Stroking modulates noxious-evoked brain activity in human infants (Current Biology – 17/12/18)

Just published, and already making headlines, is our new open-access paper in Current Biology.

SomAffect’s Francis McGlone and Susannah Walker (LJMU) have been working closely in collaboration with Rebecca Slater’s lab (University of Oxford) on this study which shows that stroking touch reduces infant neural (EEG) responses to pinpricks & clinical heel lance.

Professor McGlone said of the study: “This is the result of 4 years collaboration between the authors, which provides further evidence of the importance of C-Tactile afferents in early life, and a new take on the much revered Gate Control theory.

Read the Article in Current Biology
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.014

Abstract:
A subclass of C fibre sensory neurons found in hairy skin are activated by gentle touch [1] and respond optimally to stroking at ∼1–10 cm/s, serving a protective function by promoting affiliative behaviours. In adult humans, stimulation of these C-tactile (CT) afferents is pleasant, and can reduce pain perception [2]. Touch-based techniques, such as infant massage and kangaroo care, are designed to comfort infants during procedures, and a modest reduction in pain-related behavioural and physiological responses has been observed in some studies [3]. Here, we investigated whether touch can reduce noxious-evoked brain activity. We demonstrate that stroking (at 3 cm/s) prior to an experimental noxious stimulus or clinical heel lance can attenuate noxious-evoked brain activity in infants. CT fibres may represent a biological target for non-pharmacological interventions that modulate pain in early life.


Deniz Gursul, Sezgi Goksan, Caroline Hartley, Gabriela Schmidt Mellado, Fiona Moultrie, Amy Hoskin, Eleri Adams, Gareth Hathway, Susannah Walker, Francis McGlone, Rebeccah Slater, Stroking modulates noxious-evoked brain activity in human infants, Current Biology, Volume 28, Issue 24, 2018.

A Touching Story – BNA Bulletin – Autumn 2017

The Autumn 2017 edition of the BNA Bulletin (free to all British Neuroscience Association Members!) which has just landed on the doormats, in-trays and inboxes of over 2000 people features a 2 page article on C-Tactile fibres, touch, and the work of SomAffect / LJMU Professor Francis McGlone.

… “The fast nerves have dominated our understanding of touch” … “But that’s the boring stuff. The rest of the body, that’s where the C-tactile fibres are.” …


A touching story

C-tactile fibres in hairy skin, specialised for responding to gentle stroking, could be playing a key role in development of the social brain.


… “It doesn’t matter what story you tell, the nerve fibres have worked it out.” …


Download the Article (PDF): A Touching Story  and visit the British Neuroscience Association to sign up, and read the whole bulletin (plus back issues from 2004).

© The British Neuroscience Association Ltd

Now Recruiting Sona Participants: Peripheral Microneurography & Pain Mechanisms

Participants Wanted.

 We are looking for healthy participants – aged 18-60.

1 Sona Point + £5 Amazon Vouchers Per Hour.
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Unseen agony: Dismantling autism’s house of pain – SFARI 05/15


David Moore recently spoke to Sarah DeWeerdt  for the Simons FoundationAutism Research Initiative, about pain & autism.

Unseen agony: Dismantling autism’s house of pain

“I was surprised by how little literature exists on autism and
pain,” says David Moore, senior lecturer in psychology at SFARI_MAY2015COVERLiverpool John Moores University in the U.K., who last year published a review of the field


Read the full article
.

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