What Are Touch Receptors?

Touch receptors are receptors on the external part of the body that relay messages to the brain about tactile sensations in the environment. Touch receptors may be categorized as mechanoreceptors or chemoreceptors.

Mechanoreceptors relay messages to the body about pulling or pushing sensations. Chemoreceptors relay messages about temperature. There are more types of touch receptors in the mechanoreceptor category than chemoreceptors. Mechanoreceptors include free nerve endings, Pacinian corpuscles and tactile corpuscles. Chemoreceptors may include end-bulbs of Krause, found in the skin and tongue, and Ruffini endings, found on the external surface of the body. These receptors detect cold and heat sensations, respectively.