sensory endings can be loosely categorized into three morphological groups: endings with expanded tips, such as Merkel's disks found at the base of the epidermis; encapsulated endings, such as Meissner's corpuscles (particularly plentiful in the dermal papillae), and other organs located in the dermis or subcutaneous tissue, such as Ruffini endings, Pacinian corpuscles, Golgi-Mazzoni corpuscles, and Krause's end bulb; and bare nerve endings that are found in all layers of the skin (some of these nerve endings are found near or around the base of hair follicles).

There is a remarkable relationship between the response specificities of cutaneous receptors and five primary qualities of cutaneous sensation, the latter commonly described as touch-pressure (mechanoreceptors), cold and warmth (thermoreceptors), pain, and itch. Each quality is served by a specific set of cutaneous peripheral nerve fibers. More complex sensations must result from an integration within the central nervous system of information from these sets of nerve fibers. Exploration of the skin surface with a rounded metal point reveals that there exist local sensory spots on the skin, stimulation of which evokes only one of the five qualities of sensation. Thus, there may be plotted maps of pressure, warm, cold, pain, or itch spots. See Mechanoreceptors

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cutaneous sensation

[kyü′tā·nē·əs sen′sā·shən]
Any feeling originating in sensory nerve endings of the skin, including pressure, warmth, cold, and pain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cutaneous sensation. Most patients in the preservation group experienced no loss of face or neck sensation, while most patients in the removal group experienced a partial or total loss of sensation; only a few had a complete loss.
The pain threshold at fracture side before treatment depended on the type of cutaneous sensation disorder.
A recent study looked at cutaneous sensations of intact larynx following total laryngectomy.