Unmyelinated tactile afferents underpin detection of low-force monofilaments

Muscle Nerve. 2006 Jul;34(1):105-7. doi: 10.1002/mus.20534.


Human hairy but not glabrous skin has unmyelinated (C) tactile (CT) afferents that project to insular cortex. We studied two subjects with the rare sensory neuronopathy syndrome who lack A-beta fibers but have relatively preserved C-fiber function. Weak monofilaments were detected on hairy skin alone. Hence, the ability to detect light touch does not depend entirely on the A-beta somatosensory system; CT afferents may contribute to the detection of weak monofilaments.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afferent Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Physical Stimulation / methods
  • Psychophysics
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Skin / innervation
  • Touch / physiology*