The roles and functions of cutaneous mechanoreceptors

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2001 Aug;11(4):455-61. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(00)00234-8.


Combined psychophysical and neurophysiological research has resulted in a relatively complete picture of the neural mechanisms of tactile perception. The results support the idea that each of the four mechanoreceptive afferent systems innervating the hand serves a distinctly different perceptual function, and that tactile perception can be understood as the sum of these functions. Furthermore, the receptors in each of those systems seem to be specialized for their assigned perceptual function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology
  • Merkel Cells / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Pacinian Corpuscles / physiology
  • Skin / innervation*