User Tools

    To create and edit articles, please register and log-in

Main Menu : categories & index etc.

Main menu
Click categories to expand

A-Z listingplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigA-Z listing

This is an alphabetical index of all content pages.

Other categories



Also see

Importance Ratings
Curator's rationale
AI Policy

Twitter feed 𝕏

Feeds + s.e.o. etc.
rss / xml feed
sitemap file
A-Z listing (archived)

Indexed under : Life Sciences / Human Body

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Meissner corpuscles

The Meissner corpuscle, a mechanosensory end organ, was discovered more than 165 years ago and has since been found in the glabrous skin of all mammals, including that on human fingertips. Although prominently featured in textbooks, the function of the Meissner corpuscle is unknown.

Source : Science, June, 2020

The 40–60 μm diameter corpuscles are distributed in various areas of the skin, but particularly concentrated in (hairless) areas that are especially sensitive to 'light touch' such as the finger-pads and the lips. They are fast-acting and very sensitive to vibrations between 10 and 50 hertz. They rapidly detect and discriminate between very subtle shape and textural changes - and are crucial to exploratory and discriminatory touch.

Their force sensitivity, thresholds, kinetic properties and generalised method of operation are, as yet, only partially described and understood.

Note: The 'light touch' function is likely to be important for the perception of 'softness' - which is currently poorly understood.

Understanding how the mechanical properties of solid objects influence the perception of softness has been the subject of several investigations. However, a clear picture has yet to emerge from this work because both tactile cues believed to be important in the perception of softness (i.e., indentation depth and contact area) are affected simultaneously by the mechanical properties (e.g., Young’s modulus, stiffness).

Source : Science Advances 5(8) 2019

Importance Rating

    Please share this page to help promote Wikenigma !

Dear reader : Do you have any suggestions for the site's content?

Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for older ones, are always welcome.

If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !

Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.

( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)

Automatic Translation

You are currently viewing an auto-translated version of Wikenigma

Please be aware that no automatic translation engines are 100% accurate, and so the auto-translated content will very probably feature errors and omissions.

Nevertheless, Wikenigma hopes that the translated content will help to attract a wider global audience.

Show another (random) article

Further resources :