What part of the body holds the most pain receptors or is likely to cause someone to feel the most intense pain?

I thought it was the eyes but I can't find that source anymore.

  • $\begingroup$ try looking at the a map of the postcentral gyrus, that will tell you which parts of the body have the most sensory neurons. I would guess the hands if I remember the homunculus right. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Oct 16, 2018 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ @John - The cornea is many times more sensitive than the fingers, with excellent reason (we use our hands to work with.) Imagine three grains of sand being rubbed between two fingers. Now imagine them getting dropped onto your cornea. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2018 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


There is anecdotal evidence that the cornea is indeed the most sensitive tissue. Just think of it: our eyes well up with tears when slicing an onion. A tiny insect who flew into our eye feels enormous, and a corneal injury, say a scratch, can leave us severely compromised for a number of days. Luckily, the cornea has rapid healing powers.

The cornea is so sensitive that part of determining the amount of brain injury one has sustained is by measuring the corneal reflex. The way this is done is to take a cotton swab and pull off some cotton fibers and twist them into a tiny tail (so to speak), and tough the cotton fibers to the cornea. If there is no reaction, that's a bad sign.

The Sensitivity of the Cornea in Normal Eyes
Evidence-based guideline update: Determining brain death in adults Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology


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