I just noticed that when I gently run my fingers along the top of my right foot, I get the same exact "funnybone" sensation in my toes that I get when I hit the ulnar nerve in my elbow.

So I ask: are there similar nerves/fibrous structures running along the top of your foot as whatever is going on in your elbow with the ulnar nerve?

Not medical advice; just curious about the anatomy here.


Why would peripheral anatomy determine subjective sensation? In the end, the cerebral cortex determines the sensation associated with peripheral input. Rewired hamsters can have visual sensations in their auditory cortex (Frost et al., 2000) and visual sensations through tactile stimulation have been reported in man (Ortiz et al., 2011).

The sensations you describe are related to tactile stimulation of peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are pretty homogenous, and typically carry a bunch of afferent nerve fibers up to the somatosensory cortex.

- Frost et al., PNAS (2000); 97(20): 11068–73
- Ortiz et al., PLOSone (2011)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Christiaan (I'd upvote you if I had the rep to do so) - however, as someone who is totally green in this field (biology), I find your answer a bit cryptic and vague! It sounds like you're saying that, no, there aren't any similar structures in my foot that would be causing this sensation, and instead, the sensation is coming from the way my "somatosensory cortex" is processing the tactile input. If that's the case, why would this happen all the sudden? Thanks again! $\endgroup$ – Manny Rodriguez Dec 9 '15 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ In the 2nd paragraph I try to explain that peripheral nerves are pretty similar all over. And linking peripheral anatomy to subjective percept may be tricky. That's all I'm saying. 5 more rep and you can upvote :) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Dec 9 '15 at 12:48

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