Yeah, so did you know your skin can hear? And that, LiveScience says, isn’t all. There’s also some kind of subtle sense that operates through our sweat glands:
“Curiously, our conventional tests with sensitive instruments revealed that all their skin sensation was severely impaired, including their response to different temperatures and mechanical contact,” said study researcher Dr. David Bowsher, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool’s Pain Research Institute.
“But, for all intents and purposes, they had adequate sensation for daily living and could tell what is warm and cold, what is touching them, and what is rough and smooth.”
Bowsher took skin biopsies and sent them to [neuroscience professor Frank] Rice’s lab [at Albany Medical College in New York] for microscopic analyses of the nerve endings.
“Much to our surprise, the skin we received from England lacked all the nerve endings that we normally associated with skin sensation,” Rice said. “So how were these individuals feeling anything?”
The answer: While the patients lacked the usual nerve endings in the skin, Rice and colleagues found sensory nerve endings on the small blood vessels and sweat glands embedded in their skin.
“Apparently, these unique individuals are able to ‘feel things’ through these remaining nerve endings,” Rice said. “For many years, my colleagues and I have detected different types of nerve endings on tiny blood vessels and sweat glands, which we assumed were simply regulating blood flow and sweating.”
Oh, and if you were wondering? Here’s how the hearing skin thing works.