A system of unmyelinated afferents for innocuous mechanoreception in the human skin

Brain Res. 1993 Nov 19;628(1-2):301-4. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(93)90968-s.


It is generally held that tactile mechanisms in the human skin are served by fast-conducting myelinated nerve fibres, whereas touch-sensitive afferents with unmyelinated axons are lacking in man, in contrast to other mammals. In the present study we found evidence that sensitive mechanoreceptive afferents with unmyelinated fibres are quite common and widespread in the hairy skin of human subjects. Their biological role remains an enigma which might attract more attention now that their existence in man has been demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Humans
  • Mechanoreceptors / metabolism*
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Skin / innervation*
  • Touch / physiology