Posterior Superior Temporal Sulcus Responses Predict Perceived Pleasantness of Skin Stroking
2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, E-ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 10, no 432Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Love and affection is expressed through a range of physically intimate gestures, including caresses. Recent studies suggest that posterior temporal lobe areas typically associated with visual processing of social cues also respond to interpersonal touch. Here, we asked whether these areas are selective to caress-like skin stroking. We collected functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 23 healthy participants and compared brain responses to skin stroking and vibration. We did not find any significant differences between stroking and vibration in the posterior temporal lobe; however, right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) responses predicted healthy participants perceived pleasantness of skin stroking, but not vibration. These findings link right pSTS responses to individual variability in perceived pleasantness of caress-like tactile stimuli. We speculate that the right pSTS may play a role in the translation of tactile stimuli into positively valenced, socially relevant interpersonal touch and that this system may be affected in disorders associated with impaired attachment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA , 2016. Vol. 10, no 432
brain; fMRI; socio-emotional; tactile; posterior superior temporal sulcus
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131662DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00432ISI: 000382972500001PubMedID: 27679564OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-131662DiVA: diva2:1014950
Funding Agencies|European Union [PIOF-GA-2012-302896]; Stiftelsen Soderstrom-Konigska sjukhemmet; ALF-Vastra Gotaland2016-10-032016-09-302016-10-03