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Gentle touch perception: From early childhood to adolescence
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Tech Univ Dresden, Germany.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Aix Marseille Univ, France.
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2019 (English)In: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, ISSN 1878-9293, E-ISSN 1878-9307, Vol. 35, p. 81-86Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Affective touch plays an important role in childrens social interaction and is involved in shaping the development of the social brain. The positive affective component of touch is thought to be conveyed via a group of unmyelinated, low-threshold mechanoreceptive afferents, known as C-tactile fibers that are optimally activated by gentle, slow, stroking touch. Touch targeting these C-tactile fibers has been shown to decrease the heart rate in infants. The current study investigated the relationship between age and psychophysical ratings in response to affective touch. A total of n = 43 participants (early childhood: aged 5-8 years, 9 girls, 12 boys; late childhood: aged 9-12 years, 12 girls, 10 boys) were presented with C-tactile optimal and sub-optimal stroking velocities and rated touch pleasantness on an affective pictorial scale. For both age groups, we found that children preferred C-tactile-targeted stimulation. A comparison with previously published data showed that the childrens preference for C-tactile-targeted stimulation was similar to those obtained in adolescents and adults. We speculate that the effect of C-tactile-targeted touch, which is linked with pleasantness, shapes the childrens preference for C-tactile over non-C-tactile-targeted stimulation, and that C-tactile afferent stimulation is important for social development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2019. Vol. 35, p. 81-86
Keywords [en]
Children; Touch; C-tactile; Affective; Psychophysical; Somatosensory
National Category
Neurology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154678DOI: 10.1016/j.dcn.2017.07.009ISI: 000456714500014PubMedID: 28927641OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-154678DiVA, id: diva2:1292864
Note

Funding Agencies|Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond [MAW 2014.0009]

Available from: 2019-03-01 Created: 2019-03-01 Last updated: 2019-03-26

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Croy, IlonaSehlstedt, IsacOlausson, Håkan
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