Johns Hopkins University School Of Medicine, Dr David Linden, Professor discussed on Tech Nation


Let's take five with Morgan. This is five minutes in 2015, and I was able to speak with Dr David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. An author of Touch the Science of Hand Heart in Mind. I asked him what happens when your skin is touched. We think of touch as a single sense, but actually, there are many, many different sensors in our skin acting and parallel. There are nerve endings that transducer heat and cold and it's champagne and pressure and vibration and all those different, which is the sensors, sensors everywhere. Sensors everywhere. When you think of it, it's it's a very large array of sensors. If we took your skin off, it would be the weight of a bowling ball. It would be the size of nine large pizza boxes. So it's the biggest sensory array we have in body and it has all these different sensors. But these sensors are combined in a stream of information. That goes to the brain. And so we don't experience all these different touch modalities as as separate signals. They're they're blended together in our consciousness. You say there's emotional touch and sensory touch. Yes, that's true for every kind of touch whether it isa caressed. Or feeling in your pocket for a quarter or pain or sexual touch. There are separate pathways and separate brain regions for the emotional aspect of what we call the discriminative. Aspect. So let me give you an example. If I were Tio hit you on the thumb with a hammer The facts of that which you get your brain very quickly to an area called the somatic sensory cortex would all be about where on your body where you hit? What's the quality of the pain, stabbing, burning, etcetera. And how intense is it? And then there would be another. Aspect to it, which is this is highly emotionally negative. This and we think of pain is being intrinsically emotionally negative. But this is just a trick our brain plays on. So if you have damage to the emotional touch centre of your brain, and I hit you on the thumb with a hammer Instead of going. Yeah. Ow! That hurts. That's terrible. The way a normal person would. You would say in a very flat voice. Yes, that hurts a lot. It's not like being a massacre. Strike massacre ists. Have a big emotional response to pain. It just happens to be positive. So hit me again. Exactly paying a symbolic switch. People have this damaged have no emotional response to pain. And we only have to look to our Everyday language to see this reinforced, so we might say I was touched by the gesture. You hurt my feelings and the idea of touched meaning emotionally affected or my feelings to mean my tender emotions you might think. Well, that's just Not something deeply biological. That's just a trick of modern day English, but it isn't It's actually broadly called cross cultural. If you look in different languages, so let's get to it. It's in scrapped. So which there's been a big debate about it right. Some people have said it is a special, unique sensation that must have its very own kind of nerve ending in the skim, because it's very unique and always provoked scratching pain doesn't provoke scratching itch. Does and other people said no. Which is just a touch of blend. In other words, it's a little bit of pain on a little bit of light touch and you combine those together, and it feels like it. But there's not a dedicated sensor fritch and this argument raged and raged. And now we know that There's atleast one molecularly distinct. Ah, unique sensor for ich that it's not merely a blend and the exciting thing about that is that means that we will now be able to develop anti itch medicines that are way better than what we have right now. As you know if you go get poison oak or poison ivy, and you try to get one of those creams to relieve the itch, even a prescription cream. It's not very effective. This tech nation interview discusses Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Professor David London's 2015 book, Touch the Science of Hand, part in mind..

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