Touch Perception

Publication Title: 
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

Surprisingly little scientific research has been conducted on the topic of interpersonal touch over the years, despite the importance of touch in our everyday social interactions from birth through to adulthood and old age. In this review, we critically evaluate the results of the research on this topic that have emerged from disciplines, such as cognitive and social psychology, neuroscience, and cultural anthropology.

Author(s): 
Gallace, Alberto
Spence, Charles
Publication Title: 
Neuroscience Letters

Hypnotizability is a cognitive multidimensional trait that involves peculiar imagery characteristics. Subjects with high- (Highs) and low (Lows)-susceptibilities to hypnosis have shown different levels of skill at visual and somesthetic-guided imageries performed during upright stance. The aim of this experiment is to study the modulation of the EEG alpha and theta band amplitude during guided visual and somesthetic imageries in Highs and Lows, as these rhythms are responsive to the cognitive activities involved in mental imagery.

Author(s): 
Cavallaro, Francesca I.
Cacace, Immacolata
Del Testa, Massimiliano
Andre, Paolo
Carli, Giancarlo
De Pascalis, Vilfredo
Rocchi, Raffaele
Santarcangelo, Enrica L.
Publication Title: 
The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

How many persons need tactile support à la Milton H. Erickson to achieve arm levitation during hypnosis? How do these differ from those who do not need it? Hypnotic arm levitation was suggested three times consecutively to 30 medium suggestible students. Sixteen succeeded without any tactile support; 7 needed it one or two times; 5 needed it every time; and 2 achieved no arm levitation at all. Participants without any tactile support went more quickly into deeper hypnosis, experienced more involuntariness, less effort, and had higher electrodermal activity.

Author(s): 
Peter, Burkhard
Piesbergen, Christoph
Lucic, Kristina
Staudacher, Melina
Hagl, Maria
Publication Title: 
NeuroImage

Acupuncture modulation of activity in the human brainstem is not well known. This structure is plagued by physiological artifact in neuroimaging experiments. In addition, most studies have used short (<15 min) block designs, which miss delayed responses following longer duration stimulation. We used brainstem-focused cardiac-gated fMRI and evaluated time-variant brain response to longer duration (>30 min) stimulation with verum (VA, electro-stimulation at acupoint ST-36) or sham point (SPA, non-acupoint electro-stimulation) acupuncture.

Author(s): 
Napadow, Vitaly
Dhond, Rupali
Park, Kyungmo
Kim, Jieun
Makris, Nikos
Kwong, Kenneth K.
Harris, Richard E.
Purdon, Patrick L.
Kettner, Norman
Hui, Kathleen K. S.
Publication Title: 
The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Cued spatial attention modulates functionally relevant alpha rhythms in visual cortices in humans. Here, we present evidence for analogous phenomena in primary somatosensory neocortex (SI). Using magnetoencephalography, we measured changes in the SI mu rhythm containing mu-alpha (7-14 Hz) and mu-beta (15-29 Hz) components.

Author(s): 
Jones, Stephanie R.
Kerr, Catherine E.
Wan, Qian
Pritchett, Dominique L.
Hämäläinen, Matti
Moore, Christopher I.
Publication Title: 
Consciousness and Cognition

Evidence that placebo acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic pain presents a puzzle: how do placebo needles appearing to patients to penetrate the body, but instead sitting on the skin's surface in the manner of a tactile stimulus, evoke a healing response? Previous accounts of ritual touch healing in which patients often described enhanced touch sensations (including warmth, tingling or flowing sensations) suggest an embodied healing mechanism.

Author(s): 
Kerr, Catherine E.
Shaw, Jessica R.
Conboy, Lisa A.
Kelley, John M.
Jacobson, Eric
Kaptchuk, Ted J.
Publication Title: 
The International Journal of Neuroscience

Twenty healthy adults were randomly assigned to a moderate pressure or a light pressure massage therapy group, and EKGs were recorded during a 3-min baseline, during the 15-min massage period and during a 3-min postmassage period. EKG data were then used to derive the high frequency (HF), low frequency (LF) components of heart rate variability and the low to high frequency ratio (LF/HF) as noninvasive markers of autonomic nervous system activity.

Author(s): 
Diego, Miguel A.
Field, Tiffany
Publication Title: 
Brain Imaging and Behavior

The current study investigated the immediate neurophysiological effects of different types of massage in healthy adults using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Much attention has been given to the default mode network, a set of brain regions showing greater activity in the resting state. These regions (i.e. insula, posterior and anterior cingulate, inferior parietal and medial prefrontal cortices) have been postulated to be involved in the neural correlates of consciousness, specifically in arousal and awareness.

Author(s): 
Sliz, D.
Smith, A.
Wiebking, C.
Northoff, G.
Hayley, S.
Publication Title: 
Pediatric Research

Atypical sensory-based behaviors are a ubiquitous feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). In this article, we review the neural underpinnings of sensory processing in autism by reviewing the literature on neurophysiological responses to auditory, tactile, and visual stimuli in autistic individuals. We review studies of unimodal sensory processing and multisensory integration that use a variety of neuroimaging techniques, including electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and functional MRI.

Author(s): 
Marco, Elysa J.
Hinkley, Leighton B. N.
Hill, Susanna S.
Nagarajan, Srikantan S.
Publication Title: 
Consciousness and Cognition

Evidence that placebo acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic pain presents a puzzle: how do placebo needles appearing to patients to penetrate the body, but instead sitting on the skin's surface in the manner of a tactile stimulus, evoke a healing response? Previous accounts of ritual touch healing in which patients often described enhanced touch sensations (including warmth, tingling or flowing sensations) suggest an embodied healing mechanism.

Author(s): 
Kerr, Catherine E.
Shaw, Jessica R.
Conboy, Lisa A.
Kelley, John M.
Jacobson, Eric
Kaptchuk, Ted J.

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