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Stroking modulates noxious-evoked brain activity in human infants

Gursul, D, Goksan, S, Hartley, C, Mellado, GS, Moultrie, F, Hoskin, A, Adams, E, Hathway, G, Walker, SC, McGlone, FP and Slater, R (2018) Stroking modulates noxious-evoked brain activity in human infants. Current Biology, 28 (24). pp. 1380-1381. ISSN 0960-9822

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Abstract

A subclass of C fibre sensory neurons found in hairy skin are activated by gentle touch [1] and respond optimally to stroking at ∼1–10 cm/s, serving a protective function by promoting affiliative behaviours. In adult humans, stimulation of these C-tactile (CT) afferents is pleasant, and can reduce pain perception [2]. Touch-based techniques, such as infant massage and kangaroo care, are designed to comfort infants during procedures, and a modest reduction in pain-related behavioural and physiological responses has been observed in some studies [3]. Here, we investigated whether touch can reduce noxious-evoked brain activity. We demonstrate that stroking (at 3 cm/s) prior to an experimental noxious stimulus or clinical heel lance can attenuate noxious-evoked brain activity in infants. CT fibres may represent a biological target for non-pharmacological interventions that modulate pain in early life.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2019 11:37
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2019 11:46
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.014
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9935

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