e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

A positive touch: C-tactile afferent targeted skin stimulation carries an appetitive motivational value

Pawling, R and Trotter, PD and Francis, FP and Walker, SC (2017) A positive touch: C-tactile afferent targeted skin stimulation carries an appetitive motivational value. Biological Psychology, 129. pp. 186-194. ISSN 0301-0511

[img]
Preview

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

The rewarding sensation of touch in affiliative interactions is hypothesised to be underpinned by an un- myelinated system of nerve fibres called C-tactile afferents (CTs). CTs are velocity tuned, responding optimally to slow, gentle touch, typical of a caress. Here we used evaluative conditioning to examine whether CT activation carries a positive affective value. A set of neutral faces were paired with robotically delivered touch to the forearm. With half the faces touch was delivered at a CT optimal velocity of 3 cm/s (CT touch) and with the other half at a faster, non-CT optimal velocity of 30 cm/s (Control touch). Heart-rate and skin conductance responses (SCRs) were recorded throughout. Whilst rated equally approachable pre-conditioning, post-con- ditioning faces paired with CT touch were judged significantly more approachable than those paired with Control touch. CT touch also elicited significantly greater heart-rate deceleration and lower amplitude SCRs than Control touch. The results indicate CT touch carries a positive affective value, which can be acquired by socially relevant stimuli it is associated with.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
77Downloads
84Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item