touch

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touch,

tactile sensation received by the skin, enabling the organism to detect objects or substances in contact with the body. End organs (nerve endings) in the skin convey the impression to the brain. Touch sensitivity varies in different parts of the body, depending on the number of end organs present in any one area. The tip of the tongue, lips, and fingertips are three of the most sensitive areas, the back and parts of the limbs the least so. The sense of touch is very closely related to the other four sensations received by the skin: pain, pressure, heat, and cold. There is a specific kind of sensory receptor for each of the five so-called cutaneous senses. For example, light-touch receptors convey only the sensation that an object is in contact with the body, while pressure receptors convey the force, or degree, of contact. The blind learn to read by the Braille system by making use of the sensitivity to touch of the fingertips.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Touch

 

the ability of animals and man to sense environmental factors by means of receptors in the skin; in the locomotor system, which includes the muscles, tendons, and joints; and in some mucous membranes, such as those on the lips and tongue.

The tactile process is based on stimulation of various types of receptors: mechanoreceptors that perceive contact, pressure, and tension; thermoreceptors that perceive heat and cold; and pain receptors. This information then reaches and is transformed by the central nervous system, including the cerebral cortex. The sensation of touch can be quite varied because it results from a complex perception of different properties of a stimulus acting on the skin and subcutaneous tissues. The perception of environmental objects by touch permits evaluations to be made concerning their shape, size, surface properties, consistency, temperature, dryness or wetness, and position and movement in space. At the cellular level, touch breaks down into several different receptor processes: there is no single morphological type of tactile cell.

The sense of touch greatly broadens the organism’s impressions of its surroundings and plays an important role in its vital activity. In many lower animals the sense of touch, together with chemical sensitivity, is the principal means of perceiving the environment. To some extent, touch substitutes for the sensory organs of sight and hearing when they are injured. Touch permits blind persons to read, perform a variety of delicate manual operations, and orient themselves in space. In persons who are both blind and deaf, touch is the main source of information about the outside world and can be developed to an exceptionally high degree. The term “touch” is becoming less common because of increasing knowledge of the receptor processes’ cellular mechanisms; the mechanisms of mechanoreception, thermoreception, and pain are usually considered independently.

REFERENCES

Granit, R. Elektrofiziologicheskoe issledovanie retseptsii. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from English.)
Esakov, A. I., and T. M. Dmitrieva. Neirofiziologicheskie osnovy taktil’nogo vospriiatiia. Moscow, 1971.
Fiziologiia sensornykh sistem, part 2. (Ruko-vodstvopo fiziologii.) Leningrad, 1972.
Milner, P. Fiziologicheskaia psikhologiia. Moscow, 1973. Chapters 8, 10. (Translated from English.)

O. B. IL’INSKII


Touch

 

a performer’s particular manner of producing sound on the piano through various ways of pressing and striking the keys. Each pianist has his own individual touch, which depends on his physiology and artistic intent. J. Field and S. Thalberg produced a soft, “velvety” tone; S. V. Rachmaninoff and A. G. Rubinstein played with a deep, rich tone; and K. N. Igumnov elicited a tender, lyric sound.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

touch

[təch]
(physiology)
The array of sensations arising from pressure sensitivity of the skin.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

touch

1. Rugby Soccer the area outside the touchlines, beyond which the ball is out of play (esp in the phrase in touch)
2. Archaic
a. an official stamp on metal indicating standard purity
b. the die stamp used to apply this mark
3. a scoring hit in competitive fencing
4. an estimate of the amount of gold in an alloy as obtained by use of a touchstone
5. the technique of fingering a keyboard instrument
6. the quality of the action of a keyboard instrument with regard to the relative ease with which the keys may be depressed
7. Bell-ringing any series of changes where the permutations are fewer in number than for a peal
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

touch

(1) A generic reference to touchscreen interfaces, which means using the fingers to type, tap icons and move objects on a touch-sensitive screen. See touchscreen and Touch Bar.

(2) See iPod touch.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Waite ran in two tries in three minutes to complete his hat-trick while Josh Skinner and Jack Haines both touched down in the final stages as Bedwas earned their third win of the campaign.
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On resumption, Clever Mulunda touched down for the UOE which he converted for a 12-7 lead.
But Tom Johnstone's 90-metre interception kept Trinity in the game and when centre Bill Tupou touched down in the second half the gap was just three points.
Ansell added his second before Luke Roberts touched down and another Knight goal took Rangers to a 36-point lead.
Lloyd Gully, Terry Saunders and Lloyd Tucker all touched down for the division's bottom side - who finally emerged victorious in the league at the 11th time of asking.
Injuries to Tom Poole and Preece disrupted Cov after the break, but they went further ahead on 52 minutes with another scrum pushover touched down by George Oliver.
Rhyl scored their final points with a converted try, but Tudno had the final say when substitute Tom Hocknell touched down.
Tornadoes reportedly touched down in areas throughout the mid-west Thursday, three causing destruction in Broken Arrow Okla., a second in Perkins and Ripley Okla., the last in Cove, Okla.
Joel Monaghan touched down in the 56th minute, before Riley added his second just six minutes later.