The Somatosensory & Affective Neuroscience Group, LJMU
The skin senses are a truly multisensory modality, with specific populations of cutaneous receptors & afferent nerve fibres coding for touch, temperature, pain, itch and ‘pleasure’.
Our group’s research interests span across the whole somatosensory range, and also includes cross-modal interactions with the chemical senses of taste and smell. Our interdisciplinary studies focus on the neural mechanisms as well as the affective and cognitive consequences of painful and pleasant cutaneous sensations, in both healthy and clinical populations.
We record from single afferent nerves using microneurography and study their central projections and function with a range of techniques from behavioural tasks to ultra-high-field fMRI.
We have a particular interest in a population of low threshold mechanosensitive c-fibres named C-tactile (CT) afferents. Only recently discovered in humans, they respond most strongly to ‘gentle stroking touch’ and are hypothesised to underpin the rewarding properties of tactile social interactions and to play a critical role in the developing social brain.
Professor Francis McGlone, & SomAffect collaborator Professor Annett Schirmer have published a research report in Cortex - titled: A touching Sight: EEG/ERP correlates for the vicarious processing of affectionate touch.The article is available online now, and SomAffect is able to grant open ...
LJMU Neuroscience Professor Francis McGlone discusses the importance & role of "touch" in schools on BBC One Breakfast, a national morning news programme. [19th February 2017]https://youtu.be/OjUI-xFhDnw