The sense of touch is more sensitive among women than men because their fingers are smaller, a study suggests.
Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, found greater sweat pore density in smaller fingers. The fingertip touch receptors, which cluster around sweat pore bases, were therefore more tightly packed, they told the Journal of Neuroscience. Higher sensitivity could improve the ability to perform tasks such as embroidery or surgery, they said.
The researchers pressed progressively narrower parallel grooves against the stationary fingertips of 100 volunteers Those with smaller fingers, and these tended to be the women, could discern tighter grooves.
The index finger is more sensitive than the little finger - but lead researcher Dr Daniel Goldreich said this could be because sensitivity improves with continued use.