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Heart rate variability is enhanced by long-lasting pleasant touch at CT-optimized velocity
University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Sahlgrens University Hospital, Sweden.
Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Sahlgrens University Hospital, Sweden.
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2017 (English)In: Biological Psychology, ISSN 0301-0511, E-ISSN 1873-6246, Vol. 128, 71-81 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The present study explores whether long-lasting pleasant touch has positive effects on the stress response, reward sensitivity, mood, and interoceptive awareness. Methods: 40 participants received either 35 min of brush stroking targeting C-tactile fibres (CT) or vibration on the forearm, and rated pleasantness and intensity. Prior and after, stress response (cortisol and heart rate variability), reward sensitivity, mood and interoceptive awareness were measured. Results: Pleasantness decreased over time for both groups, with brush stroking being perceived as more pleasant and intense than vibration. Heart rate variability (SDNN) increased for brush stroking only, and was related to the higher pleasantness and intensity. No significant effect of CT-optimal touch was observed on any of the other measures. Discussion: The beneficial effect of pleasant touch on heart rate variability suggests a neuronal link between CTfibre stimulation and autonomic regulation, and highlights the potential of long-lasting touch to improve the physiological response.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV , 2017. Vol. 128, 71-81 p.
Keyword [en]
Pleasant touch; CT-optimal touch; Stress response; Heart rate variability; SDNN; Salivary cortisol
National Category
Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-141731DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.07.007ISI: 000410646100009PubMedID: 28723347OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-141731DiVA: diva2:1147298
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council [2011-1529]

Available from: 2017-10-05 Created: 2017-10-05 Last updated: 2017-10-05

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • de-DE
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