Two Sets of Nerves?
Humans are endowed with a special nervous system to sense love and tenderness, reports the German scientific journal Bild der Wissenschaft. Swedish scientists discovered that a woman who had lost her main touch receptors still felt a pleasant sensation when stroked with a soft paintbrush. This sense of pleasure, they found, was evoked by a second nerve network in the skin, consisting of slow-conducting fibers called tactile C fibers. The network only responds to a gentle touch and activates those brain areas dealing with emotions. Commenting on why humans might have two different sets of nerves, the International Herald Tribune states: “The slow fibers function from the earliest hours of life, perhaps even in the womb, while the fast fibers develop slowly after birth. Newborns might be able to feel the love in a parent’s touch before they can feel the touch itself.”