Om Sensory Functions of the Skin of Humans
This volume represents the Proceedings of the Second Inter- national Symposium on Skin Senses held on the campus of Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. The symposium was held on June 5 through 7, 1978, in honor of Professor Yngve Zotterrnan to commemorate his 80th birthday and his more than 50 years of energetic involvement in physiological and psychophysical prob- lems of cutaneous, gustatory, and olfactory sensitivities. The First International Symposium on Skin Senses was in- tended to stimulate dialogues between electrophysiologists and psychophysicists in order to examine the mechanisms of cutaneous sensitivity by way of a mUlti-disciplinary approach. The 12 years since that meeting has seen much progress in the morphology, electrophysiology, and taxonomy of cutaneous receptors. There has been a growing awareness among psychophysicists that, not only are psychometric threshold functions of importance, but descriptions of the growth of sensations to suprathreshold stimuli are of at least equal importance. One of the most exciting recent events has been the development of a technique that permits recording activity in single primary afferent nerve fibers by poking a microelectrode through the skin into a nerve bundle--microneurography. This development allows one to conduct psychophysical measurements of sensation and, at the same time, to sample the primary neural activity associated with the same stimuli. The aim of this symposium was to bring to- gether psychophysicists and microneurographers in order to explore the power and the limitations of such an approach when applied to the cutaneous senses.