Assessment of Which Part of the Skin is More Sensitive to Touch

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15 February 2017
Assessment of Which Part of the Skin is More Sensitive to Touch
This paper intends to assess which area of the skin is most sensitive to touch. It was
hypothesized that the finger is the most sensitive part of the skin hence a research study was
undertaken to prove this. After undertaking the successful research study the hypothesis that the
finger is the most sensitive part of the skin was proven to be true.
Background-The skin is made up of somatosensory system that is responsible for all the
sensation we feel from coldness, hotness, smooth or rough sensation, pressure, tickling, itching
sensation, to painful and vibratory stimuli. The somatosensory system is made up of 4 subtypes
i.e. mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, pain receptors and proprioceptors (Samuel and MagR,
The touch receptors are further divided into slow adapting and rapidly adapting. The slow
adapting do not responding to stimuli very fast, they are exemplary in sensing pressure caused by
an object on the skin but cannot determine when the stimulus started or ended while the rapidly
adapting responds fast but cannot sense the duration of the stimulus on the skin (Barrett et al).
When the skin comes into contact with anything the sensory neurons receive signals and in
response the neurons discharge signals that are taken to the brain where they are interpreted
(Yuhas, 2017). Over the year it has been scientifically proven that some part of the body are
more sensitive than others and this is mainly due the fact that the number and distribution of
receptors in a particular regions of the body is always different with some having more receptors
than others and this research study intend to confirm that. This will be done through two point
discrimination test over the different parts of the body.
The purpose of this research study is to discover which area of the human body is the
most sensitive to touch while the hypothesis of the study is that the finger is the most sensitive
area of the skin.
In the experiment’s results the finger and the palm had the highest overall sensitivity
average of 1.9 with the neck having the lowest overall sensitivity of 1.45. The sensitivity average
of the forearm was 1.65 with that of the calf being 1.85. Since the hypothesis was testing two
variables, the amount of sensitivity against the different parts of the body the one way ANOVA
test was used for analysis. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) test results were as follows;
F(4,15) was 4.078947 which is the ratio of the between groups and the within groups. The p-
value was 0.019648. The p- value is always compared with the significance value of 0.05 in
order to confirm whether the null hypothesis is true or false.
Finger Palm Calf Neck Forearm
1.8 1.6 1.8 1.6 1.8
2 2 1.8 1.4 1.4
1.8 2 1.8 1.2 2
2 2 2 1.6 1.4
This is the data table for the values used in carrying out the one way ANOVA test and it
represents the average sensitivity at different distances for different parts of the body.
This is the one way ANOVA test results after the analysis.
Anova: Single Factor
Groups Count Sum Average Variance
Column 1 4 7.6 1.9 0.013333
Column 2 4 7.6 1.9 0.04
Column 3 4 7.4 1.85 0.01
Column 4 4 5.8 1.45 0.036667
Column 5 4 6.6 1.65 0.09
Source of Variation
SS df MS F P-value F crit
Between Groups
0.62 4 0.155 4.078947 0.019648 3.055568
Within Groups
0.57 15 0.038
Total 1.19 19
Finger Palm Calf Neck Forearm
This graph represents the average sensitivity of the skin over the different parts of the body.
From the above results of the research study carried out it can easily be seen that the
sensitivity is highest in the fingers and palms with an average of 1.9 in both reinforcing the
hypothesis that the finger is the most sensitive part of the skin to touch. From the one way
ANOVA test the p-value of 0.019648 is below the significance value of 0.05 hence the null
hypothesis which states that sensitivity is equal in all parts of the body is rejected. This is
confirmed further by the fact that the F value of (4.078947)> F critical value of (3.055568), this
indicates further that the null hypothesis is wrong. Hence from the above test results it can be
concluded that different parts of the body have different sensitivity with the fingers and palms
being the most sensitive.
1)Samuel, Leslie, and MagR. “7 senses and an introduction to sensory receptors - interactive
biology, with Leslie Samuel.” Posts. Interactive Biology, with Leslie Samuel, 7 May
2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
2)Yuhas, Daisy. Skin-deep science: Find your sensitive side. Scientific American, 2017. Web. 15
Feb. 2017.
3)Hall, John E. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. N.p.: Elsevier Health
Sciences, 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
4)Barrett, K E, et al. Ganong’s review of medical physiology. New Delhi : McGraw Hill, 2010,
20 Sept. 2010. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
5)Costanzo, Linda S. Physiology,. N.p.: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009. Web. 15 Feb. 2017

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