The somatosensory system enables us to detect touch, temperature and painful stimuli. By studying patients with a rare, inherited disease, Alexander Chesler, Ph.D., and his team identified a key molecule for detecting touch and proprioception, our body’s awareness of itself in space. In this lecture, Dr. Chesler will discuss the “sixth sense” and how recent advances in genetics and functional imaging in model systems can help shed light on mechanisms involved in acute and chronic pain.
- Identify the different types of neurons with endings in the skin that enable sensations of touch, temperature, and pain.
- Discuss how working with patients with a rare and inherited disease informed scientists about the brain.
- Describe how sensory neurons are activated by touch and pressure.