Following on from the 2015 conference hosted by the SomAffect lab at LJMU, this year’s IASAT conference was hosted by our colleagues at the GRASP lab at Linköping University.
A number of SomAffect members attended, and presented:
Professor Francis McGlone chaired the 1st session – The “C Story: Pain, Itch & Pleasure”, introducing the three C fibres, and highlighting that these fibres do not operate in isolation. He called for the three international societies for Pain, Itch & Affective Touch to recognise each other, and collaborate.
Adarsh Makdani presented a talk on Itch, highlighting the relevance of itch, the peripheral mechanisms, and suggested that scratching should be considered an “Affective Touch”. He also presented data collected during his PhD, looking at the peripheral mechanisms of Itch in a rare case-study subject.
Dr. Andrew Marshall presented in the 2nd session, giving an overview of the spinal cord mechanisms of pain, itch, and pleasant touch & highlighting data collected at The Walton Centre, looking at the spinal cord projection of C fibres in a rare cohort of patients.
Dr. Paula Trotter was awarded a prize for her Data Blitz presentation, highlighting new research into touch perception in foster-care leavers. This data was collected as part of an undergraduate dissertation by LJMU students Shaunna Devine & Elizabeth Stockton; Shaunna presented a poster on the research at the conference.
The team were very happy to be a part of an excellent programme of speakers & presenters. More details can be found on the IASAT website.
SomAffect Professor Francis McGlone was invited to give a keynote speech at the PlayTherapy UK 2018 Conference – titled “The Neurological Basis of Affective Touch“.
PTUK have made both the keynote, and an interview available online, below.
Professor McGlone is due to open the ISATCA symposium on Thursday 1st February 2018 with a talk titled “How Do You Feel?”
The study of affective touch perception and its influence on social interactions and emotional processing as well as behavioural development has attracted the attention of multiple research groups around the globe, centering on a group of specialized unmyelinated nerve fibers – the so-called C-tactile afferents. With a particular importance of interpersonal touch in the upbringing of children, a more detailed field of research on the influences of affective touch perception on the development of the social brain in children is to be explored.
ISATCA 2018 – Programme (pdf)
In November 2017, the pharmaceutical company Roche hosted NeuroSense, an event that aimed to “explore the way the brain uses the five senses to understand the world” – as part of their “Future-proofing Healthcare” series. (More details here: https://somaffect.org/2017/11/future-proofing-healthcare-neurosense-2nd-november-free-event/ )
SomAffect’s Professor Francis McGlone was among the speakers invited to present. Watch the presentation here:
Francis McGlone – How Do You Feel?
You can read more about the event here, on the Roche website, and watch a number of presentations from the event.
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
CT afferents are receptors in mammalian hairy skin that fire action potentials when the skin is touched lightly which makes them particularly important in affective touch. Traditionally neuroscientific research has focused on more discriminative and haptic properties of touch that are mediated by large myelinated afferents and the coding properties and functional organization of unmyelinated CT afferents have been studied much less. The proposed volume will draw together existing knowledge in this nascent field. Separate sections will address (1) how we can measure affective touch, (2) CT structure and physiology, (3) CT processing, (4) the contribution of CTs to sexual behavior, (5) clinical relevance, (6) commercial relevance, and (7) future research considerations. (more…)
On 13th September 2016, SomAffect’s Francis McGlone will be speaking at a workshop held at University of California, Irvine.
Register at: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~jkrichma/haptics_workshop.html
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.
The inaugural congress of the International Association for the Study of Affective Touch (IASAT) was held at University College London, on 20-22 March 2015.
Please see below for the finalised programme, as well as abstracts and biographies from the conference.
IASAT Research Presentation Abstracts
IASAT Speaker’s Abstracts & Biographies
Francis McGlone will be speaking about “Touch and the Developing Social Brain” at World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) conference in Veldhoven, hosted jointly by the Dutch & Flemish affiliates on March 13 – 14 (details below).