SomAffect’s research with collaborators into gentle touch in premature infants has been featured in an article by the NewScientist by Linda Geddes.
While many premature babies experience pain, McGlone thinks that it is exposure to gentle touch that really matters. There’s mounting evidence that a set of nerves called c-tactile fibres are activated by soft caresses, and might provide a scaffold for the developing social brain. “These preterm infants have a highly developed c-tactile system, and I believe that the way the brain wires up its sense of self is critically dependent on this system feeding information in,” McGlone says.
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…)
We would like to invite you to take part in a research study, investigating the brain mechanisms associated with the processing of touch in adults. We are currently looking for participants, aged 18‐60, who have not been diagnosed with a developmental condition such as autism spectrum disorder. Participation will take no more than 2 hours and you will receive an Amazon gift voucher for your time.
If you decide to complete the study, you will be asked some questions about yourself, including questions about your medical history including any medication you might currently be taking. You will then be required to complete a simple task, which involves soft brush strokes being applied to your forearm. During the task, your brain activity will be measured using an elasticated cap filled with small sensors, the process to attach this cap and ensure good connections can take up to 30 minutes to ensure maximum data collecting potential. At the end of the study you will then be asked to complete a couple of questionnaires relating to touch and personality.
We cannot include you in this study if:
You have a condition affecting the brain, spinal column or nerves caused by injury or illness such as traumatic brain injury, stroke or paralysis.
You have a visual impairment that is not fully corrected by contact lenses or glasses.
You are currently taking any of the following medications: analgesics, psychotropics, sedatives or sleeping aids.
You are not aged between 18 and 60 years old.
If you would like to participate or have any further questions please email the address below.
Mr. Connor Haggarty (Principle Investigator, Ph.D student) on:
This study has been approved by Liverpool John Moores Research Ethics Committee (ref: 16/NSP/001).
SomAffect PhD student Connor Haggarty took part in the LJMU graduate school 3 minute thesis competition. In this talk entitled “The skin as and antisocial organ” he describes the rationale for his PhD thesis investigating responses to C-Tactile afferent activating touch in autistic individuals.
On Friday 29th April at 1:30pm Liverpool Pain Relief Foundation will be hosting an interesting event which is currently touring the region.
Pain, the Brain and a Little Bit of Magic is an empowering performance talk which takes alook inside the brain, exploring how we feel pain, how pain is signalled in the body and how we develop chronic conditions. Based on pioneering research, ‘Pain, the Brain and a Little Bit of Magic’ offers an optimistic message of how chronic pain may be better understood and treated.
This year March 14th to 20th is Brain Awareness Week – an annual, global campaign to “increase the public awareness of the progress & benefits of brain research” organised by The DANA Foundation, and hundreds of partners worldwide.
Today in Science, Brian Owen’s reports that the Montreal Neurological Institute is going further still to become the first scientific institute where all research must follow Open-Science principles. (more…)