Why does holding a hot drink make us like people more? How can a soldier under fire not even notice he's been shot? What makes sex so much fun? Touch is the most important sense we have. Without it, we cannot entirely feel pleasure or pain - we are less than human. In fact, as David Linden demonstrates in the astonishing stories gathered here, touch is central to who we are - from choosing our partners to comforting us on our deathbeds. Exploring the many surprising facts and myths about our sense of touch, Linden reveals how it defines us - and how, by understanding it, we can better know ourselves.
Illuminating. Drawing on a wide range of cutting-edge scientific research, Linden provides plenty of insights into how our sense of touch shapes our experience of the world and our idea of self Sunday Times This book is excellent. It tells you why footballers hug each other when a goal is scored, and why there are vampire bats. Linden is very good and clear on the raw neurology Spectator Absorbing. The bizarre vagaries of touch affect us all, [and] all this is backed up with a good deal of hard neuroscience. Following Linden's thread is worth it The Times Most of us take the tactile senses for granted. You won't after reading this book. The best science writers infect you with their fascination for the subject - that's exactly what Linden achieves here BBC Focus A treasure trove for anyone wanting to decode the frisson of a lover's caress Playboy Will make you think more deeply about every itch, scrape and caress Washington Post Fascinating. This book has changed my life -- Salley Vickers Observer A touching story? A tactless comment? So elemental is the sense of touch that it permeates metaphors we live by. Linden explores the 'weird, complex, and often counter-intuitive' tactile system and its intimate impact on the human experience Nature