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.

The group is based in the school of Natural Sciences & Psychology, at Liverpool John Moores University, and is a part of the Research Centre for Brain & Behaviour and the Liverpool Neuroscience Group.

SomAffect’s Research Has Been Supported By:

Medical Research Council Logo The Levehulme Trust Logo Bial Foundation Logo
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