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6. Moving: Hacks 62–69 > 63. Keep Hold of Yourself

Keep Hold of Yourself

How do we keep the sensations on our skin up to date as we move our bodies around in space?

When an insect lands on your skin, receptors in that area of skin fire and a signal travels up to your brain. The identity of the receptor indicates which part of your skin has been touched. But how do you know exactly where that bit of your body is so you can swat the fly? As we move our bodies around in space we have to remap and take account of our changes in posture to understand the sensations arriving at our skin; very different movements are required to scratch your knee depending on whether you’re sitting down or standing up. This might seem like a trivial problem, but it is more complex than it seems at first. We have to integrate information from our joints and muscles about....proprioceptive information


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