Episode Highlights:

  • Hear about the difference between fast-touch and slower tactile touch?
  • Which parts of the body are mostly used for fast-touch?
  • What are CT fibres and why has Francis’s research explored the role of these fibres?
  • Hear about a patient who has lost all fast-touch nerve fibres.
  • How does pain reflect the difference between fast-touch and touch via CT fibres?
  • What does Francis think about the reduction of touch socially today and how this could affect us in the future?
  • What is epigenetics and how does this compare to the nurture/nature debate?
  • Hear about Michael Meaney’s research.
  • How does Francis think that a lack of early touch can have a developmental effect on the brain?
  • How has legislation in recent years resulted in a society adverse to touching?
  • Francis recognises that Harry Harlow’s research from the 1950s supports our new knowledge that CT fibres are key to childhood development.
  • What is Microneurography?
  • Why does Francis think that technology is replacing touch?
  • What similarities does Francis’s research have to Gabor Mate’s view on childhood development?
  • How has the research into human touch become Francis’ focus as a scientist?



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