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Pleasant touch sensations may begin with neural coding in the periphery by specific afferents. We found that during soft brush stroking, low-threshold unmyelinated mechanoreceptors (C-tactile), but not myelinated afferents, responded most vigorously at intermediate brushing velocities (1-10 cm s(-1)), which were perceived by subjects as being the most pleasant. Our results indicate that C-tactile afferents constitute a privileged peripheral pathway for pleasant tactile stimulation that is likely to signal affiliative social body contact.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nn.2312

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Neurosci

Publication Date

05/2009

Volume

12

Pages

547 - 548

Keywords

Action Potentials, Adaptation, Physiological, Affect, Afferent Pathways, Cerebral Cortex, Electrophysiology, Hair Follicle, Humans, Mechanoreceptors, Mechanotransduction, Cellular, Nerve Fibers, Unmyelinated, Perception, Physical Stimulation, Reward, Sensory Receptor Cells, Skin, Skin Physiological Phenomena, Social Behavior, Touch