Cortex – A touching Sight: EEG/ERP correlates for the vicarious processing of affectionate touch

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 access to the full article & PDF until 29th December 2018 to anyone visiting through this link: Read The Article

We encourage you to share this page & the article widely.


Abstract

Observers can simulate aspects of other people’s tactile experiences. We asked whether they do so when faced with full-body social interactions, whether emerging representations go beyond basic sensorimotor mirroring, and whether they depend on processing goals and inclinations. In an EEG/ERP study, we presented line-drawn, dyadic interactions with and without affectionate touch. In an explicit and an implicit task, participants categorized images into touch versus no-touch and same versus opposite sex interactions, respectively. Modulations of central Rolandic rhythms implied that affectionate touch displays engaged sensorimotor mechanisms. Additionally, the late positive potential (LPP) being larger for images with as compared to without touch pointed to an involvement of higher order socio-affective mechanisms. Task and sex modulated touch perception. Sensorimotor responding, indexed by Rolandic rhythms, was fairly independent of the task but appeared less effortful in women than in men. Touch induced socio-affective responding, indexed by the LPP, declined from explicit to implicit processing in women and disappeared in men. In sum, this study provides first evidence that vicarious touch from full-body social interactions entails shared sensorimotor as well as socio-affective experiences. Yet, mental representations of touch at a socio-affective level are more likely when touch is goal relevant and observers are female. Together, these results outline the conditions under which touch in visual media may be usefully employed to socially engage observers.

 

Keywords:
Mirror neurons, Vicarious tactile processing, Emotion, Somatosensory perception, Social touch, Sex differences

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.10.005

 

MRC Grant: How the brain controls our sense of touch.

LJMU’s press office has announced the news of our MRC grant award:

MRCGrantNews181115A three-year Medical Research Council (MRC) funded study (£~700K) is being led by Dr Sue Francis (PI) at Nottingham University’s Sir Peter Mansfield Brain Imaging Centre and Professor Francis McGlone (Co-I) from the School of Natural Sciences & Psychology at LJMU.  (more…)

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.
One lab session – up to ~6 hours
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Stroke me for longer, this touch feels too short: The effect of pleasant touch on temporal perception

Conciousness & CognitionNew article in Consciousness & Cognition by Somaffect team members Francis McGlone & David Moore with LJMU collaborator Ruth Ogden

(more…)

Now Recruiting: Peripheral Microneurography & Pain Mechanisms

Participants Wanted.

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

Amazon vouchers paid (£10/hour).
One lab session – up to 6 hours.
(more…)

BPS Annual Conference 2015

This week Ralph, Paula and myself will be presenting posters at the annual BPS conference , in Liverpool. One of the key topics at the conference this year is the social brain.

This will be an excellent opportunity for members of our group to showcase our work  in CT afferents to psychologists, clinicians and researchers from across the broad psychology network.

Connor