How many of us say: “Let me see!” and then stretch out our hands to touch an object? We are all dependent on our tactile sense to interpret and engage with the world around us and to respond appropriately to touch sensations.
The tactile system is the first sensory system to develop in the womb and develops from the same embryonic layer as the nervous system. It is able to function effectively when the visual and auditory systems are just beginning to develop. The skin thus plays an important role in regulating our nervous system, i.e. making us more alert or calming us down. It affects our ability to learn as well as our emotional and social well-being. This stresses the fact that without a great deal of tactile stimulation of the body, the system tends to become unbalanced.