skin as nervous system

For context go to a previous post of mine Skinthink (Neurality is Duality) and to Neural Tribe:

“In some unknown way, the skin is tied to the primitive nervous system.” (Bullock et al, 1977, 349).

The job of a neuron is to share survival-critical information with a fellow neuron.  We are a tribe of cooperative survival.  But we begin as a tribe of separation, a tribe of boundaries, as a tribe of skin.

Made of skin, mind thinks like skin.  It is a fact of human embryonic development that CNS [Central Nervous System], the seat of human intelligence, begins as nothing more than involution (envagination) of ectoderm.  The ectoderm enfolds onto itself (through a process called neural tubing) and becomes centralized, externally, as a brain, and, internally, as a mind.

The first and foremost job of any skin is to separate the inner from the outer, the self from the other.  The skin divides and so do we. Made of skin, we mind dualistically and dichotomously.  Each mind, like a pair of scissors, divides the Oneness of the Universe in half (initially into “self’ and “other”) and then in half again and again and again.  This Skinthink is inevitable.

Skin is the first nervous system: it is the first apparatus of intelligence.  Skin has the intelligence of a gatekeeper: it is selective, it discriminates stimuli, it filters friend from foe.  But the intelligence of skin is also our conceptual demise (after all, to filter, to sort, to discriminate is to operate on bias and partiality; this Skinthink software of our existence is the seat of our built-in duality (neurality is duality)).

The intelligence of skin is the original neural sapience (wisdom) of our neural tribe.  The more advanced neural colonies are merely smarter, more discriminating skin, skin that is more adept at information-gathering, information-processing and information-sharing.

Surrounded by Reality, we live on the surface, on the edgy boundary of Self and Other.  This superficiality is our complexity.  This primitive skinthink is also our highest accomplishment.

So, we – the neural colonies – are not just inside.  We are also on the outside.  Wherever you find skin – there as a species – you are.  Skin is our histological ancestry.

We – the Neural Tribe – are a Touchy Tribe.  Sensitive, reactive, responsive we are.  Just like all living nature.

More on Neural Tribe

Related: Skinthink (Neurality is Duality)

Skin photo available from Shutterstock



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From Psych Central's website:
Anthropomorphizing a Neuron, Finally | 360 Degrees of Mindful Living (February 4, 2014)

From Psych Central's website:
Big Mind, Big Ego | 360 Degrees of Mindful Living (May 8, 2014)

    Last reviewed: 10 Nov 2012

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2012). Touchy Nature of Mind. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 28, 2015, from


Select books by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.:
Mindful Emotional Eating Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment

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