It is believed that the tactile receptors, dense grid covering our skin, have a spatial working principle, that is, we experience a variety of surfaces, comparing their individual sections. However, experts of the University of Chicago found that tactile neurons man working as well as auditory, and are able to sense the frequency.
The researchers gave the monkeys and people feel the vibrations generated by a special device, and recorded the activity of their tactile receptors. It was found that tactile stimulation of neurons is fully consistent with the vibration, and the nature of nerve impulses could determine the nature of the surface oscillations.
To better understand the operation of tactile receptors, imagine a calm surface, for example, a woolen thread. When we have a finger on the wool and silk thread, then we feel their specific texture and can, without looking, to determine what kind of thread. Every texture has a certain pattern of irregularities that affect our tactile receptors are fluctuations in the sound neurons. Excitation of the same receptor occur at regular intervals, and which characterize the surface. Thus, the feeling of any texture can cause even without touching the material itself.
The study authors noted that in their experiments, they used the wrong, sinusoidoobraznye heavily "polluted" variations that naturally occur most frequently.
While scientists did not fully figured out how tactile receptors are able to perceive so much information: the texture, and shape and direction. Perhaps the findings will help researchers get a complete picture of the sense of touch and create mechanical prostheses such as sensitive as human skin.