Touch : The Science of the Hand, Heart, and Mind

3.52 (245 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 261 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 18mm | 227g
  • Penguin Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143128442
  • 9780143128441
  • 753,584

Review quote

[Linden is] an able guide to the world of touch, with a true gift for simplifying the complex . Touch may not have the same glamour as sight or taste, but, Linden argues, it s a crucial form of social glue and a central aspect of our human experience. "Touch"the book, will make you think more deeply about every itch, scrape and caress.
"The Washington Post"
"Touch "is a treasure trove for anyone wanting to decode the frisson of a lover s caress.
With a novelist s flair for anecdote, Linden unpacks the science behind touch by revealing how the sense informs and motivates us in everyday situations.
"The Scientist"
A crisp reminder that the sense of touch is not to be taken lightly . . . So surpassing does Linden make touch seem that even turning the pages of his book becomes a pleasurable experience.
"Kirkus Reviews"
This in-depth, awareness-raising discussion of the effects of touch from head to toe and back again sheds light on a fascinating yet overlooked topic.
" Booklist"
The sensation of touch, so ubiquitous in how we interact with our world, gets a sensualist pop-biology treatment. . . . His exploration of the relationship between the things we feel with our fingertips and those we feel in our hearts begins with social touch and its lasting effects on babies and rats. Linden covers the basics of tactile receptor types and sensory maps before diving into several chapters all appropriately science-based, yet somehow slightly lurid and intimate on caresses, sexual arousal, and orgasm. . . . Linden sandwiches a surprising amount of anatomical information between the stories of bad hand jobs and children who die young because they can t feel pain.
"Publishers Weekly" "From the Hardcover edition.""
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About Professor David J Linden

David J. Linden is a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The author of The Accidental Mind (2007) and The Compass of Pleasure (2011), he served for many years as the chief editor of The Journal of Neurophysiology. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his two children.
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Rating details

245 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 16% (40)
4 34% (83)
3 38% (93)
2 9% (23)
1 2% (6)
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