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Which is more sensitive: eye or fingertips?

  1. Aug 28, 2010 #1
    Which is more sensitive: eye or fingertips?

    P.S. touching or feeling
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: sensititivity

    Define "sensitive" in a way that will make the comparison meaningful.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2013
  4. Sep 2, 2010 #3
    Re: sensititivity

    Fingertips are much more sensitive to touch.

    If you softly touch the eye with some probe (which should obviously not be sharp and clean) you can hardly feel it whereas even the lightest touch of the fingertips is clearly noticeable.
  5. Sep 3, 2010 #4
    Re: sensititivity

    Fingers are more sensitive to mechanical touch.
    Eyes are more sensitive to the touch of photons.

    Evidence for fingers being more sensitive because a larger part of the brain affects them,
    "one can see that the hands have a disproportionately large representation compare to the eyes with respect to sensation"
    http://www.medrounds.org/ocular-pathology-study-guide/2005/11/projection-of-eye-onto-brain.html [Broken]

    But this doesn't take into account that visual perception, which is defined as one of the "senses", is actually processed in a different neural locale than the fingers. Similar to how smell has the olfactory bulb specialized for scents.

    I conclude that fingers are more sensitive with regard to this post, but its arguable that eyes have more sensory "feeling", since the eye is sensitive to touch on the cornea AND sensitive to light on the retina. It's all relative.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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