The New York Times–bestselling author of The Compass of Pleasure examines how our sense of touch is interconnected with our emotions
Dual-function receptors in our skin make mint feel cool and chili peppers hot. Without the brain’s dedicated centers for emotional touch, an orgasm would feel more like a sneeze—convulsive, but not especially nice. From skin to nerves to brain, the organization of our body’s touch circuits is a complex and often counterintuitive system that affects everything from our social interactions to our general health and development.
In Touch, neuroscientist and bestselling author David J. Linden explores this critical interface between our bodies and the outside world, between ourselves and others. Along the way, he answers such questions as: Why do women have more refined detection with their fingertips than men? Is there a biological basis for the use of acupuncture to relieve pain? How do drugs like Ecstasy heighten and motivate sensual touch? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? Linking biology and behavioral science, Touch offers an entertaining and enlightening answer to how we feel in every sense of the word.