Unmyelinated C-Tactile (CT) fibres are activated by caress-like touch, eliciting a pleasant feeling that decreases for static and faster stroking. Previous studies documented this effect also for vicarious touch, hypothesising simulation mechanisms driving the perception and appreciation of observed interpersonal touch. Notably, less is known about appreciation of vicarious execution of touch, that is as referred to the one giving gentle touch. To address this issue, 53 healthy participants were asked to view and rate a series of videoclips displaying an individual being touched by another on hairy (i.e., hand dorsum) or glabrous (i.e., palm) skin sites, with touch being delivered at CT-optimal (5 cm/s) or non-CT optimal velocities (0 cm/s or 30 cm/s). Following the observation of each clip, participants were asked to rate self-referred desirability and model-referred pleasantness of vicarious touch for both executer (toucher-referred) and receiver (touchee-referred). Consistent with the CT fibres properties, for both self-referred desirability and model-referred pleasantness judgements of vicarious touch execution and reception, participants provided higher ratings for vicarious touch delivered at CT-optimal than other velocities, and when observed CT-optimal touch was delivered to the hand-dorsum compared to the palm. However, higher ratings were attributed to vicarious reception compared to execution of CT-optimal touch. Notably, individual differences in interoceptive trusting and attitude to interpersonal touch were positively correlated with, respectively, toucher- and touchee-related overall appraisal ratings of touch. These findings suggest that the appreciation of both toucher- and touchee-referred vicarious touch is specifically attuned to CT-optimal touch, even though they might rely on different neurocognitive mechanisms to understand affective information conveyed by interpersonal tactile interactions.

To touch or to be touched? comparing appraisal of vicarious execution and reception of interpersonal touch

Butti, Niccolò;Urgesi, Cosimo;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Unmyelinated C-Tactile (CT) fibres are activated by caress-like touch, eliciting a pleasant feeling that decreases for static and faster stroking. Previous studies documented this effect also for vicarious touch, hypothesising simulation mechanisms driving the perception and appreciation of observed interpersonal touch. Notably, less is known about appreciation of vicarious execution of touch, that is as referred to the one giving gentle touch. To address this issue, 53 healthy participants were asked to view and rate a series of videoclips displaying an individual being touched by another on hairy (i.e., hand dorsum) or glabrous (i.e., palm) skin sites, with touch being delivered at CT-optimal (5 cm/s) or non-CT optimal velocities (0 cm/s or 30 cm/s). Following the observation of each clip, participants were asked to rate self-referred desirability and model-referred pleasantness of vicarious touch for both executer (toucher-referred) and receiver (touchee-referred). Consistent with the CT fibres properties, for both self-referred desirability and model-referred pleasantness judgements of vicarious touch execution and reception, participants provided higher ratings for vicarious touch delivered at CT-optimal than other velocities, and when observed CT-optimal touch was delivered to the hand-dorsum compared to the palm. However, higher ratings were attributed to vicarious reception compared to execution of CT-optimal touch. Notably, individual differences in interoceptive trusting and attitude to interpersonal touch were positively correlated with, respectively, toucher- and touchee-related overall appraisal ratings of touch. These findings suggest that the appreciation of both toucher- and touchee-referred vicarious touch is specifically attuned to CT-optimal touch, even though they might rely on different neurocognitive mechanisms to understand affective information conveyed by interpersonal tactile interactions.
2024
17-mag-2024
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3075440
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