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  • 1.
    Ackerley, R
    et al.
    Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden / SDS Clinic, ESRS accredited Sleep Research Laboratory, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Badre, G
    Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden / SDS Clinic, ESRS accredited Sleep Research Laboratory, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden / SDS Clinic, ESRS accredited Sleep Research Laboratory, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Positive Effects of a Weighted Blanket on Insomnia2015In: Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, ISSN 2379-0822, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Insomnia is a common occurrence and can have a negative impact on physiological, psychological and social well-being. There is a need for simple, effective solutions to increase sleep quality. It has been suggested that weighted blankets and vests can provide a beneficial calming effect, especially in clinical disorders. Hence, we aimed to investigate the effects of a chain weighted blanket on insomnia, using objective and subjective measures. Objectively, we found that sleep bout time increased, as well as a decrease in movements of the participants, during weighted blanket use. Subjectively, the participants liked sleeping with the blanket, found it easier to settle down to sleep and had an improved sleep, where they felt more refreshed in the morning. Overall, we found that when the participants used the weighted blanket, they had a calmer night’s sleep. A weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia through altered tactile inputs, thus may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality.

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  • 2.
    Ackerley, Rochelle
    et al.
    Aix Marseille Univ, France.
    Croy, Ilona
    Tech Univ Dresden, Germany.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Badre, Gaby
    Gothenburg Univ, Sweden.
    Investigating the Putative Impact of Odors Purported to Have Beneficial Effects on Sleep: Neural and Perceptual Processes2020In: Chemosensory Perception, ISSN 1936-5802, E-ISSN 1936-5810, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 93-105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction Olfaction has an important role in physiological and affective processes, as well as the potential to have profound effects on activities such as sleep and learning. We investigated two commercially manufactured odors ("Deep Sleep" and "Oriental," from This Works) purported to promote sleep, compared with control odor, where we aimed to explore whether neural and behavioral differences existed after odor inhalation. Methods In a neuroimaging study, 30 healthy participants were exposed to the odors via an olfactometer during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In a further behavioral study using 12 chronic insomniacs, we investigated whether the commercial odors showed effects on sleep during a double-blind, randomized home evaluation. Results In the neuroimaging, the odors were related to activation of olfactory-relevant areas, such as the orbitofrontal cortex, and we found positive connectivity between the piriform cortex and the hippocampus, amygdala, insula, and middle cingulate cortex. Deep Sleep specifically activated the superior temporal gyrus, whereas Oriental activated the caudate. Further, these commercial odors showed some beneficial impact on sleep. Conclusions The perceptual and neural impacts of the commercial odors showed that olfactory stimulation can potentially aid sleep and modify affective processes in a number of ways. Implications The present work opens up opportunities for further investigations into how different odors may lead to specific behavioral and physiological modifications, such as their impact on sleep and well-being, which may provide non-pharmacological alternative approaches.

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  • 3.
    Ackerley, Rochelle
    et al.
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden; Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Aix Marseille Univ, France.
    Sverrisdottir, Yrsa B.
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Birklein, Frank
    Johannes Gutenberg Univ Mainz, Germany.
    Elam, Mikael
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Kraemer, Heidrun H.
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden; Justus Liebig Univ, Germany.
    Cutaneous warmth, but not touch, increases muscle sympathetic nerve activity during a muscle fatigue hand-grip task2020In: Experimental Brain Research, ISSN 0014-4819, E-ISSN 1432-1106, Vol. 238, p. 1035-1042Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In homeostasis, somatosensory C fibre afferents are hypothesised to mediate input to the brain about interactions with external stimuli and sympathetic efference provides the output that regulates bodily functions. We aimed to test this hypothesis and whether different types of innocuous somatosensory input have differential effects. Healthy volunteers performed a muscle fatigue (hand-grip) task to exhaustion, which produces increased muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), as measured through microneurography. Participants completed the muscle fatigue task without concurrent cutaneous sensory stimulation (control) or we applied skin warming (heat pack) as a C fibre stimulation, slow brush stroking as C and A beta fibre stimulation, or vibration as A beta fibre stimulation, to the participants forearm. We also measured heart rate, the duration of the hand-grip task, and ratings of pain at the end of the task. Concurrent skin warming showed increased MSNA compared to the other conditions. Tactile stimuli (brushing, vibration) were not significantly different to the control (no intervention) condition. Warming increased the pain from the muscle contraction, whereas the tactile stimuli did not. We interpret the effect of warming on MSNA as providing relevant afferent information during muscle contraction, which needed to be counteracted via vasoconstriction to maintain homeostasis. Brushing and vibration were less homeostatically relevant stimuli for the muscle contraction and hence had no significant effect. The findings add sensory specificity to our current understanding of homeostatic regulation through somatosensory afferent and sympathetic efferent pathways.

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  • 4.
    Bendas, Johanna
    et al.
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Georgiadis, Janniko R.
    University of Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands.
    Ritschel, Gerhard
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Weidner, Kerstin
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Croy, Ilona
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    C-Tactile Mediated Erotic Touch Perception Relates to Sexual Desire and Performance in a Gender-Specific Way2017In: Journal of Sexual Medicine, ISSN 1743-6095, E-ISSN 1743-6109, Vol. 14, no 5, p. 645-653Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Unmyelinated low-threshold mechanoreceptors-the so-called C-tactile (CT) afferents-play a crucial role in the perception and conduction of caressing and pleasant touch sensations and significantly contribute to the concept of erotic touch perception. Aim: To investigate the relations between sexual desire and sexual performance and the perception of touch mediated by CT afferents. Methods: Seventy healthy participants (28 men, 42 women; mean age+/-SD = 24.84+/-4.08 years, range = 18-36 years) underwent standardized and highly controlled stroking stimulation that varied in the amount of CT fiber stimulation by changing stroking velocity (CT optimal = 1, 3 and 10 cm/s; CT suboptimal = 0.1, 0.3, and 30 cm/s). Participants rated the perceived pleasantness, eroticism, and intensity of the applied tactile stimulation on a visual analog scale, completed the Sexual Desire Inventory, and answered questions about sexual performance. Outcomes: Ratings of perceived eroticism of touch were related to self-report levels of sexual desire and sexual performance. Results: Pleasantness and eroticism ratings showed similar dependence on stroking velocity that aligned with the activity of CT afferents. Erotic touch perception was related to sexual desire and sexual performance in a gender-specific way. In women, differences in eroticism ratings between CT optimal and suboptimal velocities correlated positively with desire for sexual interaction. In contrast, in men, this difference correlated to a decreased frequency and longer duration of partnered sexual activities. Clinical Implications: The present results lay the foundation for future research assessing these relations in patients with specific impairments of sexual functioning (eg, hypoactive sexual desire disorder). Strengths and Limitations: The strength of the study is the combination of standardized neurophysiologic methods and behavioral data. A clear limitation of the study design is the exclusion of exact data on the female menstrual cycle and the recruitment of an inhomogeneous sample concerning sexual orientation. Conclusion: The present results provide further evidence that unmyelinated CT afferents play a role in the complex mechanism of erotic touch perception. The ability to differentiate between CT optimal and suboptimal stimuli relates to sexual desire and performance in a gender-specific way. Copyright (C) 2017, International Society for Sexual Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 5.
    Björnsdotter Åberg, Malin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Karolinska Inst, Sweden.
    Davidovic, Monika
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Karjalainen, Louise
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Starck, Goran
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Wentz, Elisabet
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Grey matter correlates of autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa2018In: Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, ISSN 1180-4882, E-ISSN 1488-2434, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 79-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Patients with anorexia nervosa exhibit higher levels of behaviours typically associated with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), but the neural basis is unclear. We sought to determine whether elevated autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa may be reflected in cortical morphology. Methods: We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to examine regional grey matter volumes in high-resolution MRI structural brain scans in women with anorexia nervosa and matched healthy controls. The Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) scale was used to assess autistic traits. Results: Women with anorexia nervosa (n = 25) had higher AQ scores and lower bilateral superior temporal sulcus (STS) grey matter volumes than the control group (n = 25). The AQ scores correlated negatively with average left STS grey matter volume in women with anorexia nervosa. Limitations: We did not control for cognitive ability and examined only women with ongoing anorexia nervosa. Conclusion: Elevated autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa are associated with morphometric alterations of brain areas linked to social cognition. This finding provides neurobiological support for the behavioural link between anorexia nervosa and ASD and emphasizes the importance of recognizing autistic traits in preventing and treating-anorexia nervosa.

  • 6.
    Böhme, Rebecca
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Frost-Karlsson, Morgan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Heilig, Markus
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Psykiatriska kliniken i Linköping.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Johansson Capusan, Andrea
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Psykiatriska kliniken i Linköping.
    Sharpened self-other distinction in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder2020In: NeuroImage: Clinical, E-ISSN 2213-1582, Vol. 27, article id 102317Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction

    Differentiation between self-produced tactile stimuli and touch by others is necessary for social interactions and for a coherent concept of “self”. In attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD), tactile hypersensitivity and social cognition problems are part of the symptomatology, but pathophysiological mechanisms are largely unknown. Differentiation of self- and non-self- generated sensations might be key to understand and develop novel strategies for managing hypersensitivity. Here, we compared the neural signatures of affective self- and other-touch between adults with ADHD and neurotypical controls (NC).

    Methods

    Twenty-eight adult ADHD participants and 30 age- and gender-matched NC performed a self-other-touch-task during functional magnetic resonance imaging: they stroked their own arm, an object, or were stroked by the experimenter. In addition, tactile detection thresholds and rubber hand illusion (RHI) were measured.

    Results

    ADHD participants had more autistic traits than NC and reported to engage less in interpersonal touch. They also reported to be more sensitive to tactile stimuli. Compared to NC, ADHD participants showed enhanced responses to both the self- and other-touch conditions: stronger deactivation during self-touch in the anterior and posterior insula, and increased activation during other-touch in primary somatosensory cortex. ADHD participants had intact tactile detection thresholds, but were less susceptible to the RHI.

    Conclusions

    Unaltered detection thresholds suggest that peripheral processing is intact, and that hypersensitivity might be driven by central mechanisms. This has clinical implications for managing somatosensory hypersensitivity in ADHD. The more pronounced differentiation between self- and other-touch might indicate a clearer self-other-distinction. This is of interest regarding body ownership perception in both NC and ADHD, and possibly other psychiatric conditions with altered self-experiences, like schizophrenia. A sharper boundary of the own body might relate to deficits in social cognition and tactile hypersensitivity.

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  • 7.
    Böhme, Rebecca
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Hauser, Steven
    Univ Virginia, VA 22904 USA.
    Gerling, Gregory J.
    Univ Virginia, VA 22904 USA.
    Heilig, Markus
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Psykiatriska kliniken inkl beroendekliniken.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Distinction of self-produced touch and social touch at cortical and spinal cord levels2019In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 116, no 6, p. 2290-2299Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Differentiation between self-produced tactile stimuli and touch by others is necessary for social interactions and for a coherent concept of "self." The mechanisms underlying this distinction are unknown. Here, we investigated the distinction between self-and other-produced light touch in healthy volunteers using three different approaches: fMRI, behavioral testing, and somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) at spinal and cortical levels. Using fMRI, we found self-other differentiation in somatosensory and sociocognitive areas. Other-touch was related to activation in several areas, including somatosensory cortex, insula, superior temporal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, striatum, amygdala, cerebellum, and prefrontal cortex. During self-touch, we instead found deactivation in insula, anterior cingulate cortex, superior temporal gyrus, amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus, and prefrontal areas. Deactivation extended into brain areas encoding low-level sensory representations, including thalamus and brainstem. These findings were replicated in a second cohort. During self-touch, the sensorimotor cortex was functionally connected to the insula, and the threshold for detection of an additional tactile stimulus was elevated. Differential encoding of self-vs. other-touch during fMRI correlated with the individual self-concept strength. In SEP, cortical amplitudes were reduced during self-touch, while latencies at cortical and spinal levels were faster for other-touch. We thus demonstrated a robust self-other distinction in brain areas related to somatosensory, social cognitive, and interoceptive processing. Signs of this distinction were evident at the spinal cord. Our results provide a framework for future studies in autism, schizophrenia, and emotionally unstable personality disorder, conditions where symptoms include social touch avoidance and poor self-vs.-other discrimination.

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  • 8.
    Böhme, Rebecca
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Differentiating self-touch from social touch2022In: CURRENT OPINION IN BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, ISSN 2352-1546, Vol. 43, p. 27-33Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Humans need to be able to differentiate between signals they produce themselves and signals that arise from non-self-causes. It has long been discussed that the brain uses a copy of the motor command, an efference copy, to predict the sensory outcomes of ones own action - and to attenuate these. While studies in humans suggest that cerebellum and supplementary motor area play crucial roles in the attenuation, a study in mice suggests a global suppression during self-touch. However, the sensory percepts of self-touch are not fully cancelled out. Humans touch themselves frequently suggesting a behavioral relevance of self-touch, as to refocus attention, to calm oneself down during stress, to itch or for self-enjoyment. We discuss studies on sensory attenuation as well as the behavioral relevance of self-touch and open questions for future research.

  • 9.
    Böhme, Rebecca
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Veenstra, Helene
    Linköping University, Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Division of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Gerdle, Björn
    Linköping University, Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Division of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Pain and Rehabilitation Center. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Nagi, Saad
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Anhedonia to Gentle Touch in Fibromyalgia: Normal Sensory Processing but Abnormal Evaluation2020In: Brain Sciences, ISSN 2076-3425, E-ISSN 2076-3425, Vol. 10, no 5, article id 306Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social touch is important for interpersonal interaction. Gentle touch and slow brushing are typically perceived as pleasant, the degree of pleasantness is linked to the activity of the C-tactile (CT) fibers, a class of unmyelinated nerves in the skin. The inability to experience pleasure in general is called anhedonia, a common phenomenon in the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia. Here, we studied the perception and cortical processing of gentle touch in a well-characterized cohort of fibromyalgia. Patients and controls participated in functional brain imaging while receiving tactile stimuli (brushing) on the forearm. They were asked to provide ratings of pleasantness of the tactile stimulus and ongoing pain. We found high distress, pain catastrophizing, and insomnia, and a low perceived state of health in fibromyalgia. Further, patients rated both slow (CT-optimal) and fast (CT-suboptimal) brushing as less pleasant than healthy participants. While there was no difference in brain activity during touch, patients showed deactivation in the right posterior insula (contralateral to the stimulated arm) during pleasantness rating and activation during pain rating. The opposite pattern was observed in healthy participants. Voxel-based morphometry analysis revealed reduced grey matter density in patients, in the bilateral hippocampus and anterior insula. Our results suggest anhedonia to gentle touch in fibromyalgia with intact early-stage sensory processing but dysfunctional evaluative processing. These findings contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying anhedonia in fibromyalgia.

  • 10.
    Case, Laura K.
    et al.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Laubacher, Claire M.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Wang, Binquan
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Spagnolo, Primavera A.
    NIAAA, MD 20892 USA.
    Catherine Bushnell, M.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Encoding of Touch Intensity But Not Pleasantness in Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex2016In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 36, no 21, p. 5850-5860Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Growing interest in affective touch has delineated a neural network that bypasses primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Several recent studies, however, have cast doubt on the segregation of touch discrimination and affect, suggesting that S1 also encodes affective qualities. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to examine the role of S1 in processing touch intensity and pleasantness. Twenty-six healthy human adults rated brushing on the hand during fMRI. Intensity ratings significantly predicted activation in S1, whereas pleasantness ratings predicted activation only in the anterior cingulate cortex. Nineteen subjects also received inhibitory rTMS over right hemisphere S1 and the vertex (control). After S1 rTMS, but not after vertex rTMS, sensory discrimination was reduced and subjects with reduced sensory discrimination rated touch as more intense. In contrast, rTMS did not alter ratings of touch pleasantness. Our findings support divergent neural processing of touch intensity and pleasantness, with affective touch encoded outside of S1.

  • 11.
    Case, Laura K.
    et al.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Laubacher, Claire M.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Richards, Emily A.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Spagnolo, P. A.
    NIAAA, MD USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Bushnell, M. Catherine
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Inhibitory rTMS of secondary somatosensory cortex reduces intensity but not pleasantness of gentle touch2017In: Neuroscience Letters, ISSN 0304-3940, E-ISSN 1872-7972, Vol. 653, p. 84-91Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research suggests that the discriminative and affective aspects of touch are processed differently in the brain. Primary somatosensory cortex is strongly implicated in touch discrimination, whereas insular and prefronal regions have been associated with pleasantness aspects of touch. However, the role of secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) is less clear. In the current study we used inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to temporarily deactivate S2 and probe its role in touch perception. Nineteen healthy adults received two sessions of 1-Hz rTMS on separate days, one targeting right S2 and the other targeting the vertex (control). Before and after rTMS, subjects rated the intensity and pleasantness of slow and fast gentle brushing of the hand and performed a 2-point tactile discrimination task, followed by fMRI during additional brushing. rTMS to S2 (but not vertex) decreased intensity ratings of fast brushing, without altering touch pleasantness or spatial discrimination. MRI showed a reduced response to brushing in S2 (but not in S1 or insula) after S2 rTMS. Together, our results show that reducing touch evoked activity in S2 decreases perceived touch intensity, suggesting a causal role of S2 in touch intensity perception. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  • 12.
    Case, Laura K.
    et al.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA; Univ Calif San Diego, CA 92103 USA.
    Liljencrantz, Jaquette
    NIH, MD 20892 USA; Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Madian, Nicholas
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Necaise, Aaron
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Tubbs, Justin
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    McCall, Micaela
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Bradson, Megan L.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Szczot, Marcin
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Pitcher, Mark H.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Ghitani, Nima
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Frangos, Eleni
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Cole, Jonathan
    Bournemouth Univ, England.
    Bharucha-Goebel, Diana
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Saade, Dimah
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Ogata, Tracy
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Donkervoort, Sandra
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Foley, A. Reghan
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Bonnemann, Carsten G.
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Bushnell, M. Catherine
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Chesler, Alexander T.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA; NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Innocuous pressure sensation requires A-type afferents but not functional Rho Iota Epsilon Zeta Omicron 2 channels in humans2021In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 12, no 1, article id 657Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The sensation of pressure allows us to feel sustained compression and body strain. While our understanding of cutaneous touch has grown significantly in recent years, how deep tissue sensations are detected remains less clear. Here, we use quantitative sensory evaluations of patients with rare sensory disorders, as well as nerve blocks in typical individuals, to probe the neural and genetic mechanisms for detecting non-painful pressure. We show that the ability to perceive innocuous pressures is lost when myelinated fiber function is experimentally blocked in healthy volunteers and that two patients lacking A beta fibers are strikingly unable to feel innocuous pressures at all. We find that seven individuals with inherited mutations in the mechanoreceptor PIEZO2 gene, who have major deficits in touch and proprioception, are nearly as good at sensing pressure as healthy control subjects. Together, these data support a role for A beta afferents in pressure sensation and suggest the existence of an unknown molecular pathway for its detection. The mechanisms underlying deep pressure sensing are not fully understood. Here the authors demonstrate that while two individuals lacking A beta fibers demonstrate impaired deep pressure sensing, seven individuals with PIEZO2 loss of function mutations display normal deep pressure responses.

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  • 13.
    Case, Laura K.
    et al.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA; Univ Calif San Diego, CA 92093 USA.
    Liljencrantz, Jaquette
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    McCall, Micaela V.
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Bradson, Megan
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Necaise, Aaron
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Tubbs, Justin
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Wang, Binquan
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Bushnell, M. Catherine
    NIH, MD 20892 USA.
    Pleasant Deep Pressure: Expanding the Social Touch Hypothesis2021In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, E-ISSN 1873-7544, Vol. 464Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neuroscientific research on pleasant touch has focused on the C-tactile pathway for gentle stroking and has successfully explained how these sensory fibers transmit information about affective social touch to the brain and induce sensations of pleasantness. The C-tactile social/affective touch hypothesis even proposes that C-tactile fibers form a privileged pathway underlying social touch. However, deep pressure is a type of touch commonly considered pleasant and calming, occurring in hugs, cuddling, and massage. In this paper we introduce a paradigm for studying pleasant deep pressure and propose that it constitutes another important form of social touch. We describe development of the oscillating compression sleeve (OCS) as one approach to administering deep pressure and demonstrate that this touch is perceived as pleasant and calming. Further, we show that deep pressure can be imaged with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using the air-pressure driven OCS and that deep pressure activates brain regions highly similar to those that respond to C-tactile stroking, as well as regions not activated by stroking. We propose that deep pressure constitutes another social touch pathway of evolutionary importance signaling the close proximity of conspecifics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neurobiology of Social and Affective Touch. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IBRO. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). research on pleasant touch has focused on the C-tactile pathway for gentle stroking and has successfully explained how these sensory fibers transmit information about affective social touch to the brain and induce sensations of pleasantness. The C-tactile social/affective touch hypothesis even proposes that C-tactile fibers form a privileged pathway underlying social touch. However, deep pressure is a type of touch commonly considered pleasant and calming, occurring in hugs, cuddling, and massage. In this paper we introduce a paradigm for studying pleasant deep pressure and propose that it constitutes another important form of social touch. We describe development of the oscillating compression sleeve (OCS) as one approach to administering deep pressure and demonstrate that this touch is perceived as pleasant and calming. Further, we show that deep pressure can be imaged with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using the air-pressuredriven OCS and that deep pressure activates brain regions highly similar to those that respond to C-tactile stroking, as well as regions not activated by stroking. We propose that deep pressure constitutes another social touch pathway of evolutionary importance signaling the close proximity of conspecifics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neurobiology of Social and Affective Touch. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IBRO. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

  • 14.
    Case, Laura K
    et al.
    National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH , Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
    Čeko, Marta
    National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH , Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
    Gracely, John L
    National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH , Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
    Richards, Emily A
    National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH , Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN). Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Bushnell, M Catherine
    National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH , Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
    Touch Perception Altered by Chronic Pain and by Opioid Blockade.2016In: eNeuro, E-ISSN 2373-2822, Vol. 3, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Touch plays a significant role in human social behavior and social communication, and its rewarding nature has been suggested to involve opioids. Opioid blockade in monkeys leads to increased solicitation and receipt of grooming, suggesting heightened enjoyment of touch. We sought to study the role of endogenous opioids in perception of affective touch in healthy adults and in patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition shown to involve reduced opioid receptor availability. The pleasantness of touch has been linked to the activation of C-tactile fibers, which respond maximally to slow gentle touch and correlate with ratings of pleasantness. We administered naloxone to patients and healthy controls to directly observe the consequences of µ-opioid blockade on the perceived pleasantness and intensity of touch. We found that at baseline chronic pain patients showed a blunted distinction between slow and fast brushing for both intensity and pleasantness, suggesting reduced C-tactile touch processing. In addition, we found a differential effect of opioid blockade on touch perception in healthy subjects and pain patients. In healthy individuals, opioid blockade showed a trend toward increased ratings of touch pleasantness, while in chronic pain patients it significantly decreased ratings of touch intensity. Further, in healthy individuals, naloxone-induced increase in touch pleasantness was associated with naloxone-induced decreased preference for slow touch, suggesting a possible effect of opioid levels on processing of C-tactile fiber input. These findings suggest a role for endogenous opioids in touch processing, and provide further evidence for altered opioid functioning in chronic pain patients.

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  • 15.
    Chae, Younbyoung
    et al.
    Kyung Hee University, South Korea.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    The role of touch in acupuncture treatment2017In: Acupuncture in Medicine, ISSN 0964-5284, E-ISSN 1759-9873, Vol. 35, no 2, p. 148-152Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Acupuncture is a therapeutic treatment that is characterised by the insertion of a needle at a particular location on the body. Acupuncture stimulation includes sensory-discriminative and affective-social touch dimensions. In this review, we discuss the role of touch during acupuncture stimulation with an emphasis on the therapeutic, sensory-discriminative and affective-social aspects. In the discriminative dimension, de qi, which is associated with needling, includes a combination of various sensations, such as heaviness, numbness, soreness and distension. Achieving the appropriate de qi sensation appears to be fundamental to the therapeutic outcome following acupuncture treatment. In the affective dimension, the acupuncture procedure typically includes gentle manual touch stimulation, which induces feelings of calm and well-being, perhaps by activating C tactile fibres. Enhanced activity of C tactile afferents may induce a limbic touch response, resulting in emotional and hormonal reactions. Because acupuncture is a therapist intensive and complex intervention, it is necessary to understand the role of social touch between the practitioner and patient. Both sensory-discriminative and affective-social touch aspects play an important role in the therapeutic effect of acupuncture treatment in clinical practice.

  • 16.
    Croy, Ilona
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Drechsler, Edda
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Hamilton, Paul
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN).
    Hummel, Thomas
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olfactory modulation of affective touch processing - A neurophysiological investigation2016In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 135, p. 135-141Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Touch can be highly emotional, and depending on the environment, it can be perceived as pleasant and comforting or disgusting and dangerous. Here, we studied the impact of context on the processing of tactile stimuli using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm. This was achieved by embedding tactile stimulation in a variable olfactory environment. Twenty people were scanned with BOLD fMRI while receiving the following stimulus blocks: Slow stroking Touch, Civette odor (feces like), Rose odor, Touch + Civette, and Touch + Rose. Ratings of pleasantness and intensity of tactile stimuli and ratings of disgust and intensity of olfactory stimuli were collected. The impact of the olfactory context on the processing of touch was studied using covariance analyses. Coupling between olfactory processing and somatosensory processing areas was assessed with psychophysiological interaction analysis (PPI). A subjectively disgusting olfactory environment significantly reduced the perceived pleasantness of touch. The touch fMRI activation in the secondary somatosensory cortex, operculum 1 (OP1), was positively correlated with the disgust towards the odors. Decreased pleasantness of touch was related to decreased posterior insula activity. PPI analysis revealed a significant interaction between the OP1, posterior insula, and regions processing the disgust of odors (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala). We conclude that the disgust evaluation of the olfactory environment moderates neural reactivity in somatosensory regions by upregulation of the OP1 and downregulation of the posterior insula. This adaptive regulation of affective touch processing may facilitate adaptive reaction to a potentially harmful stimulus. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 17.
    Croy, Ilona
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Geide, Helen
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN).
    Paulus, Martin
    Laureate Institute Brain Research, OK USA.
    Weidner, Kerstin
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Affective touch awareness in mental health and disease relates to autistic traits - An explorative neurophysiological investigation2016In: Psychiatry Research, ISSN 0165-1781, E-ISSN 1872-7123, Vol. 245, p. 491-496Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Affective touch is important for social interaction within families and groups and there is evidence that unmyelinated C tactile fibers are involved in this process. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders show alterations in the perception and processing of affective touch. sThus, we hypothesized that affective touch awareness based on C tactile fiber activation is impaired in individuals with high levels of autistic trait. The pleasantness perception of optimal and suboptimal C tactile stimuli was tested in an explorative study in 70 patients recruited from an outpatient psychotherapy clinic and 69 healthy comparison subjects. All participants completed questionnaires about autistic traits, depressive symptomatology, childhood maltreatment, and about the daily amount of touch. Relative to comparison subjects, patients reported engaging in touch less frequently in daily life and rated touch less pleasant. Reduced valence ratings of touch were explained by childhood maltreatment but not by any particular disorder or depression severity. Among all tested variables, the affective touch awareness correlated with autistic traits only - in patients as well as in comparison subjects. Taken together, individuals with mental health issues have a lower baseline of expression and reception of affective touch. Autistic traits and childhood maltreatment modulate the experience of affective touch. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 18.
    Croy, Ilona
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Luong, A.
    Sahlgrens University Hospital, Sweden.
    Triscoli, C.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN). Sahlgrens University Hospital, Sweden.
    Hofmann, E.
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Sailer, U.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Interpersonal stroking touch is targeted to C tactile afferent activation2016In: Behavioural Brain Research, ISSN 0166-4328, E-ISSN 1872-7549, Vol. 297, p. 37-40Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    C tactile fibers are a specialized group of fibers innervating the non-glabrous skin that are tuned to light gentle stroking applied with velocities between 1 and 10 cm/s. Those fibers add to the sensation of interpersonal caressing and pleasant touch. It is unclear whether people spontaneously apply touch that is tuned to optimally activate those fibers. This was investigated in three studies. In study one, 45 participants (21.8 +/- 2.3 years, 24 women) were asked to stroke an artificial arm. In study two, 32 participants (28.3 +/- 8.7years, 16 women) were asked to stroke their partner. In study three, 11 parents (29.4 +/- 5.7years, 6 women) were asked to stroke their babies. Stroking velocity was tracked in all conditions. Stroking velocities were significantly slower in the partner touch and baby touch condition than in the artificial arm condition and all of the participants stroking their partner or baby used velocities that can activate C tactile fibers. We conclude that human social stroking is optimized for C tactile stimulation. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 19.
    Croy, Ilona
    et al.
    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.
    Sehlstedt, Isac
    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.
    Wasling, Helena Backlund
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Ackerley, Rochelle
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Aix Marseille Univ, France.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Gentle touch perception: From early childhood to adolescence2019In: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, ISSN 1878-9293, E-ISSN 1878-9307, Vol. 35, p. 81-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 20.
    Davidovic, Monika
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Jonsson, Emma H.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN). Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine.
    Björnsdotter Åberg, Malin
    Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN). Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Posterior Superior Temporal Sulcus Responses Predict Perceived Pleasantness of Skin Stroking2016In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, E-ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 10, no 432Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

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  • 21.
    Davidovic, Monika
    et al.
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Karjalainen, Louise
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Starck, Göran
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Wentz, Elisabet
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Björnsdotter Åberg, Malin
    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.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Abnormal brain processing of gentle touch in anorexia nervosa2018In: Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, ISSN 0925-4927, E-ISSN 1872-7506, Vol. 281, p. 53-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Body image disturbance is a core symptom in anorexia nervosa (AN). Recent research suggests that abnormalities in touch perception may contribute to the disease mechanisms in AN. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study possible abnormalities in cortical processing of affective touch in AN. Gentle skin strokes were applied to the right forearm during fMRI scanning in women diagnosed with AN (n = 25) and in matched healthy controls (HC; n = 25). Blocks of skin stroking were alternated with blocks of static skin indentation. Participants provided ratings of the pleasantness of skin stroking stimulation. AN participants perceived skin stroking as significantly less pleasant than HC. We observed no group differences for the contrast between skin stroking and skin indentation in primary tactile regions. We did find, however, significantly less activity in the AN group in areas including left caudate nucleus. Also, we found less activity in the AN group in bilateral lateral occipital cortex for the main effect of skin stroking. Our results suggest that abnormal functioning of the dorsal striatum could affect evaluation of pleasant tactile stimuli, and that abnormal functioning of the lateral occipital cortex might be related to disturbed body image perception.

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  • 22.
    Davidovic, Monika
    et al.
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Starck, Goran
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Processing of affective and emotionally neutral tactile stimuli in the insular cortex2019In: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, ISSN 1878-9293, E-ISSN 1878-9307, Vol. 35, p. 94-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The insula is important for the processing of pleasant aspects of touch whereas its role in the processing of emotionally neutral touch has been less explored. Here, we used a network approach to investigate the insular processing of pleasant stroking touch and emotionally neutral vibratory touch, analysing functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 23 healthy adult participants. Vibration and skin stroking activated areas in the posterior, middle and anterior insula. Psychophysiological interaction analyses suggested that skin stroking increased functional connectivity between the posterior and ventral anterior insula. Vibration instead increased functional connectivity between the posterior and dorsal anterior insula, and induced a stronger decrease of the default mode network activity compared to stroking. These results confirmed findings from previous studies showing that the posterior insula processes affective touch information. We suggest that this is accomplished by relaying tactile information from the posterior insula to ventral anterior insula, an area tightly connected to the emotional parts of the brain. However, our results also suggested that the insula processes tactile information with less emotional valence. A central hub in this processing seemed to be the right dorsal anterior insula.

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  • 23.
    Ellingsen, Dan-Mikael
    et al.
    Harvard University, MA 02215 USA; University of Oslo, Norway.
    Leknes, Siri
    University of Oslo, Norway.
    Loseth, Guro
    University of Oslo, Norway.
    Wessberg, Johan
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    The Neurobiology Shaping Affective Touch: Expectation, Motivation, and Meaning in the Multisensory Context2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, no 1986Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inter individual touch can be a desirable reward that can both relieve negative affect and evoke strong feelings of pleasure. However, if other sensory cues indicate it is undesirable to interact with the toucher, the affective experience of the same touch may be flipped to disgust. While a broad literature has addressed, on one hand the neurophysiological basis of ascending touch pathways, and on the other hand the central neurochemistry involved in touch behaviors, investigations of how external context and internal state shapes the hedonic value of touch have only recently emerged. Here, we review the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms responsible for the integration of tactile "bottom-up" stimuli and "top-down" information into affective touch experiences. We highlight the reciprocal influences between gentle touch and contextual information, and consider how, and at which levels of neural processing, top down influences may modulate ascending touch signals. Finally, we discuss the central neurochemistry, specifically the mu-opioids and oxytocin systems, involved in affective touch processing, and how the functions of these neurotransmitters largely depend on the context and motivational state of the individual.

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  • 24.
    Frost-Karlsson, Morgan
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Johansson Capusan, Andrea
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Psykiatriska kliniken i Linköping.
    Perini, Irene
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Zetterqvist, Maria
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
    Gustafsson, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
    Böhme, Rebecca
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Neural processing of self-touch and other-touch in anorexia nervosa and autism spectrum condition2022In: NeuroImage: Clinical, E-ISSN 2213-1582, Vol. 36, article id 103264Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: The tactile sense plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of a functional bodily self. The ability to differentiate between self-and nonself-generated touch contributes to the perception of the bodies boundaries and more generally to self-other-distinction, both of which are thought be altered in anorexia nervosa (AN) and autism spectrum condition (AS). While it has been suggested that AN and AS are characterized by overlapping symptomatology, they might differ regarding body perception and self-other-distinction. Methods: Participants with a diagnosis of AN (n = 25), AS (n = 29), and a comparison group without diagnoses (n = 57) performed a self-other-touch task during functional brain imaging. In the experimental conditions, they stroked their own arm or were stroked on the arm by an experimenter. Results: As shown previously, the CG group showed lower activation or deactivation in response to self-touch compared to social touch from someone else. A main group effect was found in areas including somatosensory cortex, frontal and temporal gyri, insula, and subcortical regions. This was driven by increased activations in participants with AN, while participants in the AS group showed mostly comparable activations to the com-parison group. Conclusions: AN diagnosis was associated with an increased neural activity in response to both self-touch and social touch. Failure to attenuate self-touch might relate to altered predictions regarding the own body and reduced perception of bodily boundaries. Participants with an AS diagnosis were mostly comparable to the comparison group, potentially indicating unaltered tactile self-other-distinction.

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  • 25.
    Habig, Kathrin
    et al.
    Justus Liebig University, Germany.
    Schaenzer, Anne
    Justus Liebig University, Germany.
    Schirner, Wolfgang
    Justus Liebig University, Germany.
    Lautenschlaeger, Gothje
    Justus Liebig University, Germany.
    Dassinger, Benjamin
    Justus Liebig University, Germany.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Birklein, Frank
    Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany.
    Gizewski, Elke R.
    Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.
    Kraemer, Heidrun H.
    Justus Liebig University, Germany.
    Low threshold unmyelinated mechanoafferents can modulate pain2017In: BMC Neurology, E-ISSN 1471-2377, Vol. 17, article id 184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Human, hairy skin contains a subgroup of C-fibers, the C-low threshold mechanoreceptive afferents ((C-LTMR) C-tactile or C-touch (CT) fibers) that are linked with the signaling of affective aspects of human touch. Recent studies suggest an involvement of these afferents in the modulation of pain in healthy volunteers. Small fiber neuropathy (SFN) is associated with a damage of C-fibers. Therefore, an impairment of C-LTMRs can be assumed. We aimed to elaborate a possible role of CT-afferents in pain modulation by investigating healthy volunteers and SFN-patients. Methods: Experiment I: 20 SFN-patients (12 women, median age 52.0 years) and 20 healthy controls (14 women, median age 43.0 years) participated in this prospective fMRI and psychophysical study. Heat-pain (HP), CT-targeted touch (slow brushing) and HP combined with CT-targeted touch were applied in randomized order to the left shank in a block design. The participants rated pain intensity on a visual analogue scale. Experiment II: We investigated a possible impact of pain intensity on CT induced pain modulation (10 healthy participants). The intensity of HP stimulation was chosen to induce pain intensity 50/100 (NRS). HP stimulation was applied with and without CT-targeted touch. Results: Experiment I: CT-stimulation was sufficient to reduce heat pain in healthy participants (p = 0.016), but not in SFN-patients. HP induced pain intensity was significantly higher (32,2 vs 52,6) in SFN-patients. During HP, bold responses in pain associated areas were observed in both groups. Additional CT-stimulation elicited no significant difference of bold responses compared to HP. Experiment II: In healthy volunteers, we reproduced a significant reduction of HP intensity by CT-stimulation (p = 0.038). Conclusions: CT input seems to be sufficient to modulate pain, independent of intensity of the pain stimulus. As a prerequisite, the CT fibers have to be intact as in healthy volunteers. If CT fibers are impaired -as in SFN-, CT-targeted touch does not modulate pain intensity. The location of CT-induced pain modulation might be attributed to the level of the dorsal horn since the cortical activation pattern of heat pain with and without CT-targeted touch did not differ in healthy subjects and in SFN-patients.

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  • 26.
    Hauser, Steven C.
    et al.
    Univ Virginia, VA 22904 USA.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Israr, Ali
    Facebook Real Labs, WA USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Gerling, Gregory J.
    Univ Virginia, VA 22904 USA.
    Uncovering Human-to-Human Physical Interactions that Underlie Emotional and Affective Touch Communication2019In: 2019 IEEE WORLD HAPTICS CONFERENCE (WHC), IEEE , 2019, p. 407-412Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Couples often communicate their emotions, e.g., love or sadness, through physical expressions of touch. Prior efforts have used visual observation to distinguish emotional touch communications by certain gestures tied to ones hand contact, velocity and position. The work herein describes an automated approach to eliciting the essential features of these gestures. First, a tracking system records the timing and location of contact interactions in 3-D between a touchers hand and a receivers forearm. Second, data post-processing algorithms extract dependent measures, derived from prior visual observation, tied to the intensity and velocity of the touchers hand, as well as areas, durations and parts of the hand in contact. Third, behavioral data were obtained from five couples who sought to convey a variety of emotional word cues. We found that certain combinations of six dependent measures well distinguish the touch communications. For example, a typical sadness expression invokes more contact, evolves more slowly, and impresses less deeply into the forearm than a typical attention expression. Furthermore, cluster analysis indicates 2-5 distinct expression strategies are common per word being communicated. Specifying the essential features of touch communications can guide haptic devices in reproducing naturalistic interactions.

  • 27.
    Hauser, Steven C.
    et al.
    Univ Virginia, VA 22904 USA.
    Nagi, Saad
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Israr, Ali
    Facebook Real Labs, WA USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Gerling, Gregory J.
    Univ Virginia, VA 22904 USA.
    From Human-to-Human Touch to Peripheral Nerve Responses2019In: 2019 IEEE WORLD HAPTICS CONFERENCE (WHC), IEEE , 2019, p. 592-597Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Human-to-human touch conveys rich, meaningful social and emotional sentiment. At present, however, we understand neither the physical attributes that underlie such touch, nor how the attributes evoke responses in unique types of peripheral afferents. Indeed, nearly all electrophysiological studies use well-controlled but non-ecological stimuli. Here, we develop motion tracking and algorithms to quantify physical attributes indentation depth, shear velocity, contact area, and distance to the cutaneous sensory space (receptive field) of the afferent underlying human-to-human touch. In particular, 2-D video of the scene is combined with 3-D stereo infrared video of the touchers hand to measure contact interactions local to the receptive field of the receivers afferent. The combined and algorithmically corrected measurements improve accuracy, especially of occluded and misidentified fingers. Human subjects experiments track a toucher performing four gestures - single finger tapping, multi-finger tapping, multi-finger stroking and whole hand holding - while action potentials are recorded from a first-order afferent of the receiver. A case study with one rapidly-adapting (Pacinian) and one C-tactile afferent examines temporal ties between gestures and elicited action potentials. The results indicate this method holds promise in determining the roles of unique afferent types in encoding social and emotional touch attributes in their naturalistic delivery.

  • 28.
    Joensson, Emma H.
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Backlund Wasling, Helena
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Wagnbeck, Vicktoria
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Dimitriadis, Menelaos
    University of Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands.
    Georgiadis, Janniko R.
    University of Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Croy, Ilona
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Unmyelinated Tactile Cutaneous Nerves Signal Erotic Sensations2015In: Journal of Sexual Medicine, ISSN 1743-6095, E-ISSN 1743-6109, Vol. 12, no 6, p. 1338-1345Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction. Intrapersonal touch is a powerful tool for communicating emotions and can among many things evoke feelings of eroticism and sexual arousal. The peripheral neural mechanisms of erotic touch signaling have been less studied. C tactile afferents (unmyelinated low-threshold mechanoreceptors), known to underpin pleasant aspects of touch processing, have been posited to play an important role. MethodIn two studies, we investigated the relationship between C tactile activation and the perception of erotic and pleasant touch, using tactile brushing stimulation. In total, 66 healthy subjects (37 women, age range 19-51 years) were examined. In study 1 (n=20), five different stroking velocities were applied to the forearm and the inner thigh. The participants answered questions about partnership, mood, and touch. In study 2 (n=46), the same five stroking velocities were applied to the forearm. The participants answered questions about partnership, touch, and sexuality. ResultsBoth touch eroticism and pleasantness were rated significantly higher for C tactile optimal velocities compared with suboptimal velocities. No difference was found between the ratings of the thigh and the forearm. The velocity-dependent rating curves of pleasantness, intensity, and eroticism differed from each other. Pleasantness was best explained by a quadratic fit, intensity by a linear fit, and eroticism by both. A linear transformation of pleasantness and intensity predicted the observed eroticism ratings reliably. Eroticism ratings were negatively correlated with length of relationship. ConclusionTouch was rated most erotic when perceived as pleasant and weak. In human hairy skin, perception of pleasantness is correlated with the firing rate of C tactile afferents, and perception of intensity is correlated with the firing rate of A afferents. Accordingly, eroticism may be perceived most readily for touch stimuli that induce high activity in C tactile fibers and low activity in A fibers. Jonsson EH, Backlund Wasling H, Wagnbeck V, Dimitriadis M, Georgiadis JR, Olausson H, and Croy I. Unmyelinated tactile cutaneous nerves signal erotic sensations. J Sex Med 2015;12:1338-1345.

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  • 29.
    Jonsson, Emma H.
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Bendas, Johanna
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Weidner, Kerstin
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    Wessberg, Johan
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Backlund Wasling, Helena
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Croy, Ilona
    Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    The relation between human hair follicle density and touch perception2017In: Scientific Reports, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 2499Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Unmyelinated low threshold C-tactile fibers moderate pleasant aspects of touch. These fibers respond optimally to stroking stimulation of the skin with slow velocities (1-10 cm/s). Low threshold mechanoreceptors are arranged around hair follicles in rodent skin. If valid also in humans, hair follicle density (HFD) may relate to the perceived pleasantness of stroking tactile stimulation. We conducted two studies that examined the relation between HFD and affective touch perception in humans. In total, 138 healthy volunteers were stroked on the forearm and rated the pleasantness and intensity. Stimulation was performed by a robotic tactile stimulator delivering C-tactile optimal (1, 3, 10 cm/s) and non-optimal (0.1, 0.3, 30 cm/s) stroking velocities. Additionally, a measure of discriminative touch was applied in study 2. HFD of the same forearm was determined using the Cyanoacrylate Skin Stripping Method (CSSM), which we validated in a pretest. Women had higher HFD than men, which was explained by body size and weight. Furthermore, women rated affective touch stimuli as more pleasant and had higher tactile acuity. Depilation did not affect touch perception. A weak relationship was found between the C-tactile specific aspects of affective touch perception and HFD, and the hypothesis of HFD relating to pleasant aspects of stroking only received weak support.

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  • 30.
    Jonsson, Emma H.
    et al.
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Kotilahti, Kalle
    Aalto Univ, Finland.
    Heiskala, Juha
    Univ Helsinki, Finland.
    Wasling, Helena Backlund
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Croy, Ilona
    Tech Univ Dresden, Germany.
    Mustaniemi, Hanna
    Aalto Univ, Finland.
    Hiltunen, Petri
    Aalto Univ, Finland.
    Tuulari, Jetro J.
    Univ Turku, Finland.
    Scheinin, Noora M.
    Univ Turku, Finland; Turku Univ Hosp, Finland.
    Karlsson, Linnea
    Univ Turku, Finland; Turku Univ Hosp, Finland.
    Karlsson, Hasse
    Univ Turku, Finland; Turku Univ Hosp, Finland.
    Nissila, Ilkka
    Aalto Univ, Finland.
    Affective and non-affective touch evoke differential brain responses in 2-month-old infants2018In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 169, p. 162-171Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Caressing touch is an effective way to communicate emotions and to create social bonds. It is also one of the key mediators of early parental bonding. The caresses are generally thought to represent a social form of touching and indeed, slow, gentle brushing is encoded in specialized peripheral nerve fibers, the C-tactile (CT) afferents. In adults, areas such as the posterior insula and superior temporal sulcus are activated by affective, slow stroking touch but not by fast stroking stimulation. However, whether these areas are activated in infants, after social tactile stimulation, is unknown. In this study, we compared the total hemoglobin responses measured with diffuse optical tomography (DOT) in the left hemisphere following slow and fast stroking touch stimulation in 16 2-month-old infants. We compared slow stroking (optimal CT afferent stimulation) to fast stroking (non-optimal CT stimulation). Activated regions were delineated using two methods: one based on contrast between the two conditions, and the other based on voxel-based statistical significance of the difference between the two conditions. The first method showed a single activation cluster in the temporal cortex with center of gravity in the middle temporal gyrus where the total hemoglobin increased after the slow stroking relative to the fast stroking (p = 0.04 uncorrected). The second method revealed a cluster in the insula with an increase in total hemoglobin in the insular cortex in response to slow stroking relative to fast stroking (p = 0.0005 uncorrected; p = 0.04 corrected for multiple comparisons). These activation clusters encompass areas that are involved in processing of affective, slow stroking touch in the adult brain. We conclude that the infant brain shows a pronounced and adult-like response to slow stroking touch compared to fast stroking touch in the insular cortex but the expected response in the primary somatosensory cortex was not found at this age. The results imply that emotionally valent touch is encoded in the brain in adult-like manner already soon after birth and this suggests a potential for involvement of touch in bonding with the caretaker.

  • 31.
    Lee, In-Seon
    et al.
    Kyung Hee University, South Korea; University of Tubingen, Germany; University of Tubingen, Germany; University of Tubingen, Germany.
    Lee, Bombi
    Kyung Hee University, South Korea.
    Park, Hi-Joon
    Kyung Hee University, South Korea.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Enck, Paul
    University of Tubingen, Germany.
    Chae, Younbyoung
    Kyung Hee University, South Korea.
    A new animal model of placebo analgesia: involvement of the dopaminergic system in reward learning2015In: Scientific Reports, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, no 17140Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We suggest a new placebo analgesia animal model and investigated the role of the dopamine and opioid systems in placebo analgesia. Before and after the conditioning, we conducted a conditioned place preference (CPP) test to measure preferences for the cues (Rooms 1 and 2), and a hot plate test (HPT) to measure the pain responses to high level-pain after the cues. In addition, we quantified the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and c-Fos in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as a response to reward learning and pain response. We found an enhanced preference for the low level-pain paired cue and enhanced TH expression in the VTA of the Placebo and Placebo + Naloxone groups. Haloperidol, a dopamine antagonist, blocked these effects in the Placebo + Haloperidol group. An increased pain threshold to high-heat pain and reduced c-Fos expression in the ACC were observed in the Placebo group only. Haloperidol blocked the place preference effect, and naloxone and haloperidol blocked the placebo analgesia. Cue preference is mediated by reward learning via the dopamine system, whereas the expression of placebo analgesia is mediated by the dopamine and opioid systems.

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  • 32.
    Lee, Ye-Seul
    et al.
    Kyung Hee Univ, South Korea.
    Sehlstedt, Isac
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Jung, Won-Mo
    Kyung Hee Univ, South Korea.
    Wallraven, Christian
    Korea Univ, South Korea.
    Chae, Younbyoung
    Kyung Hee Univ, South Korea.
    Visual and physical affective touch delivered by a rotary tactile stimulation device: A human psychophysical study2018In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 185, p. 55-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The discovery that pleasant touch is coded by C-tactile fibers has generated considerable research interest and increased understanding of the skin as a channel for social information via cutaneous senses. However, no study has differentiated between the pleasant response to visual and tactile non-human stimulations. Our study investigated pleasant touch in which the visual and haptic touch information was obtained from an affective, but non-social experience, by a custom-built non-human device. Participants (n = 19) received soft brush strokes on their lower left arm delivered by a rotary tactile stimulator (physical session) or watched a video of an arm being stroked by a rotary tactile stimulator (visual session). The brush strokes were delivered at the same velocities (0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30 cm/s) and force (0.4 N) in both sessions. After each trial, participants rated the pleasantness of the touch. Analysis of variance was used to assess the effects of velocity and modality (visual touch vs. physical touch) on the pleasantness rating. Participants rated strokes between 1 and 10 cm/s as most pleasant under both conditions. The pleasantness rating patterns differed significantly among velocities; however, no significant differences were found between modalities. Visual and physical (without human-to-human interaction) touch elicited similar behavioral responses, including an inverted U-shaped perception of pleasantness. These findings suggest that the pleasantness of touch is influenced by the velocity of the strokes in both visual and physical touch with a non-human stimulation.

  • 33.
    Liljencrantz, J.
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Strigo, I.
    VA San Francisco Healthcare Syst, CA USA; University of Calif San Francisco, CA 94143 USA.
    Ellingsen, D. M.
    Harvard Medical Sch, MA USA; University of Oslo, Norway.
    Kraemer, H. H.
    Justus Liebig University, Germany.
    Lundblad, L. C.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Nagi, Saad
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Western Sydney University, Australia.
    Leknes, S.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden; University of Oslo, Norway.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Slow brushing reduces heat pain in humans2017In: European Journal of Pain, ISSN 1090-3801, E-ISSN 1532-2149, Vol. 21, no 7, p. 1173-1185Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: C-tactile (CT) afferents are unmyelinated low-threshold mechanoreceptors optimized for signalling affective, gentle touch. In three separate psychophysical experiments, we examined the contribution of CT afferents to pain modulation. Methods: In total, 44 healthy volunteers experienced heat pain and CT optimal (slow brushing) and CT sub-optimal (fast brushing or vibration) stimuli. Three different experimental paradigms were used: Concurrent application of heat pain and tactile (slow brushing or vibration) stimulation; Slow brushing, applied for variable duration and intervals, preceding heat pain; Slow versus fast brushing preceding heat pain. Results: Slow brushing was effective in reducing pain, whereas fast brushing or vibration was not. The reduction in pain was significant not only when the CT optimal touch was applied simultaneously with the painful stimulus but also when the two stimuli were separated in time. For subsequent stimulation, the pain reduction was more pronounced for a shorter time interval between brushing and pain. Likewise, the effect was more robust when pain was preceded by a longer duration of brush stimulation. Strong CT-related pain reduction was associated with low anxiety and high calmness scores obtained by a state anxiety questionnaire. Conclusions: Slow brushing - optimal for CT activation - is effective in reducing pain from cutaneous heating. The precise mechanisms for the pain relief are as yet unknown but possible mechanisms include inhibition of nociceptive projection neurons at the level of the dorsal horn as well as analgesia through cortical mechanisms.

  • 34.
    Loken, Line S.
    et al.
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Wasling, Helena Backlund
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    McGlone, Francis
    Liverpool John Moores Univ, England.
    Wessberg, Johan
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    A topographical and physiological exploration of C-tactile afferents and their response to menthol and histamine2022In: Journal of Neurophysiology, ISSN 0022-3077, E-ISSN 1522-1598, Vol. 127, no 2, p. 463-473Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Unmyelinated tactile (C-tactile or CT) afferents are abundant in arm hairy skin and have been suggested to signal features of soda) affective touch. Here, we recorded from unmyelinated low-threshold mechanosensitive afferents in the peroneal and radial nerves. The most distal receptive fields were located on the proximal phalanx of the third finger for the superficial branch of the radial nerve and near the lateral malleolus for the peroneal nerve. We found that the physiological properties with regard to conduction velocity and mechanical threshold, as well as their tuning to brush velocity, were similar in CT units across the antebrachial (n = 27), radial (n = 8), and peroneal (n = 4) nerves. Moreover, we found that although CT afferents are readily found during microneurography of the arm nerves, they appear to be much more sparse in the lower leg compared with C-nociceptors. We continued to explore CT afferents with regard to their chemical sensitivity and found that they could not be activated by topical application to their receptive field of either the cooling agent menthol or the pruritogen histamine. In light of previous studies showing the combined effects that temperature and mechanical stimuli have on these neurons, these findings add to the growing body of research suggesting that CT afferents constitute a unique class of sensory afferents with highly specialized mechanisms for transducing gentle touch. NEW & NOTEWORHY Unmyelinated tactile (CT) afferents are abundant in arm hairy skin and are thought to signal features of social affective touch. We show that CTs are also present but are relatively sparse in the lower leg compared with C-nociceptors. CTs display similar physiological properties across the arm and leg nerves. Furthermore, CT afferents do not respond to the cooling agent menthol or the pruritogen histamine, and their mechanical response properties are not altered by these chemicals.

  • 35.
    Lundblad, Linda C.
    et al.
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden; Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden; Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Wasling, Pontus
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Jood, Katarina
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Wysocka, Anna
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Hamilton, Paul
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Wasling, Helena Backlund
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Tactile direction discrimination in humans after stroke2020In: Brain Communications, E-ISSN 2632-1297, Vol. 2, no 2, article id fcaa088Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sensing movements across the skin surface is a complex task for the tactile sensory system, relying on sophisticated cortical processing. Functional MRI has shown that judgements of the direction of tactile stimuli moving across the skin are processed in distributed cortical areas in healthy humans. To further study which brain areas are important for tactile direction discrimination, we performed a lesion study, examining a group of patients with first-time stroke. We measured tactile direction discrimination in 44 patients, bilaterally on the dorsum of the hands and feet, within 2 weeks (acute), and again in 28 patients 3 months after stroke. The 3-month follow-up also included a structural MRI scan for lesion delineation. Fifty-nine healthy participants were examined for normative direction discrimination values. We found abnormal tactile direction discrimination in 29/44 patients in the acute phase, and in 21/28 3 months after stroke. Lesions that included the opercular parietal area 1 of the secondary somatosensory cortex, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or the insular cortex were always associated with abnormal tactile direction discrimination, consistent with previous functional MRI results. Abnormal tactile direction discrimination was also present with lesions including white matter and subcortical regions. We have thus delineated cortical, subcortical and white matter areas important for tactile direction discrimination function. The findings also suggest that tactile dysfunction is common following stroke.

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  • 36.
    Luong, Amanda
    et al.
    Sahlgrens University Hospital, Sweden.
    Bendas, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Technical University of Dresden, Germany; Dammstr 1, Germany.
    Etzi, Roberta
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Milano Bicocca, Italy.
    Olausson, Håkan
    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.
    Croy, Ilona
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Technical University of Dresden, Germany.
    The individual preferred velocity of stroking touch as a stable measurement2017In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 177, p. 129-134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Affective touch is of fundamental importance in human social interactions and there is an increasing interest in using touch as a probe for general affective perception. To this end, we developed a test of preferred velocity (ToP-V) of touch and tested whether the individually preferred stroking velocity is a stable and valid measurement. In study one, thirty healthy participants (18-30 years, 17 women) were examined with the ToP-V. Therefore, pairs of different slow stroking stimuli were presented by the Rotary Tactile Stimulator a robotic device - on the forearm and the participants chose the velocity they preferred in a forced choice paradigm. A retest was conducted after about 12 days. In study two, twenty-two healthy participants (20-43 years, 11 women) were tested with a shorter version of the ToP-V on the forearm and also on the palm. Moreover, they rated the pleasantness and the intensity of the stroking stimulations on both body sites. Results suggest that humans possess an individual and stable preferred velocity of stroking touch (test-retest reliability r = 0.86) which can be tested in a standardized procedure. A shortened 5 min version of the ToP-V also exhibited reasonable test characteristics (split half reliability: r = 0.7; test-retest reliability r = 0.77). The ToP-V correlated well with the pleasantness ratings when tested on the forearm (r = 0.65), but not when tested on the palm (r = 0.22), indicating that the ToP-V targets a C-tactile nerve fiber specific perception. Hence, the ToP-V can be used for reliably probing affective touch perception.

  • 37.
    Maallo, Anne
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Duvernoy, Basil
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Naturalistic stimuli in touch research2022In: Current Opinion in Neurobiology, ISSN 0959-4388, E-ISSN 1873-6882, Vol. 75, article id 102570Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neural mechanisms of touch are typically studied in laboratory settings using robotic or other types of well-controlled devices. Such stimuli are very different from highly complex naturalistic human-to-human touch interactions. The lack of scientifically useful naturalistic stimuli hampers progress, particularly in social touch research. Vision science, on the other hand, has benefitted from inventions such as virtual reality systems that have provided researchers with precision control of naturalistic stimuli. In the field of touch research, producing and manipulating stimuli is particularly challenging due to the complexity of skin mechanics. Here, we review the history of touch neuroscience focusing on the contrast between strictly controlled and naturalistic stimuli, and compare the field to vision science. We discuss new methods that may overcome obstacles with precision-controlled tactile stimuli, and recent successes in naturalistic texture production. In social touch research, precise tracking and measurement of naturalistic human-to-human touch interactions offer exciting new possibilities.

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  • 38.
    Marshall, Andrew G.
    et al.
    Univ Liverpool, England; Liverpool John Moores Univ, England; Walton Ctr NHS Fdn Trust, England.
    Sharma, Manohar L.
    Walton Ctr NHS Fdn Trust, England.
    Marley, Kate
    Aintree Univ Hosp NHS Fdn Trust, England.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Aintree Univ Hosp NHS Fdn Trust, England.
    McGlone, Francis P.
    Liverpool John Moores Univ, England; Univ Liverpool, England.
    Spinal signalling of C-fiber mediated pleasant touch in humans2019In: eLIFE, E-ISSN 2050-084X, Vol. 8, article id e51642Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    C-tactile afferents form a distinct channel that encodes pleasant tactile stimulation. Prevailing views indicate they project, as with other unmyelinated afferents, in lamina I-spinothalamic pathways. However, we found that spinothalamic ablation in humans, whilst profoundly impairing pain, temperature and itch, had no effect on pleasant touch perception. Only discriminative touch deficits were seen. These findings preclude privileged C-tactile-lamina I-spinothalamic projections and imply integrated hedonic and discriminative spinal processing from the body.

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  • 39.
    Mayo, Leah
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Lindé, Johan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Heilig, Markus
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Psychiatry.
    Morrison, India
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Putting a good face on touch: Facial expression reflects the affective valence of caress-like touch across modalities2018In: Biological Psychology, ISSN 0301-0511, E-ISSN 1873-6246, Vol. 137, p. 83-90Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Touch plays a central role in interpersonal behavior, especially in its capacity to convey-and induce- changes in affect. Previous research has established that slow, caress-like stroking over the skin elicits positive subjective affective responses, with higher ratings of "pleasantness" compared to a faster-moving touch stimulus. Ratings of pleasantness are associated with increased activity of a distinct class of nerve fibers: C-tactile (CT) afferents. Here, we used facial electromyography (EMG) to determine if touch that optimally activates CT afferents also influences facial muscle activity believed to reflect changes in affect. We found that less pleasant, fast-moving stroking (30 cm/s) elicited robustly negative facial EMG responses, as indexed by stronger contraction of the corrugator muscle. In contrast, pleasant, slow-moving stroking (3 cm/s) that optimally activates CT afferents resulted in decreased negative facial affective responses, manifested as significant corrugator relaxation compared to fast stroking. Moreover, the facial tracking of affective valence during touch was supra-modal, with similar effects during both directly-experienced touch and viewing of touch videos. The results of this EMG study imply that touch that fails to optimally activate CT afferent produces a negative affective response, whereas pleasant, caress-like touch has not only subjective but expressive correlates, reflected in net positive affective changes in facial expression.

  • 40.
    McGlone, Francis
    et al.
    Liverpool John Moores University, England University of Liverpool, England .
    Wessberg, Johan
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden .
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Discriminative and Affective Touch: Sensing and Feeling2014In: Neuron, ISSN 0896-6273, E-ISSN 1097-4199, Vol. 82, no 4, p. 737-755Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The multimodal properties of the human somatosensory system continue to be unravelled. There is mounting evidence that one of these submodalities-touch-has another dimension, providing not only its well-recognized discriminative input to the brain, but also an affective input. It has long been recognized that touch plays an important role in many forms of social communication and a number of theories have been proposed to explain observations and beliefs about the "power of touch." Here, we propose that a class of low-threshold mechanosensitive C fibers that innervate the hairy skin represent the neurobiological substrate for the affective and rewarding properties of touch.

  • 41.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Hauser, Steven C.
    Univ Virginia, VA 22903 USA.
    Kusztor, Anikó
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Böhme, Rebecca
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Moungou, Athanasia
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Isager, Peder
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Homman, Lina
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Division of Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Novembre, Giovanni
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Nagi, Saad
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Israr, Ali
    Facebook, WA USA.
    Lumpkin, Ellen A.
    Columbia Univ, NY 10027 USA.
    Abnousi, Freddy
    Facebook, WA USA.
    Gerling, Gregory J.
    Univ Virginia, VA 22903 USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    The Language of Social Touch Is Intuitive and Quantifiable2022In: Psychological Science, ISSN 0956-7976, E-ISSN 1467-9280, Vol. 33, no 9, p. 1477-1494Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Touch is a powerful communication tool, but we have a limited understanding of the role played by particular physical features of interpersonal touch communication. In this study, adults living in Sweden performed a task in which messages (attention, love, happiness, calming, sadness, and gratitude) were conveyed by a sender touching the forearm of a receiver, who interpreted the messages. Two experiments (N = 32, N = 20) showed that within close relationships, receivers could identify the intuitive touch expressions of the senders, and we characterized the physical features of the touches associated with successful communication. Facial expressions measured with electromyography varied by message but were uncorrelated with communication performance. We developed standardized touch expressions and quantified the physical features with 3D hand tracking. In two further experiments (N = 20, N = 16), these standardized expressions were conveyed by trained senders and were readily understood by strangers unacquainted with the senders. Thus, the possibility emerges of a standardized, intuitively understood language of social touch.

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  • 42.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Moungou, Athanasia
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Böhme, Rebecca
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Isager, Peder
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Eindhoven Univ Technol, Netherlands.
    Lau, Frances
    Facebook Real Labs, PA USA.
    Israr, Ali
    Facebook Real Labs, PA USA.
    Lumpkin, Ellen A.
    Columbia University, USA.
    Abnousi, Freddy
    Facebook Real Labs, PA USA.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Affective touch communication in close adult relationships2019In: 2019 IEEE WORLD HAPTICS CONFERENCE (WHC), IEEE , 2019, p. 175-180Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inter-personal touch is a powerful aspect of social interaction that we expect to he particularly important for emotional communication. We studied the capacity of closely acquainted humans to signal the meaning of several word cues (e.g. gratitude, sadness) using touch sensation alone. Participants communicated all cues with above chance performance. We show that emotionally close people can accurately signal the meaning of different words through touch, and that performance is affected by the amount of contextual information available. Even with minimal context and feedback, both attention-getting and love were communicated surprisingly well. Neither the type of close relationship, nor self-reported comfort with touch significantly affected performance.

  • 43.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Nagi, Saad
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    McGlone, Francis
    Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience.
    The Effects of Ageing on Tactile Function in Humans2021In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, E-ISSN 1873-7544, Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, Vol. 464, p. 53-58Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ageing is accompanied by a steady decline in touch sensitivity and acuity. Conversely, pleasant touch, such as experienced during a caress, is even more pleasant in old age. There are many physiological changes that might explain these perceptual changes, but researchers have not yet identified any specific mechanisms. Here, we review both the perceptual and structural changes to the touch system that are associated with ageing. The structural changes include reduced elasticity of the skin in older people, as well as reduced numbers and altered morphology of skin tactile receptors. Effects of ageing on the peripheral and central nervous systems include demyelination, which affects the timing of neural signals, as well as reduced numbers of peripheral nerve fibres. The ageing brain also undergoes complex changes in blood flow, metabolism, plasticity, neurotransmitter function, and, for touch, the body map in primary somatosensory cortex. Although several studies have attempted to find a direct link between perceptual and structural changes, this has proved surprisingly elusive. We also highlight the need for more evidence regarding age-related changes in peripheral nerve function in the hairy skin, as well as the social and emotional aspects of touch.

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  • 44.
    Middleton, Steven J.
    et al.
    Univ Oxford, England.
    Perini, Irene
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Themistocleous, Andreas C.
    Univ Oxford, England; Univ Witwatersrand, South Africa.
    Weir, Greg A.
    Univ Oxford, England; Univ Glasgow, Scotland.
    McCann, Kirsty
    Univ Oxford, England.
    Barry, Allison M.
    Univ Oxford, England.
    Marshall, Andrew
    Univ Liverpool, England.
    Lee, Michael
    Univ Cambridge, England.
    Mayo, Leah M.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Bohic, Manon
    Aix Marseille Univ, France; Rutgers State Univ, NJ 08854 USA.
    Baskozos, Georgios
    Univ Oxford, England.
    Morrison, India
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Loken, Line S.
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Nagi, Saad
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Staud, Roland
    Univ Florida, FL 32610 USA.
    Sehlstedt, Isac
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Johnson, Richard D.
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden; Univ Florida, FL 32610 USA.
    Wessberg, Johan
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Wood, John N.
    UCL, England.
    Woods, Christopher G.
    Univ Cambridge, England.
    Moqrich, Aziz
    Aix Marseille Univ, France.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Bennett, David L.
    Univ Oxford, England.
    Na(v)1.7 is required for normal C-low threshold mechanoreceptor function in humans and mice2022In: Brain, ISSN 0006-8950, E-ISSN 1460-2156, Vol. 1145, no 10, p. 3637-3653Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Middleton, Perini et al. show that the role of Na(v)1.7 extends beyond pain perception. Using a multidisciplinary, cross-species approach, they show that Na(v)1.7 is also essential for C-low threshold mechanoreceptor function in mice and humans, regulating pleasant touch, punctate discrimination and sensitivity to cooling. Patients with bi-allelic loss of function mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 present with congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP), whilst low threshold mechanosensation is reportedly normal. Using psychophysics (n = 6 CIP participants and n = 86 healthy controls) and facial electromyography (n = 3 CIP participants and n = 8 healthy controls), we found that these patients also have abnormalities in the encoding of affective touch, which is mediated by the specialized afferents C-low threshold mechanoreceptors (C-LTMRs). In the mouse, we found that C-LTMRs express high levels of Nav1.7. Genetic loss or selective pharmacological inhibition of Nav1.7 in C-LTMRs resulted in a significant reduction in the total sodium current density, an increased mechanical threshold and reduced sensitivity to non-noxious cooling. The behavioural consequence of loss of Nav1.7 in C-LTMRs in mice was an elevation in the von Frey mechanical threshold and less sensitivity to cooling on a thermal gradient. Nav1.7 is therefore not only essential for normal pain perception but also for normal C-LTMR function, cool sensitivity and affective touch.

  • 45.
    Nagi, Saad
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Sydney, Australia.
    Marshall, Andrew G.
    Univ Manchester, England; Liverpool John Moores Univ, England.
    Makdani, Adarsh
    Liverpool John Moores Univ, England.
    Jarocka, Ewa
    Umea Univ, Sweden.
    Liljencrantz, Jaquette
    Natl Ctr Complementary and Integrat Hlth, MD 20892 USA; Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Ridderstrom, Mikael
    Umea Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Shaikh, Sumaiya
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Sydney, Australia.
    ONeill, Francis
    Univ Liverpool, England.
    Saade, Dimah
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Donkervoort, Sandra
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Foley, A. Reghan
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Minde, Jan
    Umea Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Trulsson, Mats
    Karolinska Inst, Sweden.
    Cole, Jonathan
    Bournemouth Univ, England.
    Bonnemann, Carsten G.
    NINDS, MD 20892 USA.
    Chesler, Alexander T.
    Natl Ctr Complementary and Integrat Hlth, MD 20892 USA.
    Bushnell, M. Catherine
    Natl Ctr Complementary and Integrat Hlth, MD 20892 USA.
    McGlone, Francis
    Liverpool John Moores Univ, England; Univ Liverpool, England.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    An ultrafast system for signaling mechanical pain in human skin2019In: Science Advances, E-ISSN 2375-2548, Vol. 5, no 7, article id eaaw1297Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The canonical view is that touch is signaled by fast-conducting, thickly myelinated afferents, whereas pain is signaled by slow-conducting, thinly myelinated ("fast" pain) or unmyelinated ("slow" pain) afferents. While other mammals have thickly myelinated afferents signaling pain (ultrafast nociceptors), these have not been demonstrated in humans. Here, we performed single-unit axonal recordings (microneurography) from cutaneous mechanoreceptive afferents in healthy participants. We identified A-fiber high-threshold mechanoreceptors (A-HTMR5) that were insensitive to gentle touch, encoded noxious skin indentations, and displayed conduction velocities similar to A-fiber low-threshold mechanoreceptors. Intraneural electrical stimulation of single ultrafast A-HTMRs evoked painful percepts. Testing in patients with selective deafferentation revealed impaired pain judgments to graded mechanical stimuli only when thickly myelinated fibers were absent. This function was preserved in patients with a loss-of-function mutation in mechanotransduction channel PIEZO2.These findings demonstrate that human mechanical pain does not require PIEZO2 and can be signaled by fast-conducting, thickly myelinated afferents.

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  • 46.
    Ng, Kevin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Lafee, Odai Waleed Mohammad
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Bouchatta, Otmane
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Makdani, Adarsh D.
    Liverpool John Moores Univ, England.
    Marshall, Andrew G.
    Univ Liverpool, England.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Mcintyre, Sarah
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Nagi, Saad
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Human Foot Outperforms the Hand in Mechanical Pain Discrimination2024In: eNeuro, E-ISSN 2373-2822, Vol. 11, no 2, article id 0412232024Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Tactile discrimination has been extensively studied, but mechanical pain discrimination remains poorly characterized. Here, we measured the capacity for mechanical pain discrimination using a two-alternative forced choice paradigm, with force-calibrated indentation stimuli (Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments) applied to the hand and foot dorsa of healthy human volunteers. In order to characterize the relationship between peripheral nociceptor activity and pain perception, we recorded single-unit activity from myelinated (A) and unmyelinated (C) mechanosensitive nociceptors in the skin using microneurography. At the perceptual level, we found that the foot was better at discriminating noxious forces than the hand, which stands in contrast to that for innocuous force discrimination, where the hand performed better than the foot. This observation of superior mechanical pain discrimination on the foot compared to the hand could not be explained by the responsiveness of individual nociceptors. We found no significant difference in the discrimination performance of either the myelinated or unmyelinated class of nociceptors between skin regions. This suggests the possibility that other factors such as skin biophysics, receptor density or central mechanisms may underlie these regional differences.

  • 47.
    Perini, Irene
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Gustafsson, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
    Igelström, Kajsa
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Jasiunaite Jokubaviciene, Brigita
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Kämpe, Robin
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Mayo, Leah
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Molander, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Zetterqvist, Maria
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
    Heilig, Markus
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Psykiatriska kliniken i Linköping. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Altered relationship between subjective perception and central representation of touch hedonics in adolescents with autism-spectrum disorder2021In: Translational Psychiatry, E-ISSN 2158-3188, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 224Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An impairment of social communication is a core symptom of autism-spectrum disorder (ASD). Affective touch is an important means of social interaction, and C-Tactile (CT) afferents are thought to play a key role in the peripheral detection and encoding of these stimuli. Exploring the neural and behavioral mechanisms for processing CT-optimal touch (similar to 3 cm/s) may therefore provide useful insights into the pathophysiology of ASD. We examined the relationship between touch hedonics (i.e. the subjective pleasantness with which affective touch stimuli are perceived) and neural processing in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). This region is less activated to affective touch in individuals with ASD, and, in typically developing individuals (TD), is correlated positively with touch pleasantness. TD and ASD participants received brushing stimuli at CT-optimal, and CT-non-optimal speeds during fMRI. Touch pleasantness and intensity ratings were collected, and affective touch awareness, a measure of general touch hedonics was calculated. As expected, slow touch was perceived as more pleasant and less intense than fast touch in both groups, whereas affective touch awareness was moderately higher in TD compared to ASD. There was a strong, positive correlation between right pSTS activation and affective touch awareness in TD, but not in ASD. Our findings suggest that altered neural coupling between right pSTS and touch hedonics in ASD may be associated with social touch avoidance in ASD.

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  • 48.
    Perini, Irene
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Morrison, India
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Seeking pleasant touch: neural correlates of behavioral preferences for skin stroking2015In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5153, E-ISSN 1662-5153, Vol. 9, no 8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Affective touch is a dynamic process. In this fMRI study we investigated affective touch by exploring its effects on overt behavior. Arm and palm skin were stroked with a soft brush at five different velocities (0.3, 1, 10, 3, and 30 cm s(-1)), using a novel feedback-based paradigm. Following stimulation in each trial, participants actively chose whether the caress they would receive in the next trial would be the same speed ("repeat") or different ("change"). Since preferred stroking speeds should be sought with greater frequency than non-preferred speeds, this paradigm provided a measure of such preferences in the form of active choices. The stimulation velocities were implemented with respect to the differential subjective pleasantness ratings they elicit in healthy subjects, with intermediate velocities (1, 10, and 3 cm s(-1)) considered more pleasant than very slow or very fast ones. Such pleasantness ratings linearly correlate with changes in mean firing rates of unmyelinated low-threshold C-tactile (CT) afferent nerves in the skin. Here, gentle, dynamic stimulation optimal for activating CT-afferents not only affected behavioral choices, but engaged brain regions involved in reward-related behavior and decision-making. This was the case for both hairy skin of the arm, where CTs are abundant, and glabrous skin of the palm, where CTs are absent. These findings provide insights on central and behavioral mechanisms underlying the perception of affective touch, and indicate that seeking affective touch involves value-based neural processing that is ultimately reflected in behavioral preferences.

  • 49.
    Radman, Lisa
    et al.
    Orebro Univ, Sweden; Univ Hlth Care Res Ctr, Sweden.
    Wold, Andrew
    Orebro Univ, Sweden.
    Norman, Kerstin
    Swedish Police Author, Sweden.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Thordstein, Magnus
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Neurobiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Hand Function After an Electrical Accident-A Case-Control Study2023In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 1076-2752, E-ISSN 1536-5948, Vol. 65, no 3, p. 242-248Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    ObjectiveElectrical accidents cause both acute and long-term injuries. The care of acute injuries is somewhat standardized, but currently recommendations or assessment tools are not available for assessing the long-term effects of an accident on hand function.MethodsA case-control study of 24 healthy controls and 24 cases, 1 to 5 years after an electrical accident and with self-reported neurosensory symptoms, was performed using three hand-function tests: the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire, the Purdue Pegboard test, and the Shape and Texture Identification test.ResultsCompared with the control group, patients received statistically significantly lower scores for the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand outcome measure and the Purdue Pegboard and for one finger on the Shape and Texture Identification test.ConclusionHand function is affected after an electrical accident in individuals with self-reported neurosensory symptoms.

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  • 50.
    Ree, Anbjorn
    et al.
    Univ Oslo, Norway.
    Morrison, India
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Sailer, Uta
    Univ Oslo, Norway.
    Heilig, Markus
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Psykiatriska kliniken inkl beroendekliniken.
    Mayo, Leah
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Using Facial Electromyography to Assess Facial Muscle Reactions to Experienced and Observed Affective Touch in Humans2019In: Journal of Visualized Experiments, E-ISSN 1940-087X, no 145, article id e59228Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Affective

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