“Sixth sense” may be more than just a feeling
NIH study of rare genetic disorder reveals importance of touch and body awareness.
With the help of two young patients with a unique neurological disorder, an initial study by scientists at the National Institutes of Health suggests that a gene called PIEZO2 controls specific aspects of human touch and proprioception, a “sixth sense” describing awareness of one’s body in space. Mutations in the gene caused the two to have movement and balance problems and the loss of some forms of touch. Despite their difficulties, they both appeared to cope with these challenges by relying heavily on vision and other senses.
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022